the war of independence: 1948

After 30 years of promises and failures from the British and other victors, the United Nations General Assembly formally approved UN resolution 181 on November 29th, 1947. This Resolution authorized the read creation of an independent Jewish state in the land of Israel. On May 14th, 1948, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel's official independence. (Note that the overnight birth of Israel was promised by God - Isaiah 66:8 - hundreds of years earlier)

However, the Jews celebration "with dancing in the streets" was short-lived. The next day, five Arab enemies attacked Israel. As a brand-new nation, Israel was severely unprepared for such an onslaught, but they survived after 15 months of much bloodshed. One percent (>6,000) of Israel's population perished during this war. (Note: 1% of US population would equal 3,000,000 people). Even so, Israel's victory was an amazing, miraculous event.

At the end of the war Armistice Lines were drawn between Israel and Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Even though Israel won this war, the provoking nations were allowed annexation of Israel's land. Jordan got the "West Bank" beyond the Jordan River; Egypt got the Gaza Strip, and Jordan got much of the city of Jerusalem - all done with agreements of peaceful existence with Israel. Although the 1949 Armistice Lines were never described as borders, they have been gradually portrayed as such by Arab nations within the UN, and have been a center point within virtually all future peace talks.

Between 1949 and 1967, many Jewish refugees and immigrants arrived in Israel from surrounding Islamic areas. Starting with little of anything and living in immigrant camps under tents, they turned a barren land of rocks, desert, and even swamps, into a prosperous nation.