Zionism has been around since the early 19th century, and was the single most important event leading into the creation of Israel. During the period of WWII there had been various issues which contributed to the necessity of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. These issues included the Holocaust, and the displacement of Jews.
While these events during WWII were a contributing factor, a number of other aspects should be considered post the Second World War. These include Zionism and the large scale immigration to Palestine before the war, British policy expressed through various documents and the responsive actions from both the Jewish and Arab fighting groups such as Irgun and Stern gang. With the contributions of all these events, but especially due to the effects of Zionism, the creation of Israel was to be expected. While it is certain that the Holocaust had influenced international opinion in favour of a Jewish state, it is certain that it was not the cause of Israel??™s creation although it generated sympathy towards the Jewish community. This leads onto Kristallnacht, referred to as the ???Night of Broken Glass??™. Kristallnacht was a pogrom against Jews throughout Germany on 9??“10 November 1938, carried out by SA storm troopers and civilians.
The attacks left the streets covered with broken glass from the windows of stores, buildings, and synagogues owned by Jews. During the Third Reich dictated by Hitler, the chancellor had termed the Jewish question as ???the final solution to the Jewish question??™. Then the final solution ??“ the extermination of all Jews was implemented. As a result, six million Jews were murdered out of the 7 million that lived in Europe. The remaining Jews that had survived were not able to return to their homes, as they either distraught or had no home to go to, so they were then known as displaced persons.
The Holocaust had a big effect on creating a sense of nationalism amongst the Jews and swayed them to appeal to Zionism which they had once opposed the idea of a Jewish state. All the institutions of a Jewish state were already in place in Palestine when Hitler rose to power in 1933, and when the partition of Palestine was proposed in 1936. Israel, therefore, was not a direct outcome of the Holocaust. It is certainly the case that the Holocaust hastened the legitimacy of a Jewish homeland.
At the end of WWII there were approximately 8-9 million displaced persons in Europe. There were 200,000 Jewish survivors from the camps or in hiding were not willing to return to most parts of Eastern Europe due the heavy post-war anti-Semitism and the demolition of their communities. Many of the Jewish displaced persons had formed self-governing organisations that worked towards the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. These organisations run by the Jewish displaced persons in America and Britain made their main goals to be for better immigration opportunities and the allocated Palestine to be their homeland. There was immigration restrictions in the U.S. at the time that limited the number of refugees permitted to enter the country. The British, who had received a mandate from the League of Nations to administer Palestine, restricted Jewish immigration there due to large amounts of Arab objections.
Historian Tom Segev points out in his book on the British Mandate, “One Palestine Complete,” Zionists had envisioned European Jews as the foundation of the Jewish state. Mass immigration of European Jews was prevented first by the Russian revolution, then by the British White Paper of 1939, and finally by the Holocaust. A major factor that helped facilitate Israel was the Partition Plan for Palestine which had created the state in 1948. During 1945, the post-war immigration crisis had seen increasing Jewish and Arab revolts leading into Britain??™s involvement in the dispute. British troops were sent over to Palestine to meet the growing Jewish resistance. Many resistance groups such as the Irgun and Stern group opposed the British interventions. Several attempts to settle down matters failed so the newly formed United Nations came together and established with United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). This committee had recommended a three-way division of Palestine.
One into a Jewish state, second into an Arab state and third, a United Nations Zone – internationalised Jerusalem. The Partition agreement which was adopted by the general assembly in November 1947, recommended that the Jewish state would contain 538,000 Jews and 397,000 Arabs. This event is widely recognised as an important aspect since it established Israel as a state in Palestine through international acknowledgement which also weaves into the Zionist idea of international awareness of the necessity of a Jewish homeland.The role of Zionism has been around for over 4000 years and its effects have helped implement the birth of Israel. Anti-Zionists have implied that the state was “given” or “handed” over to the Jews by the rest of the world as a special favour. They have also said that there were no Jews in Palestine before WWII. This is also a false since most of the 1948 Jewish population of Palestine had arrived before the war, and since Zionism, born in 1897, could not have been motivated by the Holocaust that happened nearly half a century later. During the year of 1878 there were approximately 445,000 Arabs and 15,000 Jews living in Palestine.
As the idea of Zionism had become wide spread, large scale immigration had begun. In the year of 1914 the number of Arabs living in Palestine had increased to 560,000 and Jewish to 80,000 people. Theodore Herzl the founder of Zionism had witnessed anti-Semitic outbreaks at the beginning of the Dreyfus Affair.
After seeing high amounts of anti-Semitism he concluded that obtaining Jewish freedom required a national homeland and a place of refuge. Herzl had created a program titled Der Judenstaat in 1896 about the establishment of the Jewish state and led to the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland, in August, 1897. The first stage on the way to secure a Jewish national home was the Balfour Declaration; it was secured by the Zionist organization.
A year after WWII had ended; the amount of Jews living in Palestine had dramatically increased to 608,000 as there had been international law supporting Zionism. The Zionist movement has successfully established a homeland for the Jewish community as it is the result of a promise backed by international law and the strengthening of Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness. The ideology of a Jewish homeland has been around for a while and Zionism has successfully implemented the inevitability of the birth of Israel.Various British policies articulated through different documents have either expressed the interest of creating an Israeli state or in contrast have opposed it. The McMahon-Hussein Agreement of October 1915 was accepted by Palestinians as a promise by the British that after WWI the land previously held by the Turks would be returned to the Arab nationals. This agreement seemed to directly clash and contradict with the Balfour Declaration created in 1917, promising the Jews their national homeland.
This left many Palestinians feeling that they had been betrayed by the British government. At the same time many Jews started to enter Palestine as a result of what they believed the Balfour Declaration had offered them. Another contradiction takes place with the Sykes-Picot Agreement which divided up the Middle East provinces of Ottoman Turkey between Britain and France; however, the British had encouraged an Arab revolt in these areas by strongly implying they would give independence after WWI. The Arabs wanted an immediate stop to Jewish immigration and an outcome of this became a conference in 1939 known as White Paper. This policy provided that there would be limitations to Jewish land ownership and would only permit 75,000 immigrants. These documents played a significant part in the birth of Israel as they put into action the idea and promise of a homeland for the Jewish people with the help of some documents supporting Zionist ideologies.The British Mandate and the Arab and Jewish responses towards the mandate has had its effects as the purpose of the mandate was to create a national home for the Jews which came into effect on 29 September 1923. This mandate was created because of the British promises to the French, the Arabs, and the Zionists /Jewish people.
The mandate was terminated as eventually, the British failed to keep their promises. A few days after the mandate ended, thousands of troops invaded Palestine. Some Jewish people actually opposed the proposal to divide Palestine. For example, Irgun leader Menachem began to announce that “The partition of the homeland is illegal. It will never be recognized. The signature by institutions and individuals of the partition agreement is invalid. Jerusalem was and will forever be our capital.
The land of Israel will be restored to the people of Israel.” The Arabs of Palestine rioted in protest against Jewish settlement. In August 1929 a dispute at the Western Wall in Jerusalem flared into riots which spread throughout the country. The Jewish community in Hebron was wiped out. In 1947, the British government decided to withdraw from the Palestine Mandate. This is when the Partition Plan came into effect and the Arab leadership rejected the plan.
Over all it is established that Zionism has its effects which helped facilitate the creation of the state of Israel through its high consciousness around the world recognising the anti-Semitism allowing international law to execute the creation of the state. Although in contrast from all the information it is clear to see that events during and post Second World War has had its contributions in speeding up or adding onto the creation of the Jewish state. BIBLIOGRPAHY “Holocaust | The Holocaust and Arab-Israeli Conflict.
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