Pastor Jeremy M. Thomas
Fredericksburg Bible Church
107 East Austin
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 830-997-8834 email@example.com
B0623 – June 11, 2006 – Israel: The Modern State Of Israel 1948-2006 I. Political Zionism
A. Theodore Herzl Click here for picture of Herzl
B. Chaim Weizmann Click here for picture of Weizmann
II. WWI to WWII
A. Balfour Declaration (1917)
B. British Mandate
1. 1920 Click here for map of 1920 Mandate 2. 1921-1923 Click here for map of 1923 Revised Mandate C. White Paper (1939) The document stated that Palestine would be neither a Jewish state nor an Arab one, but an independent state to be established within ten years. Jewish immigration to Palestine was limited to 75,000 for the first five years, subject to the country's "economic absorptive capacity", and would later be contingent on Arab consent. Stringent restrictions were imposed on land acquisition by Jews.
D. Holocaust (1939-1945) After the Holocaust the Jews had nowhere to go. Israel was virtually closed due to the White Paper of 1939. Many said they must stay in Europe until the Allied nations are at peace and secure. This left the people most ravaged by the war in a state of disillusion. Homeless, hungry, and stuck on a continent soaked with their people’s blood. This was almost as horrifying as the Holocaust itself, particularly when the reality of the situation began to set in.
III. The UN Partition Plan On November 29, 1947 the UN announced partition, a two-state solution. The Jews were ecstatic. The Arab response was aggression against Israelis. Their goal was to convince the UN to renounce partition and declare Arab sovereignty over Palestine. “Jamal Husseini, the Arab Higher Committee's spokesman had told the UN prior to the partition vote that the Arabs would drench “the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood . . . .” The chairman of the Arab Higher Committee said the Arabs would “fight for every inch of their country.” Two days later, the holy men of Al-Azhar University in Cairo called on the Muslim world to proclaim a jihad (holy war) against the Jews.”
The first large-scale assaults began on January 9, 1948, when approximately 1,000 Arabs attacked Jewish communities in northern Palestine. By February, the British said so many Arabs had infiltrated they lacked the forces to run them back. In fact, the British turned over bases and arms to Arab irregulars and the Arab Legion.
In the first phase of the war, lasting from November 29, 1947 until April 1, 1948, the Palestinian Arabs took the offensive, with help from volunteers from neighboring countries. The Jews suffered severe casualties and passage along most of their major roadways was disrupted. When the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was cut off there was no way to get food and water to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. An American Jew, Col. Mickey Marcus, who had served in WWII, agreed to help the struggling people. The story is captured in the 1963 movie, Cast a Giant Shadow. Marcus came up with a plan to build a road in one week over a mountain to provide alternate passage. Jewish engineers, architects and farmers spent every night in secrecy cutting a road through rock up the mountain. When the last half mile was unable to be navigated due to the steep incline and large boulders 45lb bags of flour were poured in between the boulders so the supply trucks could pass. It was a victory and relief was provided for those in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Col Mickey Marcus never saw the cease fire because he was killed six hours before. David Ben Gurion said, “He was the best man we had.”
Despite the disadvantages in numbers, organization and weapons, the Jews began to take the offensive in the weeks from April 1 until the proclamation of statehood on May 14. The Haganah, later to unite with other military organizations as the IDF, captured several major towns including Tiberias and Haifa. The Arab aggression caused many in the UN to question the partition resolution but it was never suspended or rescinded.
IV. May 14, 1948
On May 14, 1948 at 4pm in the afternoon, the crowning achievement of the Zionist movement was achieved when the Proclamation on the Rise of the State of Israel was read by David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel.
Accordingly we, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the Zionist movement of the world, met together in solemn assembly today, the day of the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine; by virtue of the national and historic right of the Jewish people and of the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations; hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine—to be called Israel…
With trust in Almighty God, we put our hands to this Declaration at this session of the Provisional State Council in the city of Tel-Aviv, on this Sabbath Eve, the Fifth Day of Iyar, Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Eight, the Fourteenth Day of May, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Forty-Eight.i
The night before this declaration President Truman had received a letter from Chaim Weizmann expressing his desire that the United States promptly recognize the Provisional Government of the new Jewish State. At 6:15pm, just two hours after Israel proclaimed her statehood the United States of America became the first nation to recognize the Provisional Government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.
Surprisingly, the second nation to recognize Israel was the Soviet Union. When the signers of the declaration walked outside the air raid sirens were already sounding. Israel was under attack. It was the most crammed day in Jewish history. The British Mandate had terminated, Israel had declared her sovereignty, the United States had recognized her, and a war had begun.
V. War of May 15, 1948ii “Five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq) immediately invaded Israel. Their intentions were declared by Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League: ‘This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.’”
Click here for map of Arab Invasion The Israelis were out-manned and out-gunned. They had already lost a lot of ground and British bases during the months leading up to the war. Logistically it appeared that Israel would be massacred.
Two tank units One tank
Five field artillery regiments Four field guns
Three air forces with fighter squadrons One fighter plan
One squadron of bombers
The Jordanian regiment had been trained by the British and was led by a British officer! The United States had blockaded any arms to Israel back in November, 1947. So, the Israelis had to smuggle arms in, mostly small field arms through Czechoslovakia. The first few weeks of the war the Arabs made significant gains. On June 11 a cease fire went into effect but Egypt violated it a month later on July 8. This had given Israel some time to reassemble, get some tanks, small artillery, and small arms. This time Israel won important victories and a second cease-fire ensued, which, of course was violated by Egypt again. This time Israel advanced all the way into Egyptian territory and was on the brink of taking the largest Egyptian army base, El Arish, when the British sent an ultimatum to Israel to retreat. After 8 months of fighting, on January 7, 1949, fighting halted. Israel had won the war, a victory that stunned the world. How could a newborn nation defeat five well-equipped, well-organized regular armies? ~ 6,000 Israelis (soldier and civilian) were dead (~ 1% of the population) but they maintained their existence and statehood. Ironically, because of the Arab’s aggression they wound up with less territory than they would have had they accepted partition. Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN resolution, not a single Palestinian would have become a refugee and an independent Arab state would now exist beside Israel.
A. Arab Refugees So, one of the world’s major problems grew out of this war; the so-called ‘refugee’ problem. In the months preceding the strike on May 15 (beginning in December 1947) the surrounding Arab nations sent out urgent radio messages telling their fellow Arab brothers to evacuate Palestine so they wouldn’t be caught in cross-fire. The Israelis encouraged them to stay under their protection in their homes and offered them full citizenship. The Arabs promised that after Israel was crushed they could go back to their homes and inherit the leftovers. No doubt if they refused to leave they would be considered renegades. Thus, most Arabs decided to leave. But Israel was not exterminated. So, many Arabs that evacuated got stuck in two locations; the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The problem was not huge at the time; there were only about 570,000 Arab refugees outside of Arab nations. The obvious solution was that the five surrounding Arab nations should absorb them. But these five Arab nations said Israel should let them return. The Israelis did let some return but argued that for all of them to return was a completely untenable solution. And so, over the last 60 years a 570,000 people problem has escalated to a 4.1 million+ people problem. Today the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on earth; 79,000 people/square kilometer. It’s no wonder that the Arab’s have said that “The return of the refugees to Israel means the extermination of Israel.” As early as 1948, Egyptian Foreign Minister Muhammad Salah al-Din said, “It is well-known and understood that the Arabs, in demanding the return of the refugees to Palestine, mean their return as masters of the Homeland and not as slaves. With a greater clarity, they mean the liquidation of the State of Israel” (Al-Misri, October 11, 1949). In 1957, Syria, passed a resolution stating, “Any discussion aimed at a solution of the Palestine problem which will not be based on ensuring the refugees' right to annihilate Israel will be regarded as a desecration of the Arab people and an act of treason” (Beirut al Massa, July 15, 1957).
The Arab nations will never absorb the ‘refugees’ because the Palestinian refugees are symbols of “oppression” and ultimately they believe the Palestinian population will become so large that Israel will be completely overwhelmed by their numbers. The Arab nations also know that keeping them in very primitive camps will only fester Jewish hatred and serve the ultimate Arab goal; annihilation of Israel. The billions of dollars that have been sent by international aid to help their situation has been funneled right into Arafat’s pocket to be used in propagating Jewish hatred through terrorist camps and educational facilities as well as providing arms for terrorist groups to attack Israelis. In the terrorist camps young children are trained in Jewish hatred and indoctrinated in Muslim ideology. Their textbooks do not even recognize the State of Israel.
B. Jewish Refugees The world is always talking about the Arab/Palestinian Refugees and they conveniently forget about the Jewish Refugees. After the 1948 war hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in Arab nations.
These nations were no longer safe for Israelis so they sought refuge in the State of Israel which readily absorbed them with open arms and full rights of citizenship. Those Jews who left these countries lost everything they owned to these Arab nations. Nothing was ever re-paid and yet we never hear anything of this great injustice.
VI. 6-Day War of 1967
Several events lead up to the Israel’s pre-emptive attack in 1967 and the 6-Day War which followed. First, the Arab League’s formation of a new weapon, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This weapon came into being during a 1964 meeting of the first Palestinian Congress. Shortly thereafter, the group began to splinter into various factions. Ultimately, the largest faction, Fatah, would come to dominate the organization, and its leader, Yasser Arafat, would become the PLO chairman and its most visible symbol. All the groups adhered to a set of principles laid out in the Palestine National Charter, which called for Israel's destruction.
Second, Syria’s resistance to Israel’s creation of a National Water Carrier to take water from the Jordan River to supply the country. The Syrian army used the Golan Heights, which tower 3,000 feet above the Galilee, to shell Israeli farms and villages. Syria’s attacks grew more frequent in 1965 and 1966, forcing children living on kibbutzim in the Huleh Valley to sleep in bomb shelters. Israel repeatedly protested the Syrian bombardments to the UN Mixed Armistice Commission, which was charged with policing the cease-fire, but the UN did nothing to stop Syria’s aggression — even a mild Security Council resolution expressing “regret” for such incidents was vetoed by the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Israel was condemned by the United Nations when it retaliated. While the Syrian military bombardment and terrorist attacks intensified, the Egyptian leader Nasser announced in 1965, “We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand; we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.”
These two events lead to Israel’s pre-emptive retaliatory strike in 1967. During the attack, Israeli planes shot down six Syrian fighter planes — MiGs supplied by the Soviet Union. The Voice of the Arabs radio station proclaimed on May 18, 1967, “As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.” The Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad said, “Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united....I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.” Tensions mounted when the Straits of Tehran were closed and Israel’s maritime passage to Asia was cut off. Daily Egypt’s president Nasser challenged Israel to fight. "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight," he said on May 27. The following day, he added: “We will not accept any...coexistence with Israel...Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel....The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.” President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the war of words, saying, “The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map.”
Israel Before the 1967 War
Click here for map of Israel before 1967 War
Cease Fire Lines After the 1967 War
Click here for map of Israel after 1967 War On June 5, 1967, Israel was indeed alone, but its military commanders had conceived a brilliant war strategy. The entire Israeli Air Force, with the exception of just 12 fighters assigned to defend Israeli air space, took off at 7:14 a.m. with the intent of bombing Egyptian airfields while the Egyptian pilots were eating breakfast. In less than 2 hours, roughly 300 Egyptian aircraft were destroyed. A few hours later, Israeli fighters attacked the Jordanian and Syrian air forces, as well as one airfield in Iraq. By the end of the first day, nearly the entire Egyptian and Jordanian air forces, and half the Syrians’, had been destroyed on the ground.
The battle then moved to the ground, and some of history’s greatest tank battles were fought between Egyptian and Israeli armor in the blast-furnace conditions of the Sinai desert.
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sent a message to King Hussein on June 5 saying Israel would not attack Jordan unless he initiated hostilities. When Jordanian radar picked up a cluster of planes flying from Egypt to Israel, and the Egyptians convinced Hussein the planes were theirs, he ordered the shelling of West Jerusalem. It turned out that the planes were Israel’s and were returning from destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground.
It took only three days for Israeli forces to defeat the Jordanian legion. On the morning of June 7, the order was given to recapture the Old City. Israeli paratroopers stormed the city and secured it. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan arrived with Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin to formally mark the Jews’ return to their historic capital and their holiest site. At the Western Wall, the IDF’s chaplain, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, blew a shofar to celebrate the event.
By the end of the war, Israel had conquered enough territory to more than triple the size of the area it controlled, from 8,000 to 26,000 square miles. The victory enabled Israel to unify Jerusalem. Israeli forces had also captured the Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Munich Olympics 1972
VII. Yom Kippur War of 1973 On October 6, 1973 — Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar — Egypt and Syria opened a coordinated surprise attack against Israel. The equivalent of the total forces of NATO in Europe were mobilized on Israel's borders. On the Golan Heights, approximately 180 Israeli tanks faced an onslaught of 1,400 Syrian tanks. Along the Suez Canal, fewer than 500 Israeli defenders were attacked by 80,000 Egyptians. At least nine Arab states, including four non-Middle Eastern nations, actively aided the Egyptian-Syrian war effort. Thrown onto the defensive during the first two days of fighting, Israel mobilized its reserves and eventually repulsed the invaders and carried the war deep into Syria and Egypt. Two weeks later, when Israel was gaining ground, a cease-fire was enacted by the UN.
Raid on Entebbe 1976
VIII. The Negev Returned to Egypt 1980 IX. Oslo Accords 1993
A. Phase I: Ending Terror And Violence, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions
B. Phase II: Transition
C. Phase III: Permanent Status Agreement and End of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
XI. Is the Modern State of Israel the Fulfillment of Prophecy?
Is the Modern State of Israel Significant for Prophecy?
Dan 9:27 presupposes a State of Israel
2 Thess 2:3 presupposes Jewish control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount
Matt 24:15ff presupposes a Temple and large number of Israeli’s in the Land
Rev 16:16; Dan 11:44 presupposes that Israel is in the Land
Walvoord, “Once God starts something He doesn’t pull back”. I think God is in this providentially and that these things are stage-setting. The stage has to be set before the end-times events can begin and that is what we are seeing with the modern state of Israel.
i Abba Eban, My Country.
ii On the same day, May 15th, 1948, the White Paper was rescinded and the flood gates of immigration were cut loose. Any and all Jews were encouraged to return from the Diaspora and enjoy full rights as citizens of the new State of Israel. In three years (1948-1951) the population of Israel doubled. It had taken 30 years under the British Mandate to reach a population of 600,000. The sovereign State of Israel was able to bring in 600,000 more Israelis in just three years.