Israel vs. Palestine (1): Israel into Being

Recently, as this old war surfaced again, you have seen all sorts of opinions pop up and everyone seems to be in a divide with sides taken-Israel’s or Palestine’s. Your favorite sportspersons, artistes, and others have come out on various platforms to declare support for one side or the other. Many of these people have either received validation or suffered the wrath of the raging “cancel culture” of the internet causing some to fold within minutes. Hilarious if you ask me as no one forced you to take an insignificant stand. Heck, even governments are mute on the matter.

What do you know of the matter? I know many of you itch to take a stand but fear looking stupid in public. Understandable. Let’s learn a bit of history.

Early 1900

As far back as one hundred and twenty-three years ago in 1900, the “country Israel” didn’t exist. This was the during the six-century sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. What’s left of this great empire is modern day Türkiye. The Empire controlled a majority of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa in its time, Palestine included.

The Ottoman Empire in 1914, the start of WWI

In the year 1907, the British, who had been beckoned on by the first Zionist Congress years prior for help creating an independent Jewish nation, decided it would fit right into their need to get some power in the Middle East. The “masters”, as always, sprang into action and sent a representative to begin buying up land near Jaffa (modern day Tel Aviv). It took barely 3 years to get ownership of about 2,500 acres of land, causing the displacement of about 60,000 local farmers – their ancestors were at work.

They had land already; hence the multidirectional Zionist exodus began. Jews from all over Europe and Yemen began moving into their new settlements under the protection of the British Empire. A few smart Palestinians at the time warned the locals of the arriving colonizing force which was a little late, the Jews had created a militia, Hashomer, for protection.

The World Wars

During the five-year World War I, the British formally declared support for the establishment of a nation of Jews in what would be named the Balfour Declaration, named after the British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour. The war ended in 1918 with the defeat of Kaiser Wilhelm and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

The United States, after the war in 1918, conducted a report into the non-Jewish regions of Palestine and found 90% of the people were against their new neighbour’s presence. The report advised toning down the Jewish immigration but was suppressed untill 1922. The League of Nations in that year allowed the rule of Palestine by the British, under High-Commissioner Samuel Herbert – the British mandate of Palestine. He swept into work and promoted the establishment of the Jews by recognising Hebrew as an official language, permitting a Jewish educational system, army, and a labour union all by 1925.

Buraq’s Revolt of August 1929 occurred in opposition of the British-backed usurpation and hundreds were killed in protests at the Wailing Wall. The protests continued while the immigration increased exponentially from thousands to tens of thousands to no avail – the British do not like being denied.

The second World War of 1939-1945 against the Reich progressed. The Holocaust was ordered under the command of the great orator, Aldolf. About six million jews were killed in concentration and extermination camps. The war ended and attention was turned to the old war in Palestine.

The United Nations in 1947 proposed the formation of two states demarcated by the west bank of the river Jordan. The United States picked up the post-war slack of the British Empire and pressured the implementation of the UN resolution which increased the Jewish land ownership from 5.5% to 56%. Understandably, the Palestinians were not in support and neither were the Arabs. A civil war broke out.

The two-state partition plan of the United Nation in 1947


In this year, the state of Israel was declared in Tel Aviv by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on 14th May. The godfather countries: Britain, United States and Soviet Union, acknowledged the state immediately. The next day, the first Arab-Israeli War broke out.

Five Arab countries were not going to have such audacity go unpunished. These countries were Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria – the first member states of the Arab League. The first war lasted 10 months and ended with Israel gaining significantly more land mass forcing 700,000 Palestinians to flee as refugees to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza. To this day, the 15th May is commemorated yearly as Nakba, meaning “catastrophe” or “disaster,” with speeches, marches and demonstrations, by palestinians around the world.

This was the first of many wars the new state would fight. In all fairness, the foolishness of ancestors, both white and black, have often led to the conflicts of this century. What you have just read should start shaping your thought process on the matter. In Nigerian real estate terms, it a story starting with a bunch of rich friends in business who bought land they wanted from a greedy, foolish family. The family realising that selling their land means they have to leave it, started throwing a tantrum. The “bunch” then decided to settle the matter by warfare and so on. I would write a good script.

Stay tuned, it gets more intriguing.

Oyesola Oluwasegun


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