History of Modern Israel/Palestine
Israel is found in the Middle East region and borders countries like Egypt, Jordan and Syria and was granted liberty in 1948 after several years of conflicts between the Arabs and the Jews. In order to accomplish the goal of creating a Jewish state, it was imperative to ensure that majority of the people who live in the region were the Jews and thus Israel passed the 1950 Law of Return, which allowed any Jew the ability to come back and be granted citizenship. Israel was able to establish a majority Jewish population due to the strategies that were put in place; records reveal that the percentage of Jews in 2009 was eighty percent. The course of Israel’s history since the establishment of the in 1948 has been determined by two central factors, the guiding influence of specific Zionist ideology and the need for security (Mazor 97). This essay looks at the history of the modern Israel/Palestine by analyzing how the nation has been transformed for the past few years since it was established.
In the 19th century people began to identify themselves as nations thus triggering a trend in the European states where people started to demand autonomy and other rights that they were not accorded at that time. The Jews struggled to achieve their goals and this could only be accomplished through the creation of a state and thus they demanded to be recognized in the world. “Palestine seemed to be the ideal place where the Jews immigrants could be settled for the reason that it was the site of Jewish origin” (Beinin and Lisa 1).
While the Zionist movement had many different tendencies and political parties, one goal that almost all Zionists shared was the necessity of a Jewish state to normalize the Jewish condition by providing a safe haven and a national existence to the Jews. The movement of the zinionists started in 1882 at a time in which most of the Jews were living in four cities with Jews as the majority of people who occupied the cities. Many Jews who migrated were committed to the goals of creating a modern state, the migration of the Jews from European and settlement in Palestine generated resistance from the Palestinians. They were worried that the increasing numbers of the Palestinians in their land would lead to the creation of a state of the Jews in their region and thus losing some of their resources. Palestinians of Arab origin opposed the British government in their land for the reason that it thwarted their aspiration and threatened some of their interests in the region. After World War II, conflicts increased in the region and thus Britain decided to abandon its mandate and requested that the UN be tasked with determining the future of the country. At the end of 1946 thousands of Jews resided within the borders of Palestine and in November 1947, the UN voted to create Israel, the creation of Israel and their independence in 1948 gave the Jews the freedom that they needed after several years of tribulations. The freedom that was given to the Jews as a result of the creation of a nation in the Arab territory was not welcomed by the Arabs because they felt that the establishment of the state threatened some of their interests.
Eight months after Israel was granted liberty, it held its first elections to form a national government in which a president and members of the Knesset were chosen for this country. “On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the then acting president of the WZO issued the Israeli Declaration of Independence” (Schenker 103). The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, was one brief episode in a drama of survival for Palestine’s Jews who were engaged in an increasingly bitter conflict with the Arab world. Some Palestinians felt that they had been betrayed by the resolution which was reached on the division of the territories of the two new entities thus leading to conflicts that characterized the region for many years. The international community also played a crucial role in the early years of the State of Israel, for instance, French military support; and, the post-Holocaust Reparations provided vital support for the fledgling Israeli economy and its ability to absorb holocaust survivors and the mass immigration of Jews from other countries across the world. The founding of Israel was the most prominent realization of Zionism for the reason that majority of the world’s Jewry identified with Israel as a spiritual center. It was only through Soviet support in 1947 that a two thirds majority in the UN in favor of creating a state with a majority of Jews was attained and it is argued that a state of Israel would not have gained international legitimacy and might not even have come into existence. Stalin wished to eliminate the British from Palestine and to stop the Americans from taking their place and this could only be achieved by the decision he took (Shindler 32). Ongoing crises, resignations, the reshaping of coalitions and the downfall of governments came to characterize Israeli politics. The crises that characterized the new country after it was granted independence was due to the opposition that they received from other Arabs for the reason that they felt short changed. There was also profound reticence by ultra-orthodox rabbis to allow their young men to serve in the army and in general to permit their communities to interact with secular Israeli institutions. The state established a strong military which helped it to win many wars that were initiated by the Arabs due to their opposition to the creation of the state for their own interests in the region. Most Arab states felt that they had been shortchanged by the influx immigration of the Jews to their territory and the subsequent creation of a Jew state in their region. In 1948, only about one hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians remained in the area that became the State of Israel and were granted citizenship but remained second-class citizens in many aspects.
Tremendous obstacles have faced the Palestinians in their struggle to establish an independent state, the most significant factors, both internal and external, that have prevented the establishment of Palestinian statehood include the conflicts that exist between Israel and Palestine. The many aspects of the conflict that characterized the region in which the Palestinians inhabit have made Impossible for them to create a peaceful country. The inhabitants of the region have different ideologies due to their diversity of their cultural and religion backgrounds. After 1949, the conflict between Israel and Palestine continued as a result of built of the military caches by the countries in the region and prepared for eventualities that were bound to occur any time because of the lack of trust. The 1967 war established Israel as the dominant power in the region and captured many territories thus making the UN to a adopt a Resolution which made it illegal to acquire a territory by use of force and thus Israeli was forced to withdraw from the lands they had acquired in the war. In 2002, the Arab states endorsed a peace initiative in which an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including recognition of Israel and normal relations and a ceasefire in the region after fighting for many years. In May 2010 the moderate Islamist party ruling Turkey and by 2013, Israel had built one hundred and forty five official settlements and about one hundred unofficial settlements and permitted more than five hundred and sixty thousands Jewish citizens to move to East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The disagreements between the state and its neighbors have been reduced due to the strategies that have been put in place by the international community. The UN has worked hard to ensure that the conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors are ended and a lasting solution to the problem found.
The modern state of Israel has evolved for a long period of time; the founding of the modern state of Israel in the twentieth century was necessitated by many factors. The modern state of Israel and Palestine has gone through many stages for the past few years since it was founded. Currently the modern state of Israel is an autonomous state which enjoys freedom and has the ability to elect its own leaders unlike it was in the past few years. The state has won many battles and increased its territory from the time it was granted autonomy and freedom.
Beinin, Joel, and Lisa Hajjar. “Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” The Middle East Research and Information Project 11 (2009): 2009.
Mazor, Yair. “A History of Modern Israel.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies 18.1 (2009): 97-102. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 May 2016.
Schenker, Hillel. “The International Community’s Role in Israeli History.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 20.2/3 (2015): 101-106. Business Source Complete. Web. 24 May 2016.
Shindler, Colin. A history of modern Israel. Cambridge University Press, 2013.