Israel’s founding father and its first Prime Minster David (Green) Ben Gurion once said, “If you do not believe in miracles, you are not a realist.” In Israel, miracles have occurred repeatedly, and I am not referring to the “parting of the waters” before Moses and the Children of Israel on their exodus from Egypt after 400 years of slavery. In fact, when Ben Gurion declared in the Tel Aviv Museum on May 14, 1948, the establishment of the Jewish state to be called Israel, it was given little chance of survival.
President Harry Truman’s Secretary of State, George Marshall, urged Truman not to recognize the Jewish state. He argued that the Jewish State would have little chance of survival against the massive Arab forces surrounding it. He also pointed out to Truman that recognition of Israel in 1948 would harm US relations with the Arabs.
Emerging from the ashes of the Holocaust, Jewish survivors from Europe, along with Jews driven out of the Arab states streamed into the newly found State of Israel following the British departure from Palestine in May 1948. The Palestinian Jews (Jews were then called Palestinians, while those calling themselves Palestinians today were simply called Arabs) had very little in terms of arms and personnel to defend themselves against the surrounding established Arab states of Egypt, the Emirate of Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. These states had standing armies and large armories that included planes, tanks, artillery, warships, etc. The Jews of Israel had light arms, and some machine guns, but no artillery, tanks, aircrafts, or warships. The Arab states were able to openly purchase modern arms from Britain and France (their former colonial masters) without hinderance. The Jews of Israel were placed under an international embargo that included the US. Moreover, the Arab states combined manpower by far exceeded the Jewish population of about 700,000, and the Arab combined militaries surpassed that of Israel in 1948.
With their backs against the wall, and the helplessness of the European Jews on their minds, the Jews of Israel were determined to fight and triumph against all odds. And the odds were totally against them. Ingenuity, initiative, as well as capable military leadership helped secure some heavy arms from Czechoslovakia in later stages of the War of Independence along with victories. Some tactical arms invented by the Yishuv (the pre-state Jewish community in Palestine) such as the Davidka, a homemade primitive mortar that made a lot of noise but little damage because of its inaccuracy, helped win battles. The battle over Safed in Galilee was won with the Davidka. Its noise frightened the Arab forces who retreated, fearing that the Israelis had heavy artillery.
It seems that God left another miracle for his Jewish people to take place 19 years later, during the Six Day War. When the War of Independence ended in 1949, the Jewish state survived but its crown jewel, the Old City of Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab (Jordanian) Legion, commanded by the British officer, Glubb Pasha. The Temple Mount, the holiest site for Jews was denied to them, and the Jewish population of the Old City that survived the battles for Jerusalem were expelled.
The period preceding the Six Day War of June 1967 was one filled with fear and trepidation. The Egyptian dictator Abdul Nasser threatened to push the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. The odds were once again against Israel. The Soviet Union had supplied Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, with massive amounts of modern Mig fighter aircrafts, and tanks. Once again, in terms of manpower, and arms, the combined Arab forces by far exceeded that of Israel. In Israeli cities graves were dug in anticipation of vast casualties. An atmosphere of doom engulfed the Jewish nation. Would there be another Holocaust?
God, however, was not about to abandon his people. Miraculously, Jordan’s King Hussein agreed to join Egypt and Syria (with additional contingents from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Sudan, and other Arab countries) in a war of annihilation against Israel. Hussein though, was subjected to numerous assassination attempts by Nasser’s agents, and he was accused by Egypt and Syria of being a puppet of the West. He had all the reasons to stay out of the War. Levi Eshkol, Israel’s Prime Minister, appealed to him to stay out, assuring him that Israel had no intention of attacking Jordan in any way. This is where God’s hand somehow intervened. Hussein’s decision to intervene, bombarding Israeli military bases (including my own), compelled Israel to move against Jordan. On June 7, 1967, Israel’s commander of the Jerusalem Brigade announced, “Temple Mount is in our hands.” This was a 2000 year yearning fulfilled. The concluding prayer “Next year in Jerusalem the Rebuilt” became a reality.
Israel has been situated in a hostile environment, where the neighboring Muslim states wished to eradicate its existence through wars, terror, demography, and now possibly by Iranian nuclear arms sought by its theocratic regime. Predictions of the demise of the Jewish state were numerous through the intervening years. Yet, 75 years later, Israel is stronger than ever. Its population has reached the 10 million mark and its military is rated as one of the best in the world.
In 1979, Israel was achieving one of its most cherished goals: peace with Egypt, the most powerful Arab state. But, not before another devasting war took place in October 1973, known as the Yom Kippur War. Israel’s casualties mounted, particularly in the early stages of the war. Moshe Dayan, Israel’s Defense Minister, predicted doom and was in despair, but in the end, Israel stood at the gates of Cairo and Damascus, and yet another miraculous salvation had occurred. Not that one would discount the bravery and sacrifice of Israeli men and women in battle. But as the old saying goes, “God helps those who help themselves.”
Before the onset of the 21st Century, Israel made peace with Egypt and Jordan. Realizing that they can no longer afford to fight Israel, or remove it from the region, the Arab moderate states chose a less aggressive path. Peace ensued in September 2020 with Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and a bit later with Morocco and Sudan (pending). Many African states that severed relations with Israel due to Arab pressure have since resumed diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. A similar phenomenon occurred in Asia. Israeli technology, its agricultural, medical, and military advancements have attracted interest in Israel.
Although the current rift in Israeli society does not completely fulfill Isaiah’s prophetic words of being “a Light to the Nations,” in many ways Israel is still a miracle and a beacon of light.
Mark Dunn says
I almost teared up reading that article, God is not dead, but our world is full of people who live their lives ‘as in the days of Noah.’
Jason P says
During Israel’s first 2 decades Israel was a secular socialist state, or at least ran by that cohort. However, we must remember Israel’s need to band together for its survival. It wasn’t a self-destructive socialist welfare state but a vibrant hard-working high-achieving society. Eventually it saw the inefficiency of socialist policies and replaced them when possible. It’s flexibility trumped dogma.
Israelis turned a near waste-land into a thriving flourishing economy. It wasn’t so much a miracle as a well-earned achievement that should inspire us all. I’ve been a life-long supporter of Israel all my 70 years and become more so after 9/11.
Great article. I love when people write accurate accounts of how God is reestablishing Israel. The best is yet to come having their Temple built.
Tony Rice says
As long as animal sacrifice is not re-introduced, which has been suggested
If it is Biblical then you will see it.
Philip Reinstein says
What is your objection to animal sacrifice?
A slightly more detailed account of the founding can be found in the book “O Jerusalem” by Larry Collins.
>>It wasn’t a self-destructive socialist welfare state
Yes it was and largely still is. The state is progressive-socialist and thanks to the country’s non-constitution, violent leftist establishment and packed supreme court, no Likud government has ever been able to make more than small changes. Thats why 1.2 million Israelis have left Israel and aren’t going back.
Tony Rice says
BUT how many have moved TO Israel?. And those leaving probably do so for reasons other than what you state?
It is not a socialist state any more. It was, but over the years, the socialist ideals that drive people,to kibbutzim have weakened. Just as the kibbutz movement has weakened. The left wing elite still clings to power, but that too will change. They lost the last election. If an election were held today the Labour Party would not cross the required threshold to obtain seats in the Knesset. Netanyahu has been over the years I strain moving Israel’s economy from a stagnant, beaurocrat controlled behemoth into a vibrant, highly competitive and innovative concern. So where on earth do you get the idea that we are a socialist state? Wake up. Stop reading left wing rubbish.
I have lived on many kibbutz. I gradually learned that half of the members work for the half that don’t. That is still applies today.
Well, Likud cannot make any changes while the ultra-orthodox parties form the coalition. Their demands of endless subsidies for studying Torah go against any principles of free market capitalistic society.
God’s people have always been under attack by Satan because Jesus foiled him at the Cross. Satan’s time will be short before the coming of the Day of the Lord, and he knows it.
Recently Israel’s left wing parties (with vocal support from the American left) pushed back against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s effort to reign in the activist Israeli Supreme Court. The Biden administration’s antagonism toward Israel’s Netanyahu-led government is straining US-Israeli relations as hot spots flare up throughout the Middle East. Note, the left has the same goals throughout the world, they create nothing but chaos and division.
As refugees, several million. As non-refugees, only a few hundred thousand and over half have returned to their countries of origin. Ten years in Israel gave me a bit of perspective. The Israeli state is secular-progressive, not republican-libertarian, as the US was founded and that had NOTHING to do with “necessity”–as Jason needs (NEEDS) to claim. There was zero necessity of communal ownership and state direction of industrial enterprises, impenetrable tariff walls and forced unionization of everyone due to military necessity; it’s simply what European Jews wanted. Israel is the way Israel is because the Jews of Europe chose socialism as a replacement theology for Judaism. Continued…
Continued from above…
Why do you think Diaspora Jewry is now thoroughly demoralized and nearly extinct, save for the Orthodox? Socialism as a replacement for Judaism, thats why. Today it is the secular, left wing Ashkenazim of Israel who use threats and force to keep Israel a progressive-socialist state–with its unreformed, packed supreme court protecting the whole corrupt arrangement. I’m sorry of you’re the type whose self esteem and/or world view requires you to see Israel as something that it isn’t (which is the case with most of Israels diaspora Jewish supporters), but the fact–FACT, Tony–that Israels best educated young–EDUCATED YOUNG–people leave in droves is due to a perpetual lack of opportunity outside of state-approved activities and the gross overregulation that makes Israel housing-poor and the price of EVERYTHING a rip off.
Try to keep up. The left lost the last election. They’re very upset, as are many left leaning Israelis from Ashkenazi background. They see their grip slipping. That’s what all the demonstrations are about. But the Ashkenazi Jews are no longer the majority in israe.l They are outnumbered by the Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews, who voted solidly for a right wing government. There are of course a great many improvements that need to happen, such as food prices and housing. But this is not an indication of a solid socialist grip, rather a symbol of the last gasps of such a grip. Netanyahu just passed a budget. It may not be what everyone wants, but no budget anywhere ever is. By passing the budget he has secured his government and he will probably now turn his attention once more to expanding the Abraham Accords, and bringing about some acceptable form of judicial reform.
You mean European Jews who adopted a Middle Eastern religion, and who are not from Israel.
Mo de Profit says
You have described every government everywhere. Government requires regulation not the public.
But, whilst we can criticise the Israeli government it is still a miracle that it exists.
The Obama administration created a major shift in U.S. policy moving toward the Muslim world and America’s tradition enemies, and away from allies like Israel. Obama quickly moved to set a new tone toward the Arab and Muslim world. In Obama’s Cairo speech, Obama also showed little appreciation of the modern history of ISRAEL, (WHICH CAME FROM BIBLICAL ROOTS). a NATION that was NOT BUILD ON ARAB…LET ALONE PALESTINIAN…LAND. Arab and Western revisionists have turned this history on its head to portray the Jewish struggle to survive as being racist, and imperialist to expel Palestinians from Palestine. This is an utter DISTORTION OF THE HISTORICAL RECORD.
Israel is a socialist progressive state.
Floyd Looney says
Israel has leveled up quite a few times.
For Isaiah’s prophetic words of being “a Light to the Nations” to be fulfilled, the ten tribes of Israel need to come home – Ephraim, the House of Joseph. Ezekiel 37:15-28 makes this clear. Judah AND Israel need to be joined in the hand of G-d, with one King ruling over them. “Then I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (vs 27).
May the King return soon and cleanse the land from its ‘transgressions’.