Israel is a relatively small country in terms of area and population. On the other hand, it is strong technologically, economically, militarily and politically. Set in the middle of the Islamic world, it has gone through several wars during its short existence and is practically constantly struggling with various skirmishes and incidents. Why did the state of Israel even come into being and why is there so much fuss about it in the region?
The first ancestors of the people settled in the territory of today's Israel for more than 1.5 million years. The record of the first man of today's type comes from 120,000 BC and the first complete culture from 10,000 BC. It can be seen that this area was inhabited by humans a very long time ago. The reason is the fact that migrants from Africa to Eurasia had no choice but to cross the Sinai Peninsula and around present-day Israel, settle here and gradually continue their journey further. That's why we know the oldest cultures ever to be from the Middle East.
The name Israel, referring to the state, first appeared on the Merenptah stele of 1209 BC during the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Merenptah. According to the book of Genesis, Jacob was named Israel when he spent one night on the road fighting God until dawn. The descendants of Jacob, from whom, according to the Bible, the twelve tribes of Israel arose, are called Israelites. From the surrounding population, the Israelites were characterized by a hitherto unconventional view of religion of monotheism, centered around the God of Yahweh.
Between 931 and 722 BC, there was the so-called Kingdom of Israel, which was formed after the invasions of Pharaoh Sheshonek I. During the years 884 and 842 BC, it experienced a period of great development, but was eventually conquered by neighboring Assyria. The refugees took refuge in the neighboring Kingdom of Judah with the capital Jerusalem, which later began to flourish. In the following centuries, the Kingdom of Judah was conquered by Babylon, and the Jews were forced into exile, where they mastered the current Hebrew script. Babylon was conquered by Persia, and the Jews were allowed to return to Judea. Persia was conquered by Alexander the Great, after whose death and quarrel with Egypt the territory fell into the hands of the Seleucid Empire.
In 64 BC, Rome conquered Syria and made the Kingdom of Judah a Roman vassal. In year 6, the Kingdom of Judah became a Roman province, sparking a wave of resistance. Since then, there have been bloody riots from time to time. In 131, Emperor Hadrian renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina, had the temple of the Roman god Jupiter built on the site of the original temple, denied Jews access to Jerusalem, and renamed the entire province the Palaestina. During the uprising of 132 to 136, the Jews renamed the province Israel, and due to the reluctance of Christians to help with the uprising, they stopped considering Christianity as a form of Judaism.
After the division of Rome, when Rome had already accepted the Christian faith, the territory of today's Israel fell to the Byzantine Empire, but from time to time it changed owners. Jews were a small but permitted minority. Around 635, Palestine was conquered by the Arabs. During the First Crusade in 1099, Christians massacred both Jews and Muslims during their campaign and founded the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The territory fell from time to time into the hands of Muslims. In 1244, the Tatars invaded Jerusalem and looted the city. During their expedition, they massacred Muslims, Jews and Christians. They gained territory shortly thereafter. The failure of the Crusades had a very negative impact on the lives of Jews in Europe. Jews were massacred or forcibly converted to Christianity. Many of them took refuge in South America, North Africa, Poland, or the Ottoman Empire, specifically in the territory of present-day Greece and Israel.
The Ottoman Empire welcomed the arrival of Jews, and some influential Jews, often women, even held high positions in the Ottoman Empire. By the end of the 19th century, the majority of Jerusalem residents were professing Judaism, although 88% of all Palestine was Muslim and 9% Christian. In the 19th century, Western Europe became more tolerant of Jews, but Eastern Europe, where most Jews lived, hardened. Fleeing Jews they began to build an idea of their own state and an identity, the strongest of which was Zionism, which aimed to relocate Jews to the land of Israel and build a Jewish state.
The Ottoman Empire was on the losing side after World War I, and the territory of present-day Israel fell to the British Mandate for Palestine. Ongoing pogroms in present-day Ukraine and Russia have forced more Jews to relocate to Palestine. These Jews, mostly in favor of Bolshevism, began to establish self-sufficient communities called kibbutzim. Between 1936 and 1939, the so-called Arab uprising in Palestine took place, resulting in the victory of the British and Jews, the resettlement of large sections of the Arab population, and the creation of exclusive Jewish areas in the west of the country. The rest of the country, on the other hand, was populated exclusively by Arabs.
Before World War II, the position of Jews in the world was very problematic. There were approximately 6,000,000 Jews in Europe who were not welcomed in their own country but could not emigrate because no country accepted them. The British published a so-called White Book in Palestine, which prevented most Jews from emigrating to Palestine. During World War II, Germany systematically murdered Jews called the Holocaust. 95% of surviving European Jews in the United States and the United Kingdom were considering resettlement in Palestine. However, the British maintained the rules set out in the White Paper in Palestine even after the war. Jews began to immigrate illegally to Palestine, which worsened the situation in the country.
On April 2, 1947, the United Kingdom requested a UN General Assembly to resolve the Palestinian question. One solution was to create a Jewish and an Arab state, but in the end no steps were taken to implement it. The British, dependent on Arab oil, refrained from any influx of Jews into the area. Tensions eventually escalated into a civil war between Jews and Arabs. The British only tried to control the situation, but their mandate in Palestine was coming to an end and British troops gradually left the country. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed in the city of Tel Aviv.
Arab states, namely Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, invaded the country immediately after independence, beginning the so-called First Arab-Israeli War. The UN Security Forces issued an embargo on arms imports into the region, but Czechoslovakia disobeyed the order and between 1947 and 1949 supplied Israel with arms. As a result, the weights soon turned and the Israelis slowly began to push back the Arab army. From February 24, 1949, the Arab states gradually began to sign an armistice with Israel. On May 11, 1949, Israel became a member of the United Nations. Today, Israel is an economic, technical and military power, but the problems of the past persist to this day. Whether increasing globalization will allow for greater peace among the divided nations, or, conversely, a further escalation of the conflict, will only be seen by time.