Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Land of Israel and How It Grew and How Many Had to Leave

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     

Moses left Egypt with a mixed multitude of 600,000 Jews of the 12 tribes of Jacob and others who were all slaves.  They headed for Canaan in 1311 BCE, and it took them 40 years to get there, so they entered Canaan in 1271 BCE.    Led by Joshua by then, they were to  establish Israel. Israel would be divided into Israel and Judea in 921 BCE and Babylonia's attack in 597 and 586 BCE would bring about an end to their independence.  Jerusalem would be taken by the Romans in 70 CE.
Chaim Weizmann before becoming Israel's first President and Emir Feisal in Agreement about Israel.
 Moshe Dayan (1915-1981) Haganah member, Palmah, Fought in War of Independence
                                                 David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973)

Jump to May 14, 1948, 3,219 years later,  and Israel was again created with David Ben Gurion as its first Prime Minister and state's main founder after 1,878 years of waiting.  It started at that time with 650,000 Jews.  Jews still lived on the land, but many families formerly exiled started to return once again after almost  painful  2 millennium of being parted from their homeland..

In 1948, there was an exchange of peoples.  Almost 700,000 Jewish immigrants, almost half the total of the 1,400,000 immigrants that would return in the next 24 years,  came as destitute refugees from Muslim countries.  At the creation of Palestine they were kicked out of their adopted countries.  There, they had been treated as dhimmis, a 2nd class citizen.

The number matches that of the Palestinian Arabs, 700,000 people who had come from nearby countries looking for jobs from the Jews who were building Tel Aviv in the late 1800's as well as other places.  A few had been there longer, but not many.  Then there were Bedouins who wandered about the lands, as well and had stayed.  They chose not to stay at the beginning of the War of Independence 1947-1949 and at the insistence of their leadership, had left and became refugees, a problem to this very day, 700,000 refugees who have grown to several million.

By May 1972, Israel's population had grown to 3,164,000, or 5 times what it was at the start in those 24 years.  1,400,000 were immigrants or Olim.  There were 4 waves of immigration with people coming in between the waves:
1. May 1948 to 1951---754,800 Olim entered Israel including:
     a. Refugees from Holocaust in Europe, Poland, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia
     b. Entire Jewish communities from Arab countries:
          (1) 121,000 out of 130,000 of Jews in Iraq
          (2)  44,000 out of 45,000 of Jews of Yemen
         (3) . 30,500 out of 35,000 of Jews of Libya

2. 1955 to 1957---165,000  Jews came from Morocco, Tunisia, Poland and other places
                              A large number came from Romania under a family reunification scheme as many had                                  come in late 1800's.

3. 1961 to 1964---215,056 Jew came mainly from Eastern Europe and North Africa.

4. 1967 and Six Day War to 1972 ---Jews came from North and South America, Western Europe and Soviet Union. Finally about 200,000 immigrants had arrived.

In 24 Years, 1,400,000 Immigrants Had Immigrated to Israel.

  1. On October 6, 1973, hoping to win back territory lost to Israel during the third Arab-Israeli war, in 1967, Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a coordinated attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Besides being faced with the problems of integration, both culturally of coming from the Middle East or of Europe, the Sephardim and the Ashkenazim, they were hit with a major war.  
  3.                                           Population Density of Israel 2014
  4. Immigration to Israel ended several of the ancient Jewish communities in the Middle East.  Jews had lived in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt and Libya for over 2,000 years.  In several countries in Eastern Europe, immigration  removed what was left if anything after the Holocaust.  Poland, Hungary and Romania were countries where Jews had been a large minority.  Their immigration left only a small number that chose to remain.  The result was that Israel had over 2 1/2 million Jews and became the 3rd largest Jewish center in the world.  First was the USA who still had 6 million Jews and the Soviet Union with 3 million.  
  5. Israel faced the problems of providing housing.  In the first 3 years, Israel was an infant state, and had a poor economy.  Most immigrants had to live in tent camps or ma'barot.  Living conditions were difficult.  They needed jobs.  Many had to live on welfare grants or on subsistence wages for work on public welfare projects.  Oregon had such things going on which is how Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood was built.  By 1972, immigrants were taken directly to new homes or to absorption centers where they studied Hebrew.  Most found gainful work quickly.  
I made aliyah in 1980 and as a teacher, lived in an absorption center for 10 months in Haifa, whereas other people only had to stay for 3 months in their absorption centers.  My husband and I had to take a test at the end of the 10 months in Hebrew.  We took a course for teachers of the USA to teach in Israel and passed, and received out teaching certificates; he for high school and me for jr high.  We found jobs in Safed in the northern Galilee.  

Cultural integration is a basic ongoing problem.  All of us Jews have come from different cultural environments.  Half came from Muslim countries in North Africa and Asia where most had to live in conditions of poverty and basic values were of the Muslim society.  Most came with large families.  These were the Sephardim or actually Mizrachim Jews.  Half were the Ashkenazim or coming from European and American countries.  Their basic values were those of a modern democratic and technological society.  This created a cultural gap and gave Ashkenazim a starting advantage over the Sephardim from Muslim countries.  A lot of effort has been devoted to narrowing this gap.
   Me in front of my apartment, 1981 in Safed with my German shepherd and my red Fiat.
Housing in 1960:  10.3% of all families lived with 3 or more persons per room and most were from Muslim countries.
1972:  About 5.1% of all families still lived in such conditions.  At least they were out of the tents!  
Most all Israelis live in high rise apartment houses.  Some homes are found in Judea and Samaria more, though high rises are there as well.  

Education: Secondary School Attendance
1956: Asia and Africa  ---13%                       1969-70   44%
   Europe and America---41%                                         77%
2014--- Literacy Rate for Israel is 95%; PA is 85.4%;  Egypt is 51.4%.  

Marriages:  Since 1970, 18.5% of marriages taking place in Israel were of couples of mixed cultural origins.  This is the best means of closing the cultural gaps.  

Urbanization:  In 1948, 28% of the population lived in villages and 72% lived in towns.  
                        By 1972, 17.5% lived in villages and 82.5% lived in towns.  

Moshav Over Kibbutz
1948 to 1971, 448 new villages were established.  97 were kibbutzim and 286 were moshavim (collective and cooperative villages).  Immigrants into agriculture preferred the moshav, a type of village where families own and manage their own farm over the kibbutz where property is owned by the commune.  
Kibbutz population in 1948 was 7.6%.  1972 population was 2.8%.  

New Towns and Development Areas had been planned to prevent an excessive concentration of population in the coastal region between Tel Aviv and Haifa.  A large part of their population are immigrants. 
   1. New Towns:  Eilat, Dimona and Arad In Negev;    Kiryat Gat, Ashkelon and Beit Shemesh in the  center of country;     Karmiel and Kiryat Sh'mona in the Galilee.  
   2. The Development Regions:  Lachish Region which is half-way between Jerusalem and Ashkelon; Ta'anach Region in the southern part of the Jezreel Valley;  B'sor Region in the Negev.  

After 1967's Six Day War

The ancient states of Judea and Samaria (Israel) came into Israel's hands because Israel won the war in defense when Jordan, Egypt and Syria attacked.  Gaza and east Jerusalem also were a part of land gained.  Gaza had been in Egypt's hands, and of course Jordan had taken east Jerusalem before.  Jerusalem is now one city undivided.  Jews had been living in Gaza for centuries, but left at the insistence of Israel in 2005 for the sake of a lasting peace with the Palestinians.  They left businesses for the Arabs who tore them apart and commenced to shoot rockets, mortars and missiles into Israel in earnest starting in 2001, before gaining the land.  By 2006 Hamas, a terrorist organization won the power in Gaza and refused to be peaceful.  They would not recognize Israel as a state which has great meaning.  Their charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the death of all Jews.   They are so intent on this, so Israel has continued to build in Judea and Samaria, the area that the PLO, now Fatah, want to have as their state of Palestine. 
 Since 1.7 million Arabs live in Israel as citizens,  they feel it is only right that Jews can also live in Judea/Samaria, their ancient homeland which is now referred to as "The West Bank."   The world disagrees with obvious international decrees and wants the Palestinians to have both Gaza and Judea/Samaria as their state and are allowing it to be Judenrein--no Jews living there.  Because once Israel moved all Jews out of Gaza, they expect the same deal for Judea/Samaria.  Wherever the Arabs are, they have been destroying artifacts of ancient Jewish history; both on the Temple Mount where the Temple once stood and in other places that are holy sites.  

Today the population of Israel 8.2 million with 75% being Jewish and 20.7% being Arab.  Since last year it has grown by 157,000 people.  

Reference: From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters
facts about Israel, published by the Division of information, ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem, 1973
Letters From Israel by Nadene Goldfoot
The New Standard Jewish Encyhclopedia

No comments:

Post a Comment