Thursday, November 10, 2016

Miracles in Israel 8: Israel's Birth in 1948

Nadene Goldfoot                                              
The Torah, the 5 Books of Moses
 G-d spoke to Moses saying, ..."I shall take you out from under the burdens of Egypt;  I shall rescue you from their service;  I shall redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.  I shall take you to Me for a people and I shall be a G-d to you;  an you shall know that I am Hashem your G-d, who takes you out from under the burdens of Egypt.  I shall bring you to the land about which I raised My hand to give it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;  and I shall give it to you as a heritage---I am Hashem."  Exodus 6:6-27 Va'eira.   Eretz Yisrael  was to be the Jewish Homeland.
This was the 1st miracle-of Moses getting the release of the 12 tribes of Jacob and Others  and taking them home.                                             
Exodus 1947, Haganah bringing in Jewish immigrants
to Palestine which was against British mandate law  from WWII's European Death Camps
Jews were kept out by the British while Arabs were brought in. 
If events hadn't happened as they did, Israel would not have been reborn.  The Romans had been occupying Judah, which was the southern part of Israel, for many years, and by 70 CE decided to take it over and burned down the Jews' Temple, something that was near and dear to them.
Sacking of Jerusalem, marching with goods and Jewish slaves shown
on Arch of Titus in Rome-Event of 70 CE
 They destroyed the rest of Jerusalem as best they could, took lives, and when they got tired of doing that, took them as slaves and marched them to Rome, parading the booty from the Temple that they stole before the burning.  There were other Jews scattered throughout Judah and probably in Israel, too, though Jews had been kidnapped and taken away in 721 BCE and again in 586 BCE.  The remaining ones stayed.
From there on, our history was that we were scattered all over the world, from being slaves to escaping or living in other's lands, and suffering from persecution because of our unwillingness to take on the religious rites of others.  For 2,000 years we were enduring anti-Semitism of every sort while holding on to our Jewish beliefs.  We were shunned by others and we also shunned many of them, so very little intermixing developed, such as in marriages.  We became an endogamous society.
1st Aliyah from Russia  1882
Arriving in Palestine
  Having been thrown out of every country we arrived at after having been invited, the Ashkenazi Jews wound up in Russia where cossacks enjoyed holding pogroms against us who lived in little shtetles.  Pogroms became many and Europe itself was turning anti-Semitic.  France held the Dryfuss Affair, convicting a Jewish soldier wrongly and casting him away, only to finally free him when evidence didn't hold up.  Jews were not safe anywhere.

WWI was looming.  For all these 2,000 years, Jews everywhere were known to be praying 3 times a day for the eventual return to Israel.  Now, Jewish leaders took the idea to heart and started to really look into the possibilities.  They met with European and British  leaders and dickered with them that if they won the war, they would allow Palestine (renamed as such by the Romans), their former Israel-Judah, to become the Jewish Homeland once again.  These Allied leaders must have been feeling the guilt, finally, of their ancestors and themselves and agreed that the Jews could have this unwanted, worthless piece of property.  They certainly saw no need for it. Nobody had wanted it or lived on it.  It remained a place of swamps, deserts, and weeds.   The War broke out in 1914 and was over by 1917.  The deal of becoming the 1st Jewish state in the world went through the League of Nations.  The land was first put under the mandate of the British for 30 years who were to take sole responsibility for law and order there, this former Ottoman Empire land of the past 400 years.
Baron Edmond de Rothchild (1845-1934)  extended money for Jews to buy land in Palestine.
The 1st Jewish pioneers in Aliyah asked him for help in 1880s.  He sent in agricultural
experts to help them to make decisions.   
At this time, part of Palestine's land was owned by absentee landlords who lived in Cairo, Damascus and Beirut.  About 80 % of the Palestinian Arabs were debt-ridden peasants, semi-nomads and Bedouins.  Jews were buying land in the event of having their own country, but went out of their way to avoid buying land in places where Arabs might be displaced.  They looked for land that was largely uncultivated, swampy, cheap and without people living on it.
David Gruen-AKA David Ben Gurion
1886-1973 born in Poland, lived in Palestine since 1906.
1st Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Defense
settled in later years in Sedeh Boker in the Negev.  
 David Ben-Gurion, the Labor Zionist in 1920, was concerned about the Arab Fellahim, the most important asset of the native population as he saw them.  He was against taking their land or land worked by them.  They had been oppressed by the Ottoman Turkish ruling party and Gurion wanted to liberate them from an oppressive life.  He felt that if they wanted to sell the land to the Jews, however, at a good price, that was okay and this happened, but at very very high prices.  Many Arabs sold their land to Jews who needed the money to go into the citrus industry.
Ship, St. Louis, sailing on May 13, 1939 from Hamburg, Germany with over
900 Jewish passengers were not allowed in Cuba or the USA but returned to
Europe on June 6, 1939.  They of course were not allowed into Palestine, either, 

as the British wouldn't accept more Jews into Palestine.  .
There was no place who wanted Jews. Jews were not safe in Europe at all since

Hitler was rounding them up and killing them, and they could not enter any other country.  
Every country had some reason: no baptism records, quotas of Jews were full, wrong religion.   
To the Arabs, Palestine was part of Arab Syria.  It had never been a separate Arab country.  It really had never been separated from Syria.  Arabs of both places were connected by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds. They had no nationalistic goals.
Husseini, friend of Hitler, inspecting troops of Germany
who planned to eradicate all Jews from the world.
They murdered 6 million.  
In the meantime, riots had broken out in Jerusalem  in 1929 when an Arab, given the leadership role by the Brits,  Haj Amin al-Husseini, the big fish in a little pond, felt his position would be usurped by the Jews, caused unrest and non-acceptance of any Jews.   Even though Emir Feisal, one of the few educated and royal family Arab leaders there was in acceptance of a Jewish country being formed,  he could not contain any ferment that Husseini was causing.  Feisal went on to be king of  Iraq and of Syria.

In 1937, the Peel Commission was in progress.  A local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told them not to partition Palestine.  "There is no such country as Palestine!  Palestine is a term the Zionists invented!    There is no Palestine in the Bible.  Our country for centuries was a part of Syria."  Evidently he knew something about the Bible.  Then he should have known that this land was promised by G-d to be the Jewish land.  He called it Syria, but Everyone, including the Ottoman Empire, knew it was called Palestine since 135 CE when Aluf (General) Bar Kokhba fought the Romans for 3 years.  The angry Romans, kept in war for so long which was a first for them, were so angry that they renamed the land and turned it into a Roman garrison.  To the Jews, it was still their land, land G-d had given to them, and no one had made a country out of it since they lost it.  It was as barren as the land Abraham had put his tent up.

 Very little had changed from the 2nd millennium BCE.  It was a miracle that the Arabs did not accept partitioning the land.  That would have given them their Palestine.  The land had been promised to the Jews, but the British went ahead and then gave 80% of it to Transjordan's new King Abdullah who demanded it.  Like that!  He wanted it and they appeased him and he got it.  Quickly.  Just before 1948.
What the Brits gave away were Judea and Samaria, the ancient beginnings of Israel.  It was full of historical sites that were most meaningful to the Jews, like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.  .

By  May, 1947,   a representative to the UN handed in a statement to the General Assembly that said, "Palestine was part of the Province of Syria and that Politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity."  

Jews were fighting for their lives and right to live in Palestine in earnest on the 29th of November 1947 when the Arabs responded to the UN's resolution that just came out on Palestine, and they fighting lasted until the signing of the Armistice Agreements in 1949.   By 1948, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the UN's Security Council:  "It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria."  They had no nationalistic aspirations at the time Israel was created.  They were under the delusion that Palestine was southern Syria, and indeed, by land mass, it was, even though it had been held by the Ottoman Empire for 400 years instead.  You see, they must not have been chased down for taxes by the Turks, not owning any land, so they weren't aware of any Turkish element.
The 30 years were up finally in 1948.  The Brits packed up and left, and when they were gone, the Jews of Palestine announced their creation of their state;  Israel.  May 14, 1948 became the day announced, and about 5 minutes later, all were being attacked by the Arabs.  When the Brits left, they left no arms for the Jews, knowing that the minute they were out of sight, they would be attacked mightily.  The odds were definitely against the Jews numbering  only 650,000.

Harry S. Truman, President from 1945-1953
Born May 8, 1884; died December 26, 1972 from Missouri, a Democrat
Back in the United States, this announcement would be heard by Harry S. Truman, 33rd President who was told by his cabinet in not so many ways to not accept the recognition of the state of Israel.  Harry liked Jews, read the Bible, and was not a YES man,  and could be stubborn like a mule.  though he had been in politics a long time, he had also been a small shop keeper of men's wear, hats and such and had a partner, Eddie Jacobson,  that was Jewish.  They got along very well.  Harry liked him.  He was a man who made up his own mind.  He recognized Israel against the advice of his advisers.  THAT WAS A MIRACLE.  From there, all the other United Nations' members followed suit and recognized Israel.  Another miracle was that the Zionists had needed President Truman to reaffirm his commitment to Jewish statehood, but he was too busy to speak to them.
Chaim Weismann and Emir Feisal
at meeting in Paris 1919
Chaim was a chemist
Also met together in Transjordan 1918

Chaim Weizmann
1st President of Israel
Chaim Weizmann, old, sick and half blind already,  was asked to convince the President.  Chaim had to fly from London to see the President but the White House said there would be no meeting.  Harry's advisers were against it.  Eddie Jacobson, Truman's close friend still, got Weizmann secretly admitted to the White House to meet Truman.  As old and blind as Weizmann was, he still had charm, determination, dignity, wisdom and dedication that helped to change this history.  Weizmann saw that Truman was at the point of giving up the idea of Jewish independence.  When he left the president's office, he received a solemn promise that the USA would support the idea of a Jewish state.
King Feisal of Iraq 1885-1933
He led the Arabs against Turkey in WWI 1916-1918
Also king of Syria
 Jews would have been a great asset and example for the Arabs, thought Feisal, who didn't think much of the Arabs he found in Palestine compared to his own people in Arabia.  They were lazy and didn't accomplish much at all, failing even in farming.  He hoped they would learn some skills from the returning Jews.However, the Arab League was not going to accept a Jewish state, even though Golda Meier had checked this out with Emir Feisal in a secret meeting.  The next day on May 15th, the Arabs announced:  "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades. " 

The 1st of April, 1948, units of Arab irregulars crossed into the country from Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, to reinforce local Palestinian Arabs in their attacks upon the Jewish towns and cities and in an attempt to block the main roads.  On the very day of its birth, May 14,  1948, Israel was invaded by the regular armies of Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and there was also a Saudi-Arabian contingent.  That's when Azzam Pasha made his infamous speech against the Jews, seen above.  The Egyptian army reached a point 30 km south of Tel Aviv, Arab forces besieged Jerusalem.  The Iraqi army traversed the coastal plain to a port 15 km from the Mediterranean and threatened to cut Israel in two.  The Syrian army, advancing westward into Upper Galilee, was set to amputate Israel's "finger" in the north.

Israel had no time to create a real army or even have uniforms.  With their 650,000, they drove back the invading forces.  This was a miracle.  The Israel army (Haganah -defense force members) penetrated into the Sinai peninsula in the process of driving out the Egyptian invaders.  Older ones had started as Ha-Shomer in 1920 then became the Haganah until 1948, becoming Tzeva Haganah le-Israel (IDF or Israel Defense Force). Jews had not been protected by the Brits in their 30 year mandate.  1929 riots caused Haganah to work harder at protection, but Brits only took on appeasing the Arabs instead.  By 1941, Palmah commando  units were set up

6,000 new Israelis were killed in this War of Independence-more than in all the subsequent wars combined.

After the Arab armies had been driven back, a truce was called and negotiations for an armistice began. Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria signed a paper aiming at permanent peace.  Egypt, after 7 years, attacked in war again.  Jordan, Syria and Lebanon was peaceful for 18 years, and then  brought on war again.

1. Arabs would not reconcile themselves to Israel's existence and refused to recognize Israel.
2. They continued to want to destroy Israel.
3. Militarily, they continued with building up their armies for this aim.
4. Politically, they continue to try to isolate Israel in the family of nations in UN.
5. Economically, their policy has been of boycott against Israel, recognized doing so in 1972 on.
6. Propaganda level, they instigate hatred against Israel with anti-Semitic stereotypes, educating young with
plan of destroying Israel.
7. Borders have policy of attrition with terrorist acts disrupting normal life in Israel
8. Seas become dangerous with Egypt attempting blockade of Israel, closing Suez Canal, Tiran Straits at Gult of Eilat blockage of vessels to or from Israel, of late, running blockades against Israel to bring arms to Gaza.

It was a miracle that Israel was re-born and has been a miracle to continue to be against all these odds.  What other country has had to suffer such slings and arrows upon birth to the age of 68?  It has re-shaped the Jews who are now all-male and female-warriors, warriors who love life and defend theirs!

No other country could ever be the Jewish land, for these Jews believed this was G-d given, and they were expected to live there.  Their history proved them right.  No country would allow them to live in peace as they were; their own people with their own religion.  An exception has been the USA, land of the free and home of the brave, but it started out as anti-Semitic as Europe was.  We have seen the moods change, and Nazism become popular and then wane.  Today, the mood is reaching the same as 1936 Germany had been.  Just look at the acts of the UN against Israel.  
We see Europe today anti-Semitic and causing the same old events against Jews.  The BDS movement is as anti-Semitic as can be.   Today, Jews have a haven with an open door;  Israel.  This was a miracle that had to happen.  

PS: A few more miracles cited from Safed the city I lived in for over 4 years:
During the War of Independence in 1948, Jews were outnumbered 10 to1, outgunned and out-positioned.  However, they figured out how to route the Arabs.  Some think this miracle is due to Davidka, a homemade mortar which caused more noise than damage, and was less accurate the the Kong of Israel for whom it was named.  This weapon can be seen opposite the bullet-scared police station on the main street.  Others think the miracle was due to an off-season rain that fell gently on the city during the siege.  The Arabs thought the Jews had an atom bomb and the rain was the fallout.  Some thought the Arabs took the off-season rain as a sign from G-d that his hand was against them.  
When the Arabs left Safed, they expected to return vicorious because their leaders had promised this outcome.  Most had taken the route of the Wadi Amud, passing the water pumping station built by the British.  If they had blown up this pumping station, the Jewish victory would have been empty as the summer was beginning and the city would have had to be evacuated for lack of water.  They did this because they were sure they would be returning victoriously.  This pumping station is still in use today, serving the whole town.  

This one comes from a former Haganah Commander and mayor of Safed', Meir Meivar,  telling about the siege of the town's 1500 Jews by more than 15,000 in 1948.  It was the Jewish population which was educationally unsophisticated, having lived sheltered religious lives, generally restricted from secular education by Turkish and British law.  The miracle is that it was their orthodoxy and traditional religious beliefs which gave them the strength for the impending trial by fire.

The British felt some responsibility to the Jews of Safed who were soon expected to be slaughtered.  The British High Command decided to hand over the most strategic points in the town to the Arabs, and there were only 200 Jewish fighters, counting young boys and girls.  Meir Meivar, Commander, continued that several days prior to British evacuation of the town, they came into  the Jewish Quarter to pass out leaflets and hang posters guaranteeing safe passage by armoured car from Safed to Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar.  Whoever took the offer would have been taken safely to the kibbutz.  However, the Commander didn't want to influence anyone to stay.  The Jews remained in their houses.  Loudspeakers blared the directions to come to get into the armoured cars.  Arabs stood in small groups on their side of the barricade waiting for the Jews to leave.  Finally after much waiting, the cars left.  The flag of England was lowered as the British mandate ended in Safed on May 14, 1948.Then the Arabs started shelling this old city. According to Abbas of the PA, he was born in Safed. On the day Israel was created, Abbas was 13 years, 1 month and 18 days old.    Meir ran through the streets and passed a woman with her child who yelled at him, WE ARE ONE!  No Jew took up the British offer.  Everyone had remained.  some prayed, some fought, and the city of Safed was saved.  
In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles. David ben Gurion.  


Edited: 11/10/16 7:30pm.
Edited 11/11/16 11:00am
Edited 11/13/16 8:43am about Abbas
facts about israel by division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem 1973
Myths and Facts by Mitchell G. Bard, Joel Himelfarb
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
A young person's history of Israel 2nd edition by David Bamberger
Tanakh (Bible) The Stone Edition-ArtScroll Series
Legends of Safed by Dov Silverman
The Source by James Michener


  1. very good info ... Israel land is the land of Israeli people .
    and "Ya ho shalem "is the heart of Israeli people .

  2. Thank you, Khan. That's exactly how I feel. You understand very well. I'm glad you feel this way, too.