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Why was the State of Israel successfully established in 1948?

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Introduction

Why was the State of Israel successfully established in 1948? The State of Israel was formally established in May 1948. The creation of a Jewish homeland fulfilled an ancient desire within the Jewish community for their own independent state, however its creation was largely due to a culmination of a series of factors during the first half of the 20th century that lead to the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948, identifying these factors will form the first part of this essay. The second part of this essay will focus on Israel's continued successful establishment as an autonomous state through 1948 following the Declaration of Independence as Israel faced attack from its Arab neighbours. It is necessary to examine Israel's actions during this time as its survival during this period is the best example of Israel having been successfully established. The Zionist movement was integral to the establishment of Israel, scholar Michael Wolffsohn arguing that its creation was primarily due to the political, economic, social and military achievements of its founders. (1) They were responsible for bringing the issue of a Jewish homeland to the forefront of global politics in the 20th century. The Zionists believed that the Jews were so different from other races that they could not live with other people and therefore needed their own independent Jewish state to live in, preferably Palestine. (2) The World Zionist Organisation encouraged Jews to emigrate to Palestine to increase the density of the Jewish population in Palestine and also to strengthen Jewish national sentiment and consciousness (3). The increase in the Jewish population would give the Jews a greater say over the territory and would enable them to deal with Palestinian opposition more effectively. The Zionist movement desperately sought international recognition of Jewish rights to Palestine. Throughout the early part of the 20th century, Zionist leaders such as Chaim Weizmann used political lobbying to try and convince the British government that it was in their best interest to support the Zionist cause. ...read more.

Middle

and more ruthless force could stop it and therefore decided the time had come to seize the occasion of Britain's planned withdrawal in May 1948 to formally declare Israel's independence and risk an Arab invasion, Chaim Weizmann away in Europe at the time telegraphed David Ben Gurion "Proclaim the state matter what ensues." (15) However the Jewish ruling body was still eager to get America's official recognition of the State of Israel. The role played by America in the establishment of Israel in 1948 has often been misunderstood and exaggerated. By 1948, the Zionists had secured the support of Jews from around the world, from the American public and Congress to establish a Jewish homeland. Most significantly they had got the support from the United Nations. Yet they still pushed for official recognition from the American President. Harry S. Truman famously compared himself to Cyrus, the ancient Persian ruler who saved the Jews from their exile in Babylon (16). His claim was partly accurate in that American recognition of Israel was important to Israel's long term survival. American recognition instantly gave Israel standing and credibility in the eyes of the world. In contrast to President Truman's own assessment of his role in the establishment of Israel, many Jews have instead opted to refer to Truman as the 'midwife' of Israel (17). This description recognises the importance Truman and America played in securing Israel's position on the global stage but also acknowledges that by the time Truman became involved in the situation, Israel's establishment or birth was already imminent. However Truman's support for Israel was far from unconditional. The US provided neither troops nor arms to help the new nation, leaving Israel to fight alone against the attack that was almost guaranteed following the proclamation of Israeli independence but "The act of recognition sustained the morale of the new state. But of course it did not determine whether it could survive". ...read more.

Conclusion

Taylor, Prelude to Israel : An analysis of Zionist diplomacy, 1897-1947, London, 1961, p4, 3]Alan R. Taylor, Prelude to Israel : An analysis of Zionist diplomacy, 1897-1947, London, 1961, p4, 4]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p96-99 5]Ritchie Ovendale, The Longman Companion to The Middle East since 1914, Second Edition, Longman, 1998, 36 6]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, P161-162 7]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p267 8]Herbert Feis, The Birth of Israel, W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 1969, p35 9]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p 333 10]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p335 11]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p289 12]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p268 13]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p283 - 295 14]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p304 15]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p311 16]http://www.jta.org/page_view_story.asp?strwebhead=Op-Ed%3A+To+err+is+Truman&intcategoryid= 5 17]http://www.jta.org/page_view_story.asp?strwebhead=Op-d%3A+To+err+is+Truman&intcategoryid= 5 18]Avi Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan, King Abdullah, The Zionist Movement and the Partition f Palestine, Clarendon Press, 1988, p260-263 19]Amitzur Ilan, The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, Macmillan, 1996, p 20]Amitzur Ilan, The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, Macmillan, 1996, p 21]Avi Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan, King Abdullah, The Zionist Movement and the Partition of Palestine, Clarendon Press, 1988, p613-619 22]Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979, p353 23]http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_independence_arab_countries. ...read more.

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