Brief Look at Jewish History


The Jews are a people with a multitude of dilemmas. From the
Israelite tribes to the prosperous modern day Israel , bigotry
towards the Jews has been greatly evident. The Jewish race has
acted as Escape Goat for many crisis throughout history including
the black plaque which swept across Europe in the 14th century.
The establishment of Israel was a great incident was something the
Jewish people were striving to obtain for generations. This,
however, led to four major conflicts between Israel and the Arab
countries. One of the most meaningful wars was the Six-Day War. 
Events such as the holocaust have also had a dramatic effect on
world history and whose mysteries are still being unravelled. 

 For twelve years following 1933 the Jews were persecuted by
the Nazi's. Jewish businesses were boycotted and vandalized. By
1939,Jews were no longer citizens,could not attend public
schools,engage in practically any business or profession, own any
land, associate with any non-Jew or visit public places such as
parks and museums. The victories of the German armies in the early
years of World War II brought the majority of European Jewry under
the Nazis. The Jews were deprived of human rights. The Jewish
people were forced to live in Ghetto's which were separated from
the main city. Hitler's plan of genocide was carried out with
efficiency. The total number of Jews exterminated has been
calculated at around 5,750,000.
 In Warsaw ,where approximately 400,000 Jews had once been
concentrated,was reduced to a population of 60,000. They, virtually
unarmed, resisted the German deportation order and had held back
the regular German troops equipped with flame throwers,armoured
cards, and tanks for nearly a month. This heroism was similar to
the revolt which took place around 165BC. This uprising was led by
the Maccabees, a provincial priestly family (also called
Hasmoneans). They recaptured the Temple and rededicated it to the
God of Israel. The Maccabees made there last stand on a mountain
and was able to hold back the syrians for more then a month. There
is a distinct similarity between the two stories and that is
possibly why they are both recognised as holidays in the Jewish

 These horrific events of the holocaust have let to some
consequences which are beneficial and some are unfortunate to the
Jewish people. The population of the followers has greatly
declined. Also the Jewish people after the war still had problems
finding jobs. They had to essentially start there life over. Most
of them lost a close relative or at least knew someone who died in
the gas chambers of the Nazi concentration camps. This has put a
psychological strain on Jewish survivors or no longer having family
and friends with them for support. This event has awaken the world
up to the needs of the Jewish people. It has given them political
power and a justification for some of their actions. 

 On May recognised,1945 ,the end of World War II was seen. 
Organized Jewry in the European continent was damaged beyond
repair. The Jews concentrated on the preservation of Israel and on
the bringing of Nazi war criminals to trial.

 There is a day of commemoration, Holocaust Day, observed in
Israel and elsewhere on Nisan (April) 19 and 20. The date is
considered the anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto

 The emergence of Israel as a Jewish state on the former
territory of Palestine was the central political issue of the
Middle East after World War II. A movement was established to work
on the reestablishment of the Jewish national state of Israel. 
This movement was given the name Zionism. The Zionists were full
of energy,enthusiasm, and skill which led to remarkable
accomplishments. Israel was a modern European state in an
underdeveloped area. This was the source of there problems and
their achievements. 

 The Jews received vast amounts of financial and military
support from Western governments. The Israelis also benefitted
from a highly trained and motivated citizenry to create a unique

 It had taken the Zionists seventy years to purchase 7 per cent
of Palestine. Now the UN was offering them another 50 per cent. 
The partition plan was objected by all of that Arab and Palestinian
Arab governments. The Zionists excepted the plan. They however
were upset that Jerusalem was excluded from the Jewish state. 

 The Jews were the most fertile land including the citrus
groves upon which the Arabs depended on for their living. Many of
the nations of the world felt guilt or grief of the Hitler era. 
This is what is believed to have pressured the United Nations to
establish a Jewish state. 

 The partition of Palestine was greatly important to both
Jewish history and world history. It gave the Jews a place to seek
refuge in during the Nazi persecutions. This led to a change in
the nature of Zionist activities. They became more violent. The
Jewish army called Haganah(defense)was formed to protect Israel
from Arab attacks. This is remembered as a historic event for it
has greatly effected the lives of present day Middle East and all
other countries. 

 The cause of the Six-Day War of June 1967 was Egypt's closure
of the Strait of Tiran. This war focused on the issue of Israel's
legitimacy. Withdrawal of the UN troops after May 16 signified to
the Israelis that ultimately they would be responsible for their
own defense. From this war the jews regained control of the West
Bank of the Jordan River. Syria was pushed by a frontal assault
through the Golan Heights and threatened Damascus.

 The United Nation security council managed to execute a cease-
fire on June 11th. By this time the Arab states had lost
territory, much of their productive capacity, and a large amounts
of revenue. Their mental and political defeat set the tone for the
events of the following years. The defeat of the Arab governments
also gave a powerful force to the Palestine guerrilla movement.

 The Wailing Wall is on of Judaism's most honoured holy places. 
With the original United Nation's partition it was located in Old
Jerusalem, previously occupied by Jordan. The Six Day was returned
it to its rightful owners , Israel.

 As is clearly visible through these few examples the Jewish
race have had a very trailing history. This however is only a
small representation of the rest of the Jewish problems. War , for
example, is still present. In 1991 in the Persian Gulf Israel was
continuously bombed by Iraq. If Israel would have fought back
chances are there would have had most of the Arabian countries join
in with Iraq to eliminate the common enemy. Therefor the problems
are yet not resolved yet it seems there is never a perfect solution
to any problem.


 COLLI 1986

2. Israel & the Arabs: The June 1967 War
 Facts on file, INC. New York, N.Y.

3. The Holocaust in Historical Perspective
 Yehuda Bauer
 University of Washington Press


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