Israel | The Jewish Holyland | A Glorious Journey
Israel, the only Jewish country in the world, has undergone a long journey after World War 2. The country was born in the 1940s in the midst of many disputes and wars with Arabs. The tiny country of soldiers has diplomatic relations with every superpower and has a history of Glory. It has maintained very friendly relations with India on one hand. On the other hand, it has been into WAR MODE since its independence.
Israel is a small country, 8.8million (2018) strong in the Middle East located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It has a neighbouring border with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria all of which are Arab countries who see Israel as the enemy. Moreover, this holy land for Jews ( from the Hebrew Bible ) can be traced back to ABRAHAM – The father of JUDAISM and ISLAM.
Conflict Between Arabs And Jews.
The tension between Jews and Arab Muslims have existed for a very long time. The complex hostility between the two dates back to ancient times when they both populated the area and deemed it holy. Both Jews and Muslims consider the city of Jerusalem sacred. This is because it has the Temple Mount which includes the holy sites al-Aqsa Mosque, the Western Wall, the Dome of Rock and more. Much of their conflict in recent years has centered around the question of who is occupying the following areas:
- Gaza- a piece of land located between Egypt and Israel.
- Golan Heights- a rocky plateau between Syria and Israel.
- West Bank-a territory that divides part of Israel and Jordan.
Independence of Israel
In 1947, the United Nations approved a plan to divide Palestine into a Jewish and Arab State (Palestine) but the Arabs rejected the idea. This caused the Arab League consisting of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia to go on war with It. After a long war of nine months, Israel finally gained its independence. Therefore, this is known as the War of Independence. In 1948, it was declared an independent state with David Ben Gurion (Head of the Jewish Agency) as the prime minister.
Following the announcement of an independent Israel, five Arab nations, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon invaded the region in what became known as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. A truce was reached after the Civil war in the country in 1949. As part of the temporary truce, the West Bank became part of Jordan and the Gaza strip became Egyptian territory.
There have been many wars and acts of violence since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War between the Arabs and Jews. Some of these include:
Relations between Israel and Egypt were unstable after the 1948 war. In 1956, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser overtook and nationalized the Suez Canal which is the shipping waterway that connects the Red Sea to the Meditterean Sea. With the assistance of the British and French forces, Israel attacked the Sinai Peninsula and regained the Suez Canal.
Six Day War
In what started as an unexpected attack in 1967, Israel defeated Egypt, Jordan and Syria in the duration of six days. After this short war, the country took control of the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank and Golan Heights. Israel occupied these areas.
Yom Kippur War
In 1973, Egypt and Syria launched airstrikes against Israel hoping to catch the Israeli army off guard. These airstrikes were launched on the Holy Day of Yom Kippur. The war went on for two weeks until the UN came up with a solution to stop the war. Meanwhile, Syria hoped to recapture the Golan Heights but was unsuccessful. In addition, in 1981, The country annexed the Golan Heights but Syria continued to claim it as territory.
In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and expelled the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This group started in 1964 and declared all Arab citizens living in Palestine up to 1947 to be called “Palestinians” and focused on creating a Palestinian state within the country.
First Intifada (Uprising)
Israel’s occupation of Gaza and West Bank led to a 1987 Palestinian uprising and any deaths. A peace process called the Oslo Peace Accords ended the Intifada.
Palestinians launched suicide bombs and other attacks on Israeli in 2000. Because of that, the violence lasted for years until a cease-fire was reached. Israel announced a plan to remove all the troops and Jewish settlements from Gaza by 2005.
Similarly, there were many other wars that took place between the two states and clashes between them still exist.
India and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1992. Since then the bilateral relationship between the two countries has bloomed at economic, military, agricultural and political levels. Both countries view their relationship as a strategic imperative. Relations between Jerusalem and New Delhi were not always cordial. Although both countries gained their independence from the UK within months from each other, they found themselves headed in pointedly different directions for nearly four decades. India as a leader in the Non-Aligned Movement that maintained close relations to the Arab world and the Soviet Union. Israel linked it’s future to close ties with the United States and Western Europe. In addition, India’s large Muslim population was another major obstacle to building a relationship with the country. as India feared that close relations with the Jewish State might somehow hurt its relationship with the Arab world.
Although India kept publicly kept a distance from Israel until the late 1980s, there was a great deal of bilateral activities between the two countries in the preceding years. India extended legal recognition to Israel in 1950 and allowed it to maintain a consulate in Mumbai to facilitate the voluntary immigration of thousands of Indian-Jews to their holy land. As a result, thousands of Indians have also traveled to the Jewish land for special courses and training in agricultural technology and community development. Israeli supplied weapons assisted India in winning the Kargil War against Pakistan in 1999.
In addition, Israel also provided humanitarian relief to India. For example, following a devastating earthquake in 2001, It sent an IDF emergency response delegation to India for two weeks to provide humanitarian relief and treatment for the victims.
After firmly establishing diplomatic ties, both countries have benefited immensely. India has become one of Israel’s largest trading partners. Many of the world’s leading high-tech companies in Israel and India are forging joint ventures that are successfully competing in the tough international market place. As a result, The trade and cooperation between the countries now centres primarily on security-related deals and aid in areas such as agriculture and water desalination. However, the key to the growing India-Israel ties is in the realm of security and defence.
In the early 2000s, the Indian army declared its intention to implement a modernisation program to which resources of tens of billions of dollars would be allocated. Meanwhile, defense deals with Israel have grown exponentially. Today, India is the number one export target of Israel’s defense industries. To give a sense of the tremendous growth in the Israel-India trade, in 1992 the total trade amounted to $200 million, the figure was 4.13 billion in 2016. Israel exported $1.15 billion worth of goods to India during 2016 amounting to 2.5% of Israel’s total exports for the year.
Israel continues to flourish and become a better place.
Israel & UAE Friends? – Abraham Accord
UAE is the 3rd Islamic country to formally normalize relations with Israel. Following Egypt ( 1979 ) and Jordan ( 1994 ).
This deal is called Abraham Accord after the father of religions who founded Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
In the North of Israel is Lebanon which is a Shia dominated country that belongs to the faction of countries allied to Iran. In the Middle East, the Iran (Shiha) and Saudi Arabia (Sunni dominated) which have never entered into a direct but are the key players of all the proxy wars going around in the region.
Even though these 2 countries see each other as rivals and blame each other for tensions, none of them has recognized Israel.
Out of these 2 factions, the UAE which is allied to Saudi Arabia has come forward and signed a peace deal with Israel.
This peace deal is brokered by President of the United States, Donald Trump. Trump also jokingly said he wanted this accord to be named as Donald Trump Accord. This deal is termed to be a big win for Trump foreign policy that comes right before the Elections 2020.
This peace deal comes as a big win for Trump for his forign policy, Israel for being recognized by a major country in middle east and for UAE for being the first one to move towards peace.
This deal is considered to be a historic moment. Trump’s tough stance over Iran brought both Israel and UAE in confidence. Informal relation between the 2 countries was getting better in past years due to their opposition towards Iran.
After the peace deal, a few things that will get better would be :
- Israel Citizens were not allowed entry in UAE which now they would allow.
- There is no direct flight between the UAE and Israel. Passengers must travel through a third country such as Jordan. After this peace deal, that is expected to change.
- Israel and the UAE will also engage in economic relations.
- UAE has not been allowing its athletes to participate in any events in Israel. They initially didn’t allow the Israeli athletes to enter UAE too but later due to international pressure, they were allowed in. Still, the UAE athletes were not allowed to compete with the Israeli athletes under any circumstances. This is expected to normalize too.
As a part of this deal, Israel has also suspended its plans to annex Jordan Valley
- Israel has more Nobel Prizes per capita than the United States, France and Germany. Moreover, it also has more laureates, in real numbers, than India, Spain and China.
- About 93 percent of Israeli homes use solar energy for water heating, the highest percentage in the world.
- The cell phone was developed here.
- Voicemail technology was developed here.
- The first antivirus software for computers was created here in 1979.
Read More amazing facts https://jewishnewhaven.org/press-releases/70-surprising-facts-about-israel