1870 The approximate time of the birth of Zionism and the return of Jews to Palestine. Small
numbers of Jews had been living in the land for two millennia, but this was the date of an
agricultural school, the Mikveh Israel, was founded near Jaffa by the Alliance of Israelite
Universelle, a French Jewish association.
1882 - 1903 Migration was accompanied by a revival of the Hebrew language and attracted Jews of all kinds;religious, secular, nationalists and left-wing socialists. Socialists aimed to reclaim the land by becoming peasants and forming collectives. In Zionist history, the different waves of Jewish
settlement are known as "aliyah". During the First Aliyah, between 1882 and 1903, about
35,000 Jews moved to what is now Israel. By 1890, Jews were a majority in Jerusalem, although
the area was populated mainly by Muslim (settled and nomad Bedouins) and Christian Arabs.
1896 Theodor Herzl published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), in which he asserted that the
solution to growing antisemitism in Europe (the so-called "Jewish Question") was to establish a
Jewish state. In 1897, the Zionist Organisation was founded and the First Zionist Congress
proclaimed its aim "to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public
law. However, Zionism was regarded with suspicion by the Ottoman rulers and was unable to
make major progress.
1904 - 1914 Between 1904 and 1914, around 40,000 Jews settled in Southern Syria (the
Second Aliyah). In 1908 the Zionist Organization set up the Palestine Bureau (also known as the "Eretz Israel Office") in Jaffa and began to adopt a systematic Jewish settlement policy. Migrants were mainly from Russia (which then included part of Poland), escaping persecution. The first Kibbutz, Degania, was founded by 9 Russian socialists in 1909. In 1909 residents of Jaffa established the first entirely Hebrew-speaking city, Ahuzat Bayit (later renamed Tel Aviv). Hebrew newspapers and books were published, Hebrew schools, Jewish political parties and workers organizations were established.
1914 - 1917 World War 1 During World War I, most Jews supported the Germans because they were fighting the Russians who were regarded as the Jews' main enemy. In Britain, the government sought Jewish support for the war effort for a variety of reasons including an erroneous anti-semitic perception of "Jewish power" over the Ottoman Empire's Young Turks movement, and a desire to secure American Jewish support for US intervention on Britain's behalf.
There was already sympathy for the aims of Zionism in the British government, including the
Prime-Minister Lloyd-George. In late 1917, the British Army drove the Turks out of Southern
Syria, and the British foreign minister, Lord Balfour, sent a public letter to Lord Rothschild, a
leading member of his party and leader of the Jewish community. The letter subsequently became
known as the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
The declaration provided the British government with a pretext for claiming and governing the
country. New Middle Eastern boundaries were decided by an agreement between British and
French bureaucrats. The agreement gave Britain control over what would now be called "Palestine".
Nov 2, 1917 The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) was a letter from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland:
"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for
the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object,
it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed
by Jews in any other country."
The "Balfour Declaration" was later incorporated into the Sevres peace treaty with the Ottoman
Empire and the Mandate for Palestine. The original document is kept at the British Library.
Dec 11, 1917General Allenby enters Jerusalem on foot to celebrate its capture in World War 1. Fighting began on Nov 17, 1917 (Rosh Chodesh, first crescent moon) until the Turks formally surrendered theterritory. The day of Allenby’s entry into Jerusalem, Dec 11, 1917 was the first day of Hanukkah, celebrating the cleansing of the Temple during the time of the Maccabee’s defeat of Antioch Epiphanies in 165 BC.
May 1945 The war in Europe comes to an end as Germany is defeated by the allies. More than 250,000 displaced Jews (DP’s) are left in concentration camps administered by U.S. Forces until they can be relocated.
1945 - 1948 Jewish DP’s are still overwhelmingly waiting in the former concentration camps for resolution of where they are to be relocated. The British who have the mandate to rule Palestine are refusing to allow Jews to immigrate to Palestine in order to appease the Arabs. Harry Truman asks Britain to allow 100,000 DP’s immediate entry to Palestine, but Britain refuses.
1947 Britain turns the Palestine issue over to the United Nations to resolve. A United Nation’s
resolution is passed to partition Palestine into both Jewish and Arab states. The Jews accept the
plan, but the Arabs refuse, demanding that all of Palestine be given to them.
1947 - 1948 Debates within the U.N. continue on the fate of Palestine, but the resolution to partition the land and create two new nations, a Jewish and an Arab state remain firm. The date of the formal
creation of the two states is decided to be May 15, 1948. The Arabs threaten war against the Jews
if the resolution is carried out.
May 15, 1948 The Jews declare the creation of the State of Israel. Harry Truman and the United States are the first to recognize the newly created state. Arab armies attack Israel beginning the first Arab Israeli war.
January 1949 Arab nations agree to a tenuous cease fire and end of the initial conflict but refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
June 7, 1967 Jerusalem is captured by the Jewish Defense Forces and the city is united under Jewish rule for time since the Judean southern kingdom. Sites are opened for access to Jews, Moslems, and
Christians on June 23, 1967.
1973 Yom Kippur War Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attach on the Jewish day of fasting, Yom Kippur. The Egyptians and Syrians advance for the first 48 hours after which the momentum swings in Israel’s favor. Israel clearly had the military victory over both Syria and Egypt, but it suffered a large blow to morale as well as substantial human casualties. The outcome of the Yom Kippur War set the stage for "a new phase in Israeli-Egyptian relations" ending ultimately in the signing of the Camp David Peace Accords.
1973 to Present Conflict with Hezbollah, Hamas, and other neighbors continually presses upon and wears down the nation of Israel. Intifada with the Palestinians flare up in 1987-1993 and 2000. Various attempts at peace are negotiated but never take hold.
Palestinians continue to refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and expect Israel to negotiate on these impossible terms. The world continues to press Israel to trade land for peace in spite of the attitude of the Palestinians and surrounding Arab nations. Hate and mistrust prevail on both sides of the issue. The clock is ticking.
As 2013 comes to a close I hope this chart will help you understand how modern Israel came into being. As we move toward 2017 these issues will become increasingly more difficult as momentous events prophetically unfold in the Middle East.
Next Topic begins in 2014: The Lost Tribes of Israel - How We Have Lost our Identity