Israel History and Politics
When we talk about the early days of Israel, we have to resort to biblical sources. These sources are not historical, that is, we do not know exactly what is true and what comes from stories and traditions. Much was written down much later and changed over and over again. Some stories are based on actual historical events that can be checked, others are stories that have been told.
Also in the New Testament, which is much younger than the Old Testament, the term “Israel” occurs more than 70 times. This always means the Jewish people.
Old and New Testament
The New Testament, also abbreviated NT, collects all the writings of the early Christians, i.e. the first Christians. It was written in the Greek language. They are often related to the Old Testament, the scriptures of the Jews. Both scriptures together are the Bible, which contains everything that Christians understand as the word of God. The Bible is the foundation of faith for all Christians.
Where did the name of the Israelites come from?
The First Book of Moses in the Old Testament tells of Jacob who lived around 1800 BC. Should have lived. According to the Bible, he was the grandson of Abraham and the son of Isaac. These two are also characters from the Bible. All three are considered to be the ancestors of Israel and “Israel” was also Jacob’s name of honor. The twelve tribes of Israel go back to Jacob.
This is how the descendants of Jacob got their name: Israelites. The land was called Israel. The Israelites were later called Jews. They not only shared a country but also a religion. The Jews saw themselves as the people of God.
The twelve tribes of Israel
According to naturegnosis, Jacob had twelve sons whose names were assigned to the twelve tribes of Israel. But when the Assyrians conquered what was then Israel in 722, ten of these tribes scattered all over the world.
Two of these tribes stayed, came under the domination of other peoples again and again, and their land became in 66 BC. Occupied by the Romans. The second Jewish temple in Jerusalem was almost completely destroyed in the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Only one wall remained – the Western Wall – which is an important symbol for many religious Jews to this day.
In the period from 132 to 135 AD, Bar Kochbar tried to defend itself against Roman rule. But that went wrong. In 135 AD the Romans were able to crush the Jewish uprising. As a result, Jews were no longer allowed to live in Jerusalem. The Romans named the country Palestine after the enemies of the Israelites. But a small minority stayed there.
Jews moved to many countries around the world
In the 7th century, Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim Arabs. In the end, the Jews did not have their own land, they had to live in many different countries around the world and were often not treated well, persecuted and in the worst case even killed there.
What is Zionism and what does Theodor Herzl have to do with it?
It was not until many centuries later that a movement emerged that set itself the goal of an Israelite state of its own. They are called Zionism or “Zionist Movement”. A man named Theodor Herzl, who wrote a book called “Der Judenstaat”, played a major role in this.
Especially at the end of the 19th century, Jews were often exposed to severe hostility. They were almost always a minority and were persecuted. This is also called anti-Semitism. You can find out more about anti-Semitism on the time clicks.
Looking for land for a new state
Like many people in Europe, the Jews who were spread all over the world developed a feeling for a nation-state. In contrast to the other states, however, they did not own any land. They had been expelled from Israel, where some of their ancestors had lived, many years earlier. As understandable as the desire of the Jews for their own state was, they disregarded the fact that others had now settled there, because Arabs had lived there for many years.
Palestine as a British mandate
Since 1920, more and more Jews came to Palestine, which the British administered as a mandate on behalf of the League of Nations. The British also gave permission for the Jews to enter and settle in Palestine. But the Arabs who were not enthusiastic about this new settlement movement already lived in Palestine. Did they also see their country in Palestine?
Many Jews fled to Palestine from the National Socialists
In the 30s of the 20th century, more and more Jews came to Palestine as they fled the reign of terror of the National Socialists. It seemed to be becoming more and more urgent to find a solution here. A solution with which the local population could be just as satisfied as the newcomers. Because these two were now fighting violently.
On November 29, 1947, the UN Partition Plan was adopted by the UN General Assembly as Resolution 181 (II). This was supposed to solve the problems between the Jewish and Arab inhabitants of Palestine. Jerusalem should be under international control. Democratic constitutions were planned for both states at the same time. Both states should be intertwined by an economic union. But this plan found no approval.
Why did a division plan fail?
So the idea of a partition plan was born to initiate peace. On November 29, 1947 this plan was finalized and distributed the land of Palestine to Arabs and Israelis. So there should be a Jewish and an Arab state. The idea behind this was to grant the Jews their own state after all the suffering they had suffered.
But the plan failed because the Arabs did not agree to the plan. A large part of the Arab world did not want this state in this form. The people living there didn’t want to just give up their land. They saw it as a violation of international law.