- Education and Science
History of Israel: Part Two (1948-1972)
The history of Israel, and the Israel Arab conflict, are best understood if we examine the Israel War of Independence.
The State of Israel declared independence May 14th, 1948—the most important day in the history of Israel, and of the Israel Arab conflict. This great triumph in the history of Israel for Jews was necessitated by the Holocaust. But it immediately sparked the the Israel War of Independence and the still ongoing Israel Arab conflict.
We can see from studying the history of Israel that there were internal conflicts straightaway as to the role Judaism should play in the new nation.
At this point in the history of Israel, 600,000 Jews lived inside what was called the Palestine Mandate, which represented 50 percent of the population living there. But the history of Israel shows us that the nascent State of Israel only claimed 6 percent of that land.
The new State of Israel was immediately recognized by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.; and admitted to the United Nations one year later. Arab governments (represented by the Arab League, created at the encouragement of the British) that surrounded Israel took a hard line stance against it immediately, rejecting international agreements and choosing war, thus creating the Israel Arab conflict and the Israel War of Independence.
The land where the State of Israel was established had been ruled by the British for 30 years, after they had conquered it from the Ottoman Empire, which had allied itself with Germany in World War One.
Israel War of Independence
If we investigate the true history of Israel, we find that the very day after the State of Israel was established, it was attacked by five modern Muslim armies, which were assisted by four other armies from Muslim countries. World opinion was that the inchoate State of Israel had no chance to survive, since they had to defend attacks on every side without an organized military.
The governments that started the war—Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon—promised their citizens victory within two weeks. The Egyptians led the assault, even though other Muslims did not regard Egyptians as Arabs but rather as ignorant, backward Africans. This Israel Arab conflict is known today as the Israel War of Independence.
In addition to the armies that attacked the State of Israel, Muslim civilians began sniper attacks on Jews inside the State of Israel during the Israel War of Independence. Muslims escalated the Israel Arab conflict when they attacked kibbutzes inside the new State of Israel; set off bombs in Jewish neighborhoods; mutilated the corpses of dead Jews; opened fire on convoys carrying food and medical supplies, and even shot doctors and nurses.
The State of Israel won a great and shocking victory, causing euphoria among Jews but bitter shame among the Muslims who had them outnumbered and outgunned in this Israel War of Independence.
The Arabs had been so over-confident during this first Israel Arab conflict that they did not even bother to unify their command, or to supply their officers with maps. After all, the State of Israel could only muster 30,000 fighters—including women—and had no air force.
The history of Israel shows us that the Syrians were defeated in the north by a fighting force of only two artillery pieces! The same two artillery pieces then were rushed south and used to drive the Iraqi Army out of Galilee.
The Lebanese were driven back in the north and the Egyptians in the south. However, Jordan was successful in conquering Jerusalem from the State of Israel during the Israel War of Independence .
During and after the Israel War of Independence, there was a mass movement of peoples. Approximately 550,000 people who described themselves as Arabs fled from inside the borders of the new State of Israel—some were forced out but most were simply afraid. These Muslims abandoned entire villages, which were then flattened by the State of Israel.
Nearly an equal number of Jews fled to the nascent State of Israel from surrounding Arab countries—arriving with nothing, having been stripped of all they owned by the Muslims they had lived alongside for centuries.
Israel Arab Conflict
The history behind the current Israel Arab conflict can be traced to how refugees were treated by their brothers in the country they moved to during and after the Israel War of Independence.
Jewish refugees were immediately granted citizenship in the new State of Israel and assisted in resettlement among the general population. Muslim refugees were put into camps by Arab governments—where many of them still live 60 years later.
By and large the Arab refugees were not given citizenship or the right to start a new life in the Arab countries to which they fled after the Israel War of Independence. The reason for this is that the Arab countries saw these refugees as useful pawns in future efforts to eventually rid the Middle East of Jews. Arab governments certainly had the resources to take them in. The State of Israel accomodated almost an equal number of refugees.
The Arab refugees were called Palestinians for the first time in history in the 1950s. Never before in human history had any human being ever called himself a Palestinian—no such nationality exists.
Numerous international studies of this history concluded that the Arab refugees should be absorbed by the surrounding Arab countries, given the dignity of resettlement so they could become productive citizens.
100,000,000 human beings have become refugees since 1945 (worldwide) and no other people have been kept in camps anywhere close to this length of time in world history.
850,000 Jews lived in Muslim countries in 1948. Only 20,000 remain there today. None of the 830,000 who fled Muslim lands are in refugee camps; none are demanding the right to return to from whence they came.
Half of all Israelis today are descendants of these refugees from Arab lands. 300,000 Jews emigrated from Morocco to Israel; 140,000 came from Algeria; 125,000 from Iraq; 100,000 from Tunisia; 75,000 from Egypt; 50,000 from Yemen; 35,000 from Syria; 35,000 from Libya. A Jew may not set foot in Arabia today.
The 320,000 Arabs who remained inside the State of Israel after the Israel War of Independence were offered Israeli citizenship. Half chose to leave the State of Israel after the war. Those who stayed were granted full citizenship in 1952. The Arab population inside the State of Israel would grow to 411,000 by 1975.
The United Nations brokered a truce in 1949 that established borders for the State of Israel inside what became known as the Green Line. The State of Israel now sat on only 78 percent of the land originally promised for a Jewish Homeland (only 2 percent of the land in what is called The Middle East). Arab states refused to speak to the State of Israel directly.
Jordan now occupied the West Bank as well as East Jerusalem, while Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip.
The State of Israel formed a parliamentary democracy with a 120 member Knesset (legislature). Israelis vote for parties not individuals. David Ben Gurion served as Prime Minister from 1949 to 1963.
After the cease fire, Arabs demanded that all people who had fled from Israel during the fighting be allowed to return. The Jews refused unless Arab governments recognized Israel as a sovereign nation with the right to exist in peace—which all Muslims refused to even consider at the time. In 1950, all Jews in the world were granted the right to come and live in the State of Israel.
Sinai War 1956
Israel and Egypt fought again in 1956. This time it was the Israelis who attacked. The Arab states, led by Egyptian President Nasser, were trying to strangle Israel by boycotting its goods, and preventing shipping of any goods over their land into or out of the State of Israel.
Egypt illegally prohibited the use of the Suez Canal by any nation for trade with Israel, and blockaded the only Red Sea port of the State of Israel, Eilat. Nasser also supported Fedayeen terrorists who used Gaza to launch attacks on Israeli civilians, and announced publicly his plans for total extermination of "dirty Jew pigs." Syria and Jordan vowed to help with the killings.
The State of Israel, led by Moshe Dayan, captured the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza during this conflict, but gave them back to Egypt under pressure from the United States and the Soviets in exchange for a guarantee of shipping rights.
The Sinai War resulted in an amazing military victory by the State of Israel. Egypt had six times the firepower of Israel—and brand new state-of-the-art Soviet weapons—while Israel had only castoffs and used equipment from France, Canada, the UK, and the U.S.
Because England and France—furious when Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal—helped the State of Israel plan its war strategy, Israel was henceforth viewed by many Muslims as an agent state of western imperialism. This is not true, as the creation of the State of Israel was actually staunchly opposed by many western governments.
State of Israel
By 1957, the State of Israel had progressed faster than any nation on Earth—further embarrassing their Arab neighbors. The population in the State of Israel had tripled in ten years, with diverse immigrants coming from around the world.
The State of Israel was feeding itself with home grown poultry, dairy, vegetables, and fruit. Arab citizens of the State of Israel were often marginalized and had little social life. Jewish landlords did not want them as tenants, and Arab workers were not trusted by Jewish employers. Conditions did improve markedly for Israeli Arabs after new reforms were enacted by the State of Israel in the 1960s.
In Jerusalem, now a divided city, the Jews allowed access for Arabs to the western section; but the Jordanians refused to allow Jews the right to visit their scared sites in the eastern section. In fact, the Jordanians removed Jewish grave stones to be used in latrines—so they could piss on them.
The Arab refugees were held by Arab governments in filthy, wretched conditions. 250,000 were put into camps by Jordan; 115,000 by Egypt; 100,000 by Lebanon; and 80,000 by Syria. The United Nations provided food, medicine and education for them, but did not give any aid to the Jewish refugees absorbed into the new Jewish State. By 1956, 61 percent of the Arab refugees had moved out of the camps, but still claimed the United Nations benefits of refugee status. By 1960, 960,000 Arabs were receiving support from the U.N., that number grew to 1.3M in 1968.
Worldwide Islam declared Holy War against all Jews, which the Quran denounces as "vipers." No Muslim government would recognize the Jewish State. Muslims burned with resentment over their humiliating defeat in the 1948 Israel War of Independence—which Muslims call "the Catastrophe."
Muslims seethed when they observed the economic success, democracy and freedoms the people enjoyed living in the State of Israel. This Muslim resentment is at the heart of the Israel Arab conflict. It is amplified by the fact that most Arabs live in impoverished backwardness under authoritarian regimes in Arab nations.
The closest ally of the State of Israel during its early years was actually the Soviet Union, since Jews had led the worldwide movement of Communism. But the Soviets dropped them in 1955 as they realized their need for Arab oil, suddenly condemning Israel and arming Egypt, now under the fascist dictatorship of Nasser. Nasser was to dominate the Arab world until his death in 1970. The Soviets also poured arms into Syria and Iraq.
The Six Day War
The Six Day War was fought in 1967. By this time the Jewish population had risen to 2.4 million; up from 1.7 million in 1956. Israel was an agricultural success story, and had a strong export business in cotton, nuts, eggs, dairy, fruit, and vegetables. Germany had provided expertise and funding to begin industrialization of the State of Israel, including weapons manufacturing.
In 1967, Syrian troops made occasional forays into the State of Israel, and the Israelis responded with air strikes inside Syria. Syria was also building works to divert the headwaters of Israel's only river, the Jordan.
In Egypt, food shortages and unemployment threatened Nasser's regime, so the Russians suggested he distract his populace by attacking Israel—killing Jews is always guaranteed to get Muslims to rally around their leader.
Egypt blocked shipping to the State of Israel, so they could not receive arms; expelled the U.N. peacekeeping forces from the Sinai; and amassed 100,000 troops with 1,000 tanks on the border of the State of Israel.
Meanwhile, Jordan allowed Iraqi troops to assemble on its border with the State of Israel. Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait pledged support to their Muslim brother nations; and fatefully, Jordan joined in. The Muslims openly proclaimed to the world their intention: liquidate the Jews.
Moshe Dayan came to the rescue for the State of Israel. He decided the only chance Israel had, surrounded on three sides, was to attack first. The Israeli Air Force—and Israeli intelligence—proved to be world class, smashing Egypt's forces in a mere three hours. This Israel Arab conflict is known as the Six Day War.
Egyptian television pronounced one lie after another (a trait that is common in Arab countries), declaring that great victories had been won in the Six Day War by the Egyptian army. To explain another crushing defeat of massive Muslim armies by the tiny State of Israel, Nasser would later fabricate a story—widely believed by the ignorant Muslim masses—that American and English troops had fought alongside the Israelis in the Six Day War.
Within 2 days the huge Egyptian army was in tatters. The Israelis were unquestionably smarter, braver, tougher soldiers. Then the Jordanians and Iraqis attacked Jerusalem. The state of Israel whipped them all in just six days (including the Syrians in the north). hence the name "Six Day War."
The Soviets were furious! Two billion dollars worth of their military equipment provided to the Arab aggressors was destroyed in the Six Day War. Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, Golan Heights, and Jerusalem. The Israelis could easily have taken the Muslim capitals of Cairo, Damascus and Amman,but the United States stopped them from doing so, not wanting to see the Muslim world further humiliated by a minuscule band of Jews.
Jordan had lost its entire Air Force in the Six Day War, along with half of all its weapons, half its kingdom, half its agricultural lands, half its tourist areas.
The entire Muslim world was stunned and humiliated; having lost 28,000 square miles of land in less than a week in the Six Day War.
The United Nations called on Israel to withdraw from conquered lands, and called on Muslim countries to officially recognize that the State of Israel had a right to exist in peace: both sides refused the call.
1,000,000 foreigners were now under Israeli rule: 670,000 in the West Bank (forfeited by Jordan); 356,000 in Gaza and 33,000 in Sinai (surrendered by Egypt); 6,000 in the Golan Heights (taken from Syria). 1/3 of them were living in the squalid refugee camps where they had been held by Muslim governments since 1948.
The Jews were euphoric after their miraculous victories in the Six Day War. The speed and totality of the victory made the army of the State of Israel the envy of the world, and widely studied by militaries around the globe.
The Muslims were proven to be incompetent on the battlefield. Some Muslims saw their defeat at the hands of Jews as punishment from Allah for straying from fundamentalism by westernizing their culture. This led directly to the massive terrorism inside the State of Israel and against Jews (and westerners) worldwide by fundamentalist Islamists.
The governments of Muslim nations could not admit to their own citizens that they had been whipped fair and square by a Jewish nation that they outnumbered ten to one. Instead, they fabricated tales that the whole of Western Civilization was out to crush Islam. Here lie the roots of the Israel Arab conflict that plagues the region and the world.