Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Humpday History Highlight

May 14, 1948 - The State of Israel is Proclaimed

On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. In an afternoon ceremony at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Ben-Gurion pronounced the words "We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel," prompting applause and tears from the crowd gathered at the museum. Ben-Gurion became Israel's first premier.

In the distance, the rumble of guns could be heard from fighting that broke out between Jews and Arabs immediately following the British army withdrawal earlier that day. Egypt launched an air assault against Israel that evening. Despite a blackout in Tel Aviv--and the expected Arab invasion--Jews joyously celebrated the birth of their new nation, especially after word was received that the United States had recognized the Jewish state. At midnight, the State of Israel officially came into being upon termination of the British mandate in Palestine . . .

The Jews were to possess more than half of Palestine, although they made up less than half of Palestine's population. The Palestinian Arabs, aided by volunteers from other countries, fought the Zionist forces, but by May 14, 1948, the Jews had secured full control of their U.N.-allocated share of Palestine and also some Arab territory. On May 14, Britain withdrew with the expiration of its mandate, and the State of Israel was proclaimed. The next day, forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded.

The Israelis, though less well equipped, managed to fight off the Arabs and then seize key territory, such as Galilee, the Palestinian coast, and a strip of territory connecting the coastal region to the western section of Jerusalem. In 1949, U.N.-brokered cease-fires left the State of Israel in permanent control of this conquered territory. The departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from Israel during the war left the country with a substantial Jewish majority. (H/T - History.com)

I know what you're thinking: "Gee Wyatt, why did you decide to post this? You're not Jewish." True enough, but I decided to post it because I have a tremendous amount of admiration for the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

There they sit, surrounded by enemies and threatened to be wiped off the map by every Islamic country on earth. Undaunted, they plug away, making the best lives for themselves possible, while alternately defending their country from rocket attacks and suicide bombs. They remind me of the smallest kid in the class that is constantly picked on by the bullies. Then one day, they punch the bully in the nose, and send him running home to mommy.

How many times has Israel been invaded by the likes of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, etc? And how many times has Israel kicked their asses back to their borders? They are the consummate underdog that deserves our country's support. I mean, who else would we support in that region? Syria, Jordan, Egypt? Please. I'll gladly accept their hatred in exchange for Israel's gratitude.

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