Land of Canaan

On 14th of May 1948 after 2,000 years of absence David Ben-Gurion officially established State of Israel. Country which from the very first day of its existence is at the state of war or constant conflict with its neighbours.
Nevertheless modern history of Israel goes back few decades earlier – to the end of 19th century and the birth of Zionism – a movement created in the Russian Empire by the persecuted Jews, calling for the return to their homeland in Palestine and establishing sovereign country. Yet real progress towards their goal came together with Theodor Herzl and his devotion for the case. Thanks to his engagement during first Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897 World Zionist Organisation was created. With the growing anti – Semitism inside Europe and Russia the movement quickly became popular between the Jewish Diaspora and Herzl was slowly able to persuade wealthy and influential nationals to support the movement.
The second chapter of the way to sovereign country is written by the then superpowers with many more nations and conflicts of interest involved. In 1917 Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, in which announced its support for creating Jewish state in Palestine. Only one year later, in 1918 with the end of World War I and collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Britain got the mandate over Palestine and Jewish people could immigrate to Holy Land. Despite Arab state protests the declaration was included in the British mandate and therefore authorized by the League of Nations in 1922. 1920s and ‘30s were times of uncertainty for both – newcomers to Israel and those still living in Europe. Due to disapproval of Arab population influx of immigrants was restricted while their fate in the Old Continent was about to be decided by Nazi Germany and upcoming war. Even USA and Switzerland were putting obstacles for big numbers of those wishing to escape genocide. Regarding the Jews already living in Palestine, they were not welcomed at all by their neighbours. British rule had to be in place until proclamation of independence.
The very next day on May 15th 1948 forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq invaded.
Historians are divided who to blame for the tragedy of the Jewish people and all the aftermaths of the First World War including nowadays terrorism. Pointing finger at Nazi Germany is an easy way to explain the core of the problem. It ignores the rest of the aspects of this complicated issue. Other European nations were also anti-Semitic. After World War I victorious superpowers failed to bring the order to the nations left behind collapsed Ottoman Empire and divided the land the way, which rather contributed to divisions between forming Arab nations than to helping them build their countries. The feeling of betrayal was common between Arabs, who fought alongside British troops, did not want to share their land with the Jews and were not told about European plan regarding Palestine. As a consequence newborn states in the Middle East refused to accept UN two state solution as it was envisaged in 1947. Furthermore none of them wanted another state to get Palestine territory after planned military intervention and supposed retaking it. Long lasting desire of Arab states to recapture Holy Land left Palestinians living with the refugee status quo for generations. From the other hand also the Jews, who from ages used to live all over the Middle East and those from north Africa were forced to leave their homes and emigrate to Israel. And nowadays it seems that Palestinians paid and still pay the price for the new order. Another nation which did not show desire to create their country for 2,000 years started to claim the rights to the land which was home for people of different faith and origin for all this time. The question is also what were supposed to do the Jews after persecutions and genocide they had been through in Europe?
After almost 100 years since the defeat of the Ottoman Empire we still have more questions than answers.


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