Last updated on: 10/5/2015 9:48:01 AM PST
How Did Israel Become a State?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Presbyterian Church (USA), in a Mar. 2006 resource titled "Steps Toward Peace in Israel and Palestine: Timeline," available from the Global Policy Forum website, wrote:

"1918 World War I ends, bringing the defeat of the Ottoman Empire…

1920 The League of Nations divides the lands of the Ottoman Empire into entities called mandates that are intended to lead to the creation of nation states. Britain accepts the mandate for Palestine…

1947 The UN General Assembly passes Resolution 181, which would partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states and establish Greater Jerusalem as an international city. The Jewish state would receive 56.47 percent of the land of the Palestine Mandate, the Arab state about 43.53 percent. Numerous skirmishes, road ambushes, riots, and bombings take place organized by both Jews and Palestinians.

1948 Violence escalates. The British mandate ends. Israel declares statehood on May 14. Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia declare war on Israel. The war results in a divided Jerusalem and some 650,000 to 750,000 Palestinian refugees. The UN General Assembly passes Resolution 194 calling for the cessation of hostilities and establishing the Right of Return for refugees who wish to live in peace.

1949-1950 At the end of the war, Israel holds about 78 percent of the territory of the Palestine Mandate. The Green Line, set at the 1949 armistice, establishes the borders between Israel and the Arab lands. Jordan annexes East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Egypt controls the Gaza Strip…

1967 The Six-Day War occurs. Israel conquers the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai, and the Golan Heights."

Mar. 2006 - Presbyterian Church (USA) 

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the "Facts About Israel: History" section of its website, available from mfa.gov.il (accessed Sep. 10, 2015), wrote:

"In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Great Britain with the Mandate for Palestine (the name by which the country was then known). Recognizing the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, Great Britain was called upon to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine-Eretz Israel (Land of Israel)...

The British Mandate authorities granted the Jewish and Arab communities the right to run their own internal affairs. Utilizing this right, the Jewish community, known as the Yishuv, elected (1920) a self-governing body based on party representation, which met annually to review its activities and elect the National Council (Vaad Leumi) to implement its policies and programs. Financed by local resources and funds raised by world Jewry, a countrywide network of educational, religious, health, and social services was developed and maintained...

The Jewish national revival and the community's efforts to rebuild the country were strongly opposed by Arab nationalists. Their resentment erupted in periods of intense violence (1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39)… Attempts to reach a dialogue with the Arabs, undertaken early in the Zionist endeavor, were ultimately unsuccessful, polarizing Zionism and Arab nationalism into a potentially explosive situation.

Recognizing the opposing aims of the two national movements, the British recommended (1937) dividing the country into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, to be linked by an economic union. The Jewish leadership accepted the idea of partition and empowered the Jewish Agency to negotiate with the British government in an effort to reformulate various aspects of the proposal. The Arabs were uncompromisingly against any partition plan...

After the war [World War II (1939-45)], Arab opposition led the British to intensify their restrictions on the number of Jews permitted to enter and settle in the Land. The Jewish community responded by instituting a wide network of 'illegal immigration' activities to rescue Holocaust survivors...

Britain's inability to reconcile the conflicting demands of the Jewish and Arab communities led the British government to request that the 'Question of Palestine' be placed on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly (April 1947). As a result, a special committee was constituted to draft proposals concerning the country's future. On 29 November 1947, the Assembly voted to adopt the committee's recommendation to partition the land into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The Jewish community accepted the plan; the Arabs rejected it.

Following the UN vote, local Arab militants, aided by random volunteers from Arab countries, launched violent attacks against the Jewish community in an effort to frustrate the partition resolution and prevent the establishment of a Jewish state. After a number of setbacks, the Jewish defense organizations routed most of the attacking forces, taking hold of the entire area which had been allocated for the Jewish state.

On 14 May 1948 Israel proclaimed its independence."

Sep. 10, 2015 - Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, in the "History of Israel" section of its website, available from www.ifcj.org (accessed Sep. 10, 2015), wrote:

"After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War, Israel - then called Palestine - became a mandate of the British Empire. The Ottomans were initially defeated at the onset of World War I, and Palestine was brought under British military control for the duration of the war… In 1922, following World War I, the League of Nations formally gave temporary control of Palestine to the British government…

Britain's job was to implement the Balfour Declaration, which had been signed five years earlier, stating Britain's desire to create a homeland in Palestine for the Jews. The British government had, however, made conflicting promises to both the Jews and the Arabs, promising each their own autonomous area…

During the years of the mandate, which lasted from 1922 until the declaration of an independent State of Israel in 1948, the Jewish population grew. Over 300,000 Jews immigrated to Israel at this time, and it's estimated that another 50,000 immigrated illegally. At first, the immigrants met with no opposition from the local Arab population. However, as anti-Semitism and persecution in Europe began to increase, so did the number of immigrants to Israel. The Arabs began to feel uneasy and resentful, and the British government placed strict limits on immigration. Tensions increased between the Jews and Arabs, and riots broke out, like the infamous Hebron riots of 1929. It was at this time that the Jewish population began to form their own defense forces, such as the Haganah and the Irgun, which formed the basis of the IDF - the Israel Defense Forces…

Following Arab revolts between 1936 [and] 1939, Britain issued the White Paper, essentially reneging on the principles set forth in the Mandate as well as the Balfour Declaration. Severe restrictions were placed on Jewish immigration, as well as on Jewish land-owning rights. During the years of World War II, the small quota was quickly reached, and Jews were denied entry to Palestine. Jewish public opinion turned against the British, and the underground Jewish defense organizations carried out attacks against the British. The ban on immigration remained in place, but the Mandate was becoming increasingly unpopular.

After World War II, the United Nations (the former League of Nations), adopted the Partition Plan, essentially dividing Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem under international control. This led to Britain ending its mandate and Israel declaring its independence in May of 1948."

Sep. 10, 2015 - International Fellowship of Christians and Jews 

The Jewish Virtual Library, an online encyclopedia, in the "Establishment of Israel" section of its website, available from the Jewish Virtual Library website (accessed Sep. 10, 2015), wrote:

"On the day the British Mandate over Palestine expired - Friday, May 14, 1948 - the Jewish People's Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum to declare the establishment of the State of Israel. There is no record of who attended the meeting, but 350 invitations were sent out instructing the recipients to keep the information secret. Word got it out, however, and people started singing Hatikvah in the streets even before David Ben-Gurion began reading the declaration he had written. The ceremony was held at 4 p.m. before the British left to avoid making the declaration on Shabbat. It took 17 minutes to read the entire document in a 32 minute ceremony. Some people signed the declaration later and one person signed twice. Four hours later, Egypt bombed Tel Aviv. The new state was recognized that night by the United States and three days later by the USSR."

Sep. 10, 2015 - Jewish Virtual Library  

Thomas S. McCall, ThD, Senior Theologian at the Zola Levitt Ministries, in a 1996 article titled "Israel: The Center of Divine History," available at the Zola Levitt Ministries website, wrote:

"Prior to WW I, Palestine had been ruled by Turkey for many years. During the war, Turkey was aligned with Germany, so Britain attacked Turkey from Egypt through Palestine. It was a dramatic time when the British General Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Turks. As the war concluded, Palestine was designated as a British protectorate. Thus, England had to decide how it was to administer the protectorate, and the Balfour Declaration promising a homeland to the Jewish people in Palestine was the apparent solution to the problem.

A very serious problem, however, was that not only was there a pro-Jewish faction in England led by Foreign Minister Balfour, there was also a pro-Arab faction heavily influenced by 'Lawrence of Arabia,' which was making contrary covert promises to the Arabs. This duplicity in the British government led to much confusion and ultimately bloodshed in later years…

By the end of WW I, Britain gained control of the ancient Promised Land, which they called Palestine, and enunciated the Balfour Declaration. This gave official sanction to the migration of Jews back to Israel, which had already begun. The previous small trickle of migration then became a steady stream of thousands of Jewish people returning to the Land…

The British government felt that it was caught between the two forces of Jewish aspirations for restoration and the Arab interests in preserving their control over Palestine. Islam had possessed the land for the better part of thirteen hundred years, since the seventh century, except for the relatively brief period of the European Crusade occupation in the twelfth century. The Arab and Moslem nations were angry with the British for allowing the Jews to come to Palestine in such great numbers…

The Jewish forces in Palestine began an intensive campaign to remove the British army from the area, and to declare an independent State of Israel. This led to a situation in which they were waging a diplomatic campaign, coupled with a guerrilla warfare campaign to dislodge the British government from the region. After a period of time the British agreed to withdraw, and in 1947 the U.N. voted to partition Palestine into an Israeli section and an Arab section. Israel then declared independence, and the British lowered their flag, departing from the country. The new State of Israel was recognized by the United States and the Soviet Union, and was admitted as a full member of the United Nations. This age-old dream of a revived State of Israel was now a reality among the family of nations."

1996 - Thomas S. McCall, ThD 

Gene Currivan, correspondent for the New York Times at the time of the quote, in a May 15, 1948 article for the New York Times titled "Zionists Proclaim New State of Israel; Truman Recognizes It and Hopes for Peace," wrote:

"The Jewish state, the world's newest sovereignty, to be known as the State of Israel, came into being in Palestine at midnight upon termination of the British mandate.

Recognition of the state by the United States, which had opposed its establishment at this time, came as a complete surprise to the people, who were tense and ready for the threatened invasion by Arab forces and appealed for help by the United Nations.

In one of the most hopeful periods of their troubled history the Jewish people here gave a sigh of relief and took a new hold on life when they learned that the greatest national power had accepted them into the international fraternity...

The declaration of the new state by David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the National Council and the first Premier of reborn Israel, was delivered during a simple and solemn ceremony at 4 P.M., and new life was instilled into his people, but from without there was the rumbling of guns, a flashback to other declarations of independence that had not been easily achieved."

May 15, 1948 - Gene Currivan