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The Wannsee Conference
(5702 AM - 1942 CE)
The Grand Mufti and the Final Solution
(5703 AM - 1943 CE)
The Blood for trucks initiative
(5704 AM - 1944 CE)
The assassination of Lord Moyne by the Lehi
(5705 AM - 1944 CE)
(5705 AM - 1945 CE)
The Nuremberg Trial and PurimFest 1946
(5707 AM - 1946 CE)
Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
(5707 AM - 1947 CE)
The Maronites of Lebanon
(5708 AM - 1947 CE)
The U.N. vote of November 1947
(5708 AM - 1947 CE)
The State of Israel
The 70 Jubilees
(5708 AM - 1948 CE)
Israel Brodie, Chief Rabbi of Britain
(5708 AM - 1948 CE)
Israel's first Sabbatical year
(5712 AM - 1952 CE)
Immanuel Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi of Britain
(5727 AM - 1967 CE)
The Six-Day War
(5727 AM - 1967 CE)
The Yom Kippur War
(5734 AM - 1973 CE)
The South Lebanon War
(5738 AM - 1978 CE)
The Lebanon War
(5742 AM - 1982 CE)
(5748 AM - 1987 CE)
The Oslo Accords
(5753 AM - 1993 CE)
Diplomatic relations between Rome and Jerusalem
(5754 AM - 1994 CE)
Jihad against America
(5757 AM - 1996 CE)
Previous << Generation 48 >> Next
Hebrew years 5640 to 5760 (1880 - 2000 CE)
~~~ Part I ~~~ Part II ~~~
The second part of the 48th Generation takes us into the 114th Jubilee since the Creation, starting with the Hebrew year 5700 (1940 CE). It is a Jubilee of great changes for the Jewish people, with in one hand the disaster of WW-II and the Holocaust, and in another hand the revival of a Jewish nation with the State of Israel. This Jubilee can find its parallel in the Jubilee that took place half the time since the Creation, meaning the 57th Jubilee. What had happened then? The two kingdoms of Israel and Judah attempted to make peace together, and also with their arch-enemy. They even tried to assimilate one to another with cross-marriage between the two royal families, and the same names of their kings, Jeroham. There was a high risk of the paganism of the kingdom of Israel to come and corrupt the faith of the kingdom of Judah. This resulted in God affecting the course of events which resulted in the collapse of both royal families and, for the kingdom of Judah, the education by Jewish scholars of a child who became King Joash, and even carried out the needed repairs in the Temple. The parallel between the 57th and the 114th Jubilees is the return of faith and the rebirth of a Jewish nation after the threats of assimilation.
While the Second World War was well engaged and the Axis Powers having the upper hand, top Nazi officials met on 20 January 1942 (Hebrew date 2 Shevat 5702) in a suburb of Berlin to discuss what should be done with the Jews of Europe, entrapped by the advance of the German army and incarcerated in concentration camps. Their decision came to be known as the Final Solution by exterminating the Jewish populations with the mean of industrialised mass murder techniques. The head of the extermination programme was the SS Reinhard Heydrich while the German army was to provide the logistical support needed to round up the Jews across Europe and send them to designated extermination camps mostly located in Poland. A key man in the organisation of the extermination of the Jews was Adolf Eichmann, who participated to this conference and drafted a list of the number of Jews in each European country, totalling 11 million people. The Final Solution murdered over half of them, six million Jews.
The Wannsee List prepared by Adolf Eichmann
It is to be noted that, before this conference which aimed to find a more expendient way to exterminate the Jews, Jewish civilians were murdered in masses by the advancing German army. The above list, for example, shows that Estonia ("Estland" in German) was judenfrei, meaning "free of Jews". This meant that all the Jews of Estonia had already been massacred before this conference took place. This fact is corroborated by another document issued by Heindrich at the end of January 1942 for the number of Jews in the Baltic countries who had already been executed (typically by firing squads in forests). Estonia shows that its 963 Jews had already been executed, and the territory now declared judenfrei.
Estonia was already "judenfrei" by January 1942
There is also the case of civilians taking part of massacres, supported by the Nazis, as it has been the case in the village of Jedwabne in Poland on 10 July 1941 where 340 Polish Jews of all ages had been burned alive in a barn by their Polish neighbours led by the town mayor and the local police.
On the military front, the year 1942 also marked the first major defeat of the German army: in July 1942, they were stopped in Al-Alamein (first battle) and in November 1942 they were definitely forced to retreat (second battle of Al-Alamein). So the same year that Nazi Germany decided for the Final Solution was the year that started their demise.
During the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi officials after the war, a certain number of documents shed light on the involvement of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem concerning the Final Solution. Amin al-Husseini, issued from the known Jerusalemite Muslim family of al-Husseini, was nominated Grand Mufti in 1921 by the British authorities although he had served in the Ottoman army during WW-I. In Palestine, he proved to be a fierce adversary to Zionism and to any agreement with the Jews over the Holy Land. The Mufti was determined to ensure that no Jew would escape Europe as he anticipated that, otherwise, they would immigrate to Palestine. Already in 1933, when Hitler expressed the wish to expell Jews from Germany, and would have probably agreed to have them transferred to Palestine, the Grand Mufti convinced the Nazi officials not to proceed with such intent. Before the war broke out in September 1939, he already openly sided with the Axis Powers and caused Arab revolts against the British in the region and Palestine between 1936 and 1939. In 1937, he had to flee Palestine to avoid arrest. While in exile, he collaborated with Nazi Germany and settled in Berlin from 1941 for more than a year. There he organised an Arab regiment to fight along the Waffen-SS. He negotiated with Hitler about an independant Arab state that would supplant the British Mandate and create a German ally in the Middle-East. He had also in close contact with Eichmann (the designated architect of the extermination of the Jews) making sure that, with the help of the Nazi extermination programme, no Jew would escape from Europe.[2a]
The Grand Mufti meets Hitler in Berlin, 1941
Further during the war, the Bulgarian government wanted to allow the emigration outside his country of some 4000 Jewish children who had been separated from their parents who were sent to the death camps. The Grand Mufti wrote personally in June 1943 to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria to not permit their immigration. Consequently the children were also sent to the camps where they met their brutal death. A year later, when Germany was obviously losing the war, and some of their militray fronts suffering loses, the Grand Mufti wrote to Heinrich Himmler and von Ribbentrop not to be too lenient towards the Jews.
After the war, the Grand Mufti was caught and put under house arrest in France. There he convinced the French authorities that he would be able to help the damaged position of France in the Middle-East through his personal intermediation. As a result, his conditions of detention were totally eased. Britain asked for his extradition, as a war criminal,[2b] but France considered him as a political prisoner. Owing to the pressure of international dismay at the French position to provide shelter to this murderer, the Grand Mufti was sent to an Arab country of his choice. He then discreetly left France for Cairo and later thanked the French government for their behaviour towards him, even proposing his intermediation in their problematic situation in North Africa.
The Grand Mufti pursued a life in exile. He died in Beirut in 1974. The State of Israel refused to grant his wish to be buried in Jerusalem.
Nazi Germany was fighting multiple fronts after 1943 and was progressively losing the uphand. The Allied conference in Tehran at the end of 1943 made it clear that they will seek a no condition surrender from their enemies. From the first months of 1944, a negotiation was engaged, through Adolf Eichmann, for letting the one million Jews from Hungary go free out of Europe in exchange for 10,000 trucks to be provided to Germany to help their armies on the Eastern front. The Nazis were seeking to break the alliance between the West and Stalin and a relief to focus on fighting back the Red Army. At that time, most of European Jewry was already exterminated but Hungary had been preserved from the Nazi regime due to political considerations. Yet, the situation changed and a new regime in Hungary meant that all the Jews of that country would be sent to the death camps in Poland.
Joel Brand, the Jewish negotiator from Hungary, went to Cairo in an attempt to raise what was needed to rescue one million Jews. But he was arrested, and during his interrogation the British Resident in the city, Lord Moyne, would have told him: "What can I do with a million Jews?" Although the author of this remark has been debattable, the fact remains that the British Government refused to proceed with this initiative. The Western Allied convinced themselves that the move from the Nazis was merely an attempt to weaken their alliance with Stalin. Consequently, the Hungarian Jews were sent to death camps from 1944.
A few months later in November 1944, the Lehi, a Jewish secret group founded by Abraham "Yair" Stern, a Polish Jew who imigrated in 1925, carried out the assassination of Lord Moyne in Cairo. The Le'hi had the policy to not negotiate with the British Mandate and to rather obtain their departure from Palestine by all means. Over 20 years had passed since the start of the British Mandate, and Britain closed the doors to Jewish imigration which was contradictory to the spirit of the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration of allowing them a homeland. The British authorities qualified them as terrorists and called them the Stern Gang. Abraham Stern, unlike all other Jewish groups in Mandate Palestine who agreed to a stop of militant activities against Britain during the duration of the war, sought in 1941 to cooperate with Nazi Germany against Britain if they would let the European Jews emigrate to Palestine. The British authorities in Palestine were actively searching for Stern and found him in February 1942 in an apartment where he lived under the name of Abraham Hermoni, and shot him dead in cold blood after he had been arrested and hand-cuffed. His followers swore to seek revenge, and this may explain their action against Lord Moyne, especially in the context of British refusal to allow Jews to emigrate to Palestine to avoid their sure death.
Abraham "Yair" Stern, founder of the "Lehi"
The Lehi leader who ordered the assassination of Lord Moyne was Isaac Shamir, who later became Prime Minister of Israel in the 1980's. He justified his decision to an Israeli newspaper in 1983 by declaring that Lord Moyne committed the following "crimes": (1) in early 1942, he had urged the Turkish government to refuse passage to a ship, the Sturma, full of Jewish refugees from Romania, and convinced them to send the ship back in the Black Sea (this meant a sure death because a Soviet submarine sunk the ship within a few hours killing all 780 civilian refugees except one rescapee), (2) his refusal to consider the possibility to save one million (Jewish) lives with the Blood for trucks initiative of 1944.
The Holocaust, Shoah in Hebrew, was the state-orchestrated extermination of the Jewish populations in Europe by Nazi Germany. The main mass murder camps were :
- Auschwitz, where about 1,000,000 people were killed
- Treblinka, about 870,000
- Belzec, about 600,000
- Chelmo, about 320,000
- Sobibor, about 250,000
- Jasenovac, about 90,000
- Maly Trostinets, about 65,000
The West had received information from leaks, rumours, and even reports about the murdering of Jews in great scale. But the information was believed to be mere propaganda, despite the declared intents from Nazi leaders to get rid of the Jews, and the many years prior to the war of mis-treatment of Jews. The West ignored the war-time reports. In 1942, Jan Karski, a Polish resistant, even managed to reach London and the US and personally informed Roosevelt of the extent of the massacres. In December 1942, an address was officially made by the Polish Government in exile to the United Nations, and they published a report where it was stated:
The outbreak of war between Germany and Soviet Russia and the occupation of the Eastern areas of Poland by German troops considerably increased the number of Jews in Germany's power. At the same time the mass murders of Jews reached such dimensions that, at first, people refused to give credence to the reports reaching Warsaw from the Eastern provinces. The reports, however, were confirmed again and again by reliable witnesses.--- Republic of Poland, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "The Mass Extermination of Jews in German-Occupied Poland", 10 December 1942, by Edward Raczynski
But the testimonials and the reports were not believed, or the Western leaders chose not to believe them. Instead they chose to focus their efforts on the war and did not attempt to destroy the rail tracks in order to prevent the trains to reach their fateful destinations. About six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, of which one million children.
This is not the place to discuss the Holocaust and scores of books and documents have been brought to public knowledge. The Museum of Yad Vashem in Israel is a repository of such information for those who would like to research the subject further.
Jewish tradition often made parallels between catastrophes that fell upon the Jews and the Scriptures. Concerning the Holocaust, Hitler has been equalled to Haman of the Book of Esther, as explained below. It is even said that Jacob the Patriarch had foreseen the Shoah that will fall upon his descendance at the hands of the descendance of Esau, as commentaries on the chapter Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-33) can demonstrate. To enter Canaan, Jacob had to pay a dear price to avoid extermination at the hand of Esau and his 400 henchmen. Some of the parallels (list is not exhaustive) are as follows:[6a]
- Esau is written עשו which has numerical value of 377 (=376 for the letters + 1 for the whole word), same as Adolf Hitler which is written אדולף היטלר
- Esau, who is also called Edom (ancestor to the Germans), is said to have settled in the land of Seir, which is written שעיר and can be decomposed as ש and עיר meaning "300 cities"; Germany is a nation united at the time of Bismarck and which was composed of 300 states [6b]
- the Talmud Megilah 6b mentions that Jacob was anxious of Esau's intents, but that this anxiety referred to what the descendance of Esau will do to Jacob's descendance and made a prayer to God not to allow him, associated to "Germamia of Edom" (which has been equated to Germania), to destroy the world; and the amora Rabbi Hama bar Hanina went further to explain that Germamia of Edom is a country with "300 crowned heads" (this was stated, of course, many centuries before "Germamia" even existed); this is really about Nazi Germany
- Esau marched accompanied with 400 henchmnen; the number 400 represents the forces of evil, like the 400 years of exile mentioned by God to Abraham, the 400 silver shekels that Abraham paid for the Cave of Machpelah to keep evil away, the 400 soldiers of Amalek who fought the Israelites in the desert, and so on
- in an attempt to please the evil Esau, Jacob sent him a succession of animals from his cattle as a tribute... this tribute was composed of five groups of animals (goats, ewes/rams, camels, cows/bulls, donkeys), for a total of 580 animals or more (the exact count is not given but 580 is a minimal number); this corresponds to the five years of mass extermination of the Jews,[6c] and if we multiply 580 by the largest Biblical number (the "myriad" equals to 10,000), it gives 580 x 10,000 = 5,800,000 as a minimum, which corresponds to the number of Jews who perished in the Holocaust [6d]
The war officially ended in Europe on 8 May 1945. In the course of their progress towards Berlin, the Allied armies discovered the horror of the extermination camps across the continent. Many Nazis were caught, and some others escaped. The Allies decided to bring the Nazi leaders involved for trial: it was to be the first time that the "crime against humanity" would be punished. The Nuremberg Trial has been a key event for multiple reasons:
(1) it detailed the murdering machine set by the Nazis to cause the death of millions of (Jewish) civilians, the Holocaust; no other country or civilisation or people had ever reached the degree of barbarity that a civilised nation such as Germany had shown,
(2) the condemnation of the Nazi officials has been paralleled by Jewish scholars to the events of Queen Esther and the festival of Purim about 2500 years earlier,
(3) the trial brought the extent of the Holocaust to the world knowledge which paved the way two years later for the historical vote at the U.N. General Assembly in favour of the establishment of a Jewish State, alongside an Arab state, in Mandate Palestine.
About the first point, there is little to add to the mass of documents having proved and detailed the Holocaust.
Concerning the second point, there have been many details about the parallel with Purim:
- on 10 November 1938, the day after Kristallnacht, the Nazi propagander Julius Streicher declared that just as "the Jew butchered 75,000 Persians" in one night, the same fate would have befallen the German people had the Jews succeeded in inciting a war against Germany; the "Jews would have instituted a new Purim festival in Germany." ; the same Streicher, who was condemned to death in Nuremberg Trial, shouted on his way up to the gallows PurimFest 1946 (meaning the Festival of Purim 1946); this Jewish festival had been a sort of obcession in the mind of this Nazi propagandist who made a point to formally execute 10 Jews every year at Purim as a revenge for the 10 sons of Haman who were hanged 2500 years before
- 10 sons of Haman were put to death by hanging, and so were 10 Nazis; all were hanged, instead of using a normal firing squad, including Goering who committed suicide a few hours before his hanging
- in time of Purim events, the Jews rejoiced the following day after the hanging of Haman and his sons; similarly, as one day could be one year, the U.N. voted for the establishment of a Jewish State in Mandate Palestine (29 November 1947), so one year had passed after the Nuremberg executions (16 October 1946)
- in the text of the Megillat Esther, in the list of the 10 sons of Haman, 4 letters are written differently: one letter vaw (ו) is greater than the rest, and three letters (ת ש ג) are smaller. This has been interpreted as the indication of a date: the bigger ו is the 6th millennium, while the three smaller laters form the number 707, in other words this shows the 707th year of the 6th millennium, which is precisely the Hebrew year of the hanging of the 10 Nazis, thus inscribed in the hanging of the 10 sons of Haman; there are several other references in the Scriptures that link the events of Purim with the rise and fall of the Nazi regime, so the reader can read about this topic with some research
- the extraordinary coincidence unveiled in 1995, when the secrecy of a bank account in Switzerland was lifted 50 years after its opening, because nobody came to claim it nor made any transaction with it in that period; this was a Nazi bank account owned by a so-called "Max Amann"; it transpired that this account was opened in 1945, some time before the end of the war, and deposited with the huge sum of 800 million Deutsche Marks, and never claimed since; there was no doubt that this account belonged to the Nazi leader who simply used the name of Max Amann, his superior officer during WW-I; the real Max Amann could not have been the owner of this account because he died in poverty in 1957; so the coincidence with Purim is that Hitler named himself Amann, pronounced like the Haman of Purim !
In spring 1947, scrolls of manuscripts were found in clay jars hidden in a cave discovered in the Judaean desert in Qumran, on the north-western side of the Dead Sea: they became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The region was under British Mandate but, a few months later, the Holy Land was to be divided between an Arab state and a Jewish state, as voted by the United Nations in November 1947. This led to the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948 and a war against the Arab coalition who refused the partition arbitrated by the U.N. When a ceasefire was in place, the site of Qumran came under Jordanian control. The (British) director of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities gave to the Dominican Roland de Vaux, head of the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem, the task to excavate Qumran. Then followed a long history of academic "highjacking" of the discover by the group led by de Vaux... The documents excavated were not allowed to be consulted by any individual outside this group who even refused to list the various documents that were found. The reason for this attitude may be more political than religious: de Vaux may have looked at the events of his time, with the creation of a Jewish state, with disappointment because, as long as a Jordanian or Arab state existed, his department would be more at ease to excavate the sites of the Holy Land with no obstacle and even support, as it had happened with the discovery of Qumran. Instead, the Jewish state would scrutinise their works more closely as there was more interest for Jewish scholars, unlike Arab scholars, to find evidence of Biblical accounts. And Qumran was not a small discovery, as it revealed texts never known before and, more importantly, confirmed that the Jewish Sacred Texts had been unchanged for generations and generations. The earliest Qumran texts dated from at least 150 years before the Common Era.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For the time being, the veto imposed by de Vaux on the Dead Sea Scrolls generated frustration among researchers and scholars around the world. Two authors accused de Vaux of being:
"ruthless, narrow-minded, bigoted and fiercely vindicative." --- Baigent, Michael, Leigh, Richard, the Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, published 1993, pp. 27-28 They also suspected him of antisemitism and of being a Fascist sympathiser. It is more certain to state that de Vaux was anti-Israeli. Obviously, he had "free hand" to do and impose his views under an Arab state, but not under the Israeli state.
More broadly, the atmosphere of secrecy around the Dead Sea Scrolls led suspicion that something extraordinary may lie hidden in these texts that would shaken the entire Christian world ! This was probably a bit far reached considering that most of the texts pre-dated the birth of Jesus !
One thing was certain though: the Qumran community was identified as the sect called Essenes described by Josephus in his works. This sect was founded by a leader so-called the Teacher of Righteousness, who was opposed to a religious leader so-called the Wicked Priest. These is uncertainty about who were these two characters but it doesn't take long to realize that the only period of Ancient Jewish History when religious differences took place was at the time of Seleucid power. In these days, the conflict were between different factions, or sects, mostly between followers of Traditional Judaism (the Pharisees) and the upper class of Jewish aristocracy who favoured assimilation to the Greek before assimilating to the Roman culture (the Sadducees). Besides these two main groups, there were other smaller sects, of which the Essenes who lived in isolated communities in order to avoid religious persecutions. The Teacher of Righteousness was probably the High Priest who replaced teh Hellenistic High Priest Alcimus back in 159 BCE, before being ousted in 157 BCE by Jonathan Maccabee during a change of alliance in Judea (to see related page in this site, click here). As a consequence, this High Priest would have founded his own "school", or sect, that followed "rules" that he established to belong to it. These were the rules of the community of Essenes of Qumran.
The change of territorial situation following the Six Day War in 1967 led the Israeli authorities to endeavour excavations in a number of Jewish-related sites in the Holy Land, which had not been possible before under Arab and Christian joined control. In addition, the "Palestine Archaeological Museum" in Jerusalem (previously known as the Rockefeller Museum, and renamed as such since), which hosted the Dead Sea Scrolls with De Vaux and his team, became under the control of the Israeli authorities. The only exception was the Copper Scroll (because it was written on copper plates) which was and is still help in Amman, Jordan. The Israeli department of antiquities re-arranged the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls between different groups, while keeping De Vaux and his group in charge of one set of scrolls, and, finally, the first major publication about these Hebrew texts was made in 1977 (translated in English as The Temple Scroll in 1983). De Vaux, probably lacking the desire to cooperate with the Jewish State, kept out of the works about the Dead Sea Scrolls until his death in 1971. Over time, his old team also passed away, some of them without having published anything during their holding of the manuscripts over a period of more than 30 years ! The works were quickly passed to more diligent teams, when possible. And, in 1990, the responsability of these ancient Hebrew texts was finally passed to an Israeli scholar for the first time since 1967. But, in total and because of de Vaux and his incompetent or reluctant team, it took nearly as much as half a century for the complete Dead Sea Scrolls to come to light. Today the complete Dead Sea Scrolls are available online (to access the site, click here).
The importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls is about the fact that, for the first time in History, we are able to compare manupscripts of a same text (especially the Book of Daniel, for which we now have texts in both Hebrew and Aramaic) that have been copied about 1000 years apart ! One scholar puts it as follows:
The Daniel fragments from Caves 1 and 6 reveal, on the whole, that the later Masoretic text is preserved in a good, hardly changed form. They are thus a valuable witness to the great faithfulness with which the sacred text has been transmitted. --- Mertens, A., Das Buch Daniel im Lichte der Texte vom Toten Meer, Stuttgarter Biblische Monographien, Wurzburg, 1971
The partition of British Mandate Palestine was becoming a matter of time. Many U.N. missions returned with the same conclusion that the land must be divided between a Jewish State and an Arab State. But the Arab were still refusing any agreement on the matter. Elsewhere, in Lebanon, another community was anguished by the prospect that their country may be absorbed by Syria. The leader of the Christian Maronite community wrote to the U.N. on this matter, where he expressed the wish that both Jews and Christians in the Middle-East deserved to have their own land:
It is an incontestable historical fact that Palestine was the home of the Jew and of the first Christians. None of them was of Arab origin. By the brutal force of conquest they were forced to become converts to the Moslem religion, That is the origin of the Arabs in that country. Can one deduce from that that Palestine is Arab or that it ever was Arab? Historical vestiges, monuments and sacred mementos of the two religions remain alive there as evidence of the fact that this country was not involved in the internal war between the princes and monarchs of Iraq and Arabia. The Holy Places, the temples, the Wailing Wall, the churches and the tombs of the prophets and saints, in short, all the relics of the two religions, are living symbols, which alone invalidate the statements now made by those who have little interest in making Palestine an Arab country. To include Palestine and the Lebanon within the group of Arab countries is to deny history and to destroy the social balance in the Near East. [...]What has the role of the Jews been in Palestine? Considered from this angle, the Palestine of 1918 appears to us a barren country, poor, denuded of all resources, the least developed of all the Turkish vilayets. The Moslem-Arab colony there lived an the borderline of poverty. Jewish immigration began, colonies were formed and established, and in less than twenty years the country was transformed: agriculture flourished, large industries were established, wealth came to the country.--- Archbishop Ignace Moubarac of Beirut, letter to Mr. Justice Sandstorm, Chairman of UNSCOP Geneva, 5 August 1947; to read the full letter, click here
The question of Jewish immigration and the need for a Jewish homeland, despite the Arab opposition, was ultimately brought to a vote on 29 November 1947 at the General Assembly of the United Nations after more than two decades of trying to find a conciliary solution. The resolution, approved by 72% of the nations, called for a partition of Palestine between an Arab and a Jewish states, with defined borders. The Jewish Agency accepted the partition plan but the Arab representatives rejected it. Following the historical UN vote, the British Mandate was set to end by 1 August 1948 at the latest. However, after debate at the British Parliament, the end date was set to 14 May 1948.
U.N. Partition Plan of 1947
The tensions increased in Mandate Palestine, with the British authorities showing reluctance to intervene. Many isolated Jewish villages were attacked and Jews were ambushed. At that time, there were 600,000 Jews living in Mandate Palestine, while hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees were blocked by the British authorities from entering the land of Israel.
On 14 May 1948, when the British Mandate officially ended, the creation of a State of Israel was declared by the Jewish officials the next day (Hebrew date of 5 Iyar 5708). Five Arab nations immediately declared war to the new nation, and thus began the War of Independence of Israel against Egypt, Jordan, Iraq. Syria, Lebanon. They were supported by additional Muslim volunteers from Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan and so on. These five armies are a repeat of the war that Nehemiah had to sustain against the 5 local people who had established themselves in the Jewish land during the Exile of Babylon and and were eager to prevent the return of Jews to Sion:
But it came to pass that, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein.--- Nehemiah 4:1-2
We can associate these five ancient armies to the five modern ones: the Ammonites are equal to Jordan, the Ashdodites to Egypt (because Muslims established themselves in the coastal plain, including Ashdod, during the Egyptian rule between 1831 and 1840), the Tobiah to Syria (because Tobiah was a name associated with the Assyrian empire), Sanballah to Lebanon (he was a leader of Persian origin but, in his times, Persia had formed an alliance with the Phoenicians, modern-day Lebanon), and finally "the Arabians" can be associated to the rest of the coalition (mostly Iraq but also some other nations).
After several months of battles, and a few failed attempts to establish a ceasefire, an armistice was signed in February 1949 as Israel had managed to gain more territory than the initial Partition Plan gave for the Jewish states and new borders were defined that remained the same until the Six Day War of 1967.
Out of 1,200,000 million Arabs living in Mandate Palestine, about 700,000 of them moved out of the new State of Israel because of fear and negative propaganda from the Arab states. Those Palestinians who remained in the new Israel received Israeli citizenship and form today about 20% of the population of the State of Israel. In another hand, Jews who lived in Muslim countries saw their life turned into misery from 1948, and many had to flee the land of their ancestors where they had lived there before Islam was even born. So about 800,000 Jews from Arab countries lost their homes and properties, and came to establish themselves in Israel instead or emigrated to other welcoming countries. Yet, the Arab world was shaken by the establishment of a Jewish state in their midst and one Muslim leader, Sheikh Hassan el-Bana, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared in an interview in Cairo on 1 August 1948:
"If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea."--- The New-York Times, 2 August 1948 (extract available online)
The creation of the State of Israel signalled the potential return of the Jews to the land that God had promised to them. Even the Koran mentions that this land has been given to the Jews by Allah Himself. The State of Israel was created in 1948 CE which corresponds to Hebrew Year 5708. The mass "return" to Sion, which really started 3 years earlier right at the end of WW-II (Hebrew year 5705) is paralleled to the return of the patriarch Jacob in the land of Canaan after his "exile" in Charan (Jacob was also named Israel at that moment of his return to Canaan). What is this a sure parallel? Jacob returned in Hebrew Year 2205. The difference to 5705 is 3500 years, which means that there are exactly 70 Jubilee periods elapsed between these two events, both were returns to the promised land and both were named/renamed Israel. The number 70 has a special significance in Jewish history for multiple reasons:
- the number 7 in itself is reminding of divine plans, especially with the establishment of the 7th day (the Shabbat), and 10 is the number of Sephirot associated with God; so 70 has a double relation to God's plans and essence
- the number 70 is like a completion; King David lived 70 years, and died when he completed his earthly time; also Jacob came down to Egypt with all his 70 souls; and the Bible speaks of 70 nations that populated the earth after the Flood; in short, 70 is a completeness or a due time that has completed
- the number 70 is also the number of members of the Great Assembly (Sanhedrin), so again it is a number that denotes the completness
- no less important, the exile in Babylon lasted 70 years, spriticually, from the time the First Temple was destroyed until the Second Temple was erected
In conclusion, the completion of 70 Jubilee periods is particularly significant and, in the case of the Israelites, it is a time cycle that has completed between the return to Canaan/Sion.
But the parallel between Jacob and Israel goes further, if we look at the same 70 Jubilee periods. Jacob spent 20 years in Charan with Laban, years during which his existence was threatened (due to the fact that his father-in-law Laban wanted to keep Jacob in his own family and thus absorb his descendance into his, which would have meant the end of the Hebrew people as a distinct nation). The period of 20 years going backwards into time means in modern-day the year 1925: this year was when Hitler became a noticable politician in Germany, and furthermore it was the year when he published for the first his notorious book Mein Kampf, which was giving clear picture of his intent to get rid of the Jews as a people. So, we can find the parallel of 70 Jubilees in the two events, 20 years apart, on one hand the sojourn of Jacbo in Charan with the obvious threat of assimilation and extinction of the Hebrews as a distinctive people, and on the other hand for the Jewish people from the time they were officially targeted and threatened by Nazism until they left Europe and emigrated en masse to the Promised Land.
Joseph Hertz served as Chief Rabbi for 36 years until his death after WW-II in 1946. He was succeeded in 1948 by Israel Brodie who was born in England and was educated in Oxford and was a freemason. He was in fact the first Chief Rabbi of Britain being actually born in Britain ! During WW-II, he served as Chaplain for the Jewish Forces. But the Jewish officials faced difficult times when the British Mandate was put under pressure by the fight between Jewish and Arab nationals over Palestine. When he was chosen as Chief Rabbi, when he was 53 years old, his contract was limited to 17 years which effectively meant that he had to retire at the age of 70, in 1965.
Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie
(source: United Synagogue)
During his tenure, Brodie engaged in the rebuilding of Jewish life in Europe despite the vacuum caused by the Holocaust. He as a good spokesman for the Jews but had also engaged in religious disputes with some of the Rabbis, a situation which embittered his last years in office. In particular he argued against Rabbi Louis Jacobs who questioned the traditional view that the Torah was given to Moses by God Himself. Brodie was right to argue on this, and Jacobs ultimately created another Jewish movement called the Masorti Judaism, which means "Traditional" Judaism, although it departed from Jewish tradition !
Nobody knows for sure what is the true Sabbatical cycle. If we count from the establishment of this cycle back in Joshua's time, the starting year was the first Jubilee celebration in 2500 AM (1268 BCE). By calculating Jubilee cycles of 50 years since then, it would mean that the year 1952 would have been in the 12th year of the 64th Jubilee cycle. And 12 would not be a Sabbatical year, as 12 is not divisible by 7.
But, the Jubilee count has been cancelled since the destruction of the Second Temple (because there is no longer a High Priest to call for that year). So only Sabbatical years were recorded since then. So, if we count the Sabbatical cycle (7 years) from year 69 CE (the Temple was destroyed in the month of Av of year 3829 AM), the year 1952 falls in a Sabbatical year because 1952-69= 1883 which is divisiable by 7: it makes 269 Sabbatical cycles since year 69 CE.
In accordance with Rabbinical authorities, the State of Israel thus declared the year 1952 as the first Sabbatical year of the State. The subsequent Sabbatical years were:
- 2nd Sabbatical year = 1959 => War of Independence of Israel
- 3rd Sabbatical year = 1966 => Six-Day War
- 4th Sabbatical year = 1973 => Kippur War
- 5th Sabbatical year = 1980 => First diplomatic relations between Israel and an Arab state (Egypt)
- 6th Sabbatical year = 1987 => Israel-Palestinian conflict; First Intifada
- 7th Sabbatical year = 1994 => Diplomatic relations between Israel and Jordan, and also the Papal State
- 8th Sabbatical year = 2001 => September 11 terror attack in USA, that triggered the War on Terror against islamist militancy
- 9th Sabbatical year = 2008 => War between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza
- 10th Sabbatical year = 2015
Upon planned retirement in 1965, Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie was succeeded in 1966 by Immanuel Jakobovits. The latter was born in East Prussia before the war, but his family fled Germany in 1938. He later became Chief Rabbi of Ireland at the age of 27, then also served in New York from 1958 before being appointed in London. In Britain, he was knighted in 1981 and thus became the first Chief Rabbi in the House of Lords. He held the post until 1991, and died in 1999.
Chief Rabbi Jakobovits
In June 1967, the State of Israel had to fight a war against a coalition of Arab states led by Egyptian president Nasser who had previously participated to a military coup to overturn King Farouk in 1952. Nasser came to power after the vote for the new Egyptian constituion of 1956. His first act was to nationalise the Suez Canal which led to a conflict in October 1956 with France, Britain and Israel. But both USA and Russia asked these interventions to stop and the crisis ended with higher glory for Nasser who started to promote a Pan-Arabism policy which ultimately aimed to raise a joint effort against the State of Israel.
The Six-Day War started when Nasser asked the U.N. force that was stationed between Egypt and Israel to withdraw. He also blocked the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships. This was an act to indicate an imminent attack against the Jewish State. Rather than waiting for the Arab armies to start the conflict, Israel preempted their move by attacking them on 5 June 1967. The war lasted six days and was concluded by a territorial gain for Israel with occupation of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the Hermon heights, and the West Bank (so-called because Jordan was once called Transjordan, as the East side of the Jordan River). The West Bank encompassed the older Jewish kingdoms of Judea and Israel, with capital cities of Jerusalem and Samaria. The Israeli forces also took over the old city of Jerusalem, which had been forbidden for Jews since 1948 due to its military occupation by the Arab Legion from Jordan.
Israel before and after the Six-Day War
The biggest losers of the Six-Say War were the Palestinians who had been led to believe by successive Arab leaders since 1948 that their armies would wipe Israel off the map, and been asked to temporary escape the zone of combats to leave the room for the Arab armies to carry out their attacks. But nothing happened according to Arab plans. And over one million Palestinians who had lived in camps, because the same Arab nations would not grant them citizenship or right to live in their countries, became de facto refugees under Israeli military rule after the Six-Day War. And, as Arab belligerance did not stop with the armistice of 1967, do did Israel not return to Arab sovereignty the territories it conquered. Israel considered that, unless peace would be final and comprehensive, these territories were necessary to their own national security and protect their borders. Just two months after the war, the Arab League gathered in Khartoum in August 1967 set the tone for the years to come, with the famous three "no's": no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiation with Israel.
Before the war, Palestinians refugees had also settled in Jordan. They organised themselves under the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation, founded in 1964) and carried out attacks against civilians in Israel. These actions caused Israel to retaliate in Jordan territory which could result into an unwanted war escalation in the region. The PLO then tried to overturn the royal regime in Jordan, and this led to a repression by the Jordan army between September 1970 and July 1971 called Black September. After their expulsion from Jordan, the Palestinian militants settled in Lebanon which became their new base for terrorist attacks against Israel.
The Six-Day War also marked a sharp increase of US support to the Jewish State under the impulse of US President Lyndon Johnson, at a time when France froze their sales of military equipment. During WW-II, he got personally involved in saving hundreds of Jews of Warsaw by issuing visas to emigrate to Texas, USA, before the war started. Johnson came from a family who was friendly to Jews even putting their own life in danger.
After the Six-Day War, Johnson made sure that the UN Resolution 242, approved in November 1967, included the key cnocept of "land for peace". The Resolution indeed mentions that Israel has the right for "secure and recognized boundaries", whatever the boundaries may be negotiated to be, otherwise the return of seized land would not be possible and would not achieve ultimate peace.
The Yom Kippur War of October 1973 helped put the Arab nations, who had been defeated during the Six-Day War, in a par level with Israel. Egypt and Syria, with the help of advanced Russian weapons, carried out surprised attacks that proved devastating to the Israeli military who were at the edge of losing the war. But they held off the Egyptian army in Sinai while they counterattacked the Syrians who had stopped their advance after having conquered all the Golan Heights. After gaining the upper hand on the Golan, Israel carried out a daring operation led by commander Ariel Sharon to break the Egyptian front in two parts in the Sinai Peninsula while they moved on Egyptian soil and destroyed the anti-aircraft defense systems that were placed there. Then both fronts moved decisively for the Israelis to reach the outskirts of both capitals, Cairo and Damascus, when diplomacy led by USSR and USA convinced both sides to halt the war.
Within four years after the armistice, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt came to Israel to deliver an historical speech to the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset. This opened the door to peace talks and Israel finally returned all the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace. In Syria however, the hard-lined policy of President Hafez al-Assad was to not negotiate with Israel, so the Golan Heights were kept as protective buffer by Israel until they were seemlingly annexed, for security reasons, in 1981.
Anwar Sadat was assassinated on 6 October 1981 by islamic militants during the annual commemoration of the crossing of the Egyptian army into the Sinai Peninsula.
The result of Yom Kippur War was another disappointment for the Palestinians. They then increased their attacks on Israel from South Lebanon, opening a de facto war from the Lebanese soil. PLO was then said to have become a state within a state, not having any obedience to Lebanon and carrying their own war against Israel from their Lebanese base. But, by 1975, the tensions were so great between Christian factions and the PLO that a civil war broke out in Lebanon which lasted five years until 1990. Many parts of the country suffered from massacres, perpetrated from one side or another. After this civil war, Lebanon was destroyed and it never fully recovered its past glory of being an Arab beacon in the Mediterranean. In the course of the war, and in order to remove Palestinian militants from their South Lebanon base, Israel invaded Lebanon from March 1978 until the Litani River. The large city of Tyre was however left alone, but surrounded. All Palestinian militants moved north, and the Christian villages of South Lebanon were finally relieved from persecutions at the hand of the Palestinians. A Christian army, the SLA (South Lebanon Army), was supported and trained by the Israelis to take control of South Lebanon.
South Lebanon in 1978
From their HQ in Beirut, the attacks against Israel were planned from the PLO and were pursued after the invasion of South Lebanon, so Israel decided to pursue the military operations north in June 1982 and reached the outskirts of Beirut. The fighting was fierce and also involved some battle between the Israeli forces and the Syrian army which was stationed in parts of Lebanon with the goal to maintain order. The siege on Beirut continued for two months until the PLO and Arafat accepted to leave Lebanon for an asylum in Tunisia. This departure allowed Israel to progressively withdraw its forces from Beirut and pull back to South Lebanon. But the civil war between factions in Lebanon continued to rage. Bachir Gemayel, the Christian leader who was elected president in September 1982 was assassinated by Muslim factions after one week. In retaliation, the Christians carried out a massacre of Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, while the Israeli military thought they went in to find smoe Palestinian fighters hiding in the camps. Israel finally withdrew south to the Litani River in January 1985.
But, from 1985, another Muslim faction started to rise and take over the vaccuum left by the PLO: the Hezbollah, sponsored and supported by both Syria and Iran. To this day, Hezbollah also forms a state in the state in Lebanon, and carry out military actions against Israel, such as firing rockets, from the Lebanese soil which at times leads to escalation into a military conflict (like it happened in 2006), with heavy Lebanese casualties because Hezbollah usually lanuches its rockets from heavily dense urban areas.
On 8 December 1987, after a trivial road accident involving an Israeli truck and a Palestinian car, riots broke out in the Gaza Strip against the Israeli authorities. Demonstrators threw stones to the Israeli vehicles and the unrest spread to the West Bank. Both regions were under Israeli military adminsitration since the Six-Day War and the place where many Palestinian people live in refugees camps after their family had left Israeli territory from 1948. This spontaneous uprising took every side by surprise, including the Palestinian leadership who had not orchestrated it. But they soon grasped the opportunity to benefit from it, and aimed to obtain world recognition for Palestinian rights.
The Intifada lasted until September 1993 when both Palestinians and Israelis entered the negotiation table which led to the Madrid Conference of 1991 and finally the Oslo Accords of 1993.
The logo of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
The principle of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is the concept of land-for-peace. The Oslo Accords called for a progressive withdrawal of Israel from territories occupied since the Six-Day War in exchange for mutual recognition and autonomy, before eventual statehood independence, of Palestinian people. As part of these accords, Israel withdrew from the the city of Gaza at the end of 1995, while keeping a military presence in the Strip until they could build sufficient security protection with the future border..
The situation allowed Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), to return to an autonomous Palestinian city, Gaza, in 1996. He became the politicial leader of the new liberated entity. Arafat was an iconic fighter but he no political leader. His administration was riddled with corruption, accused of using international funds to enrich its leaders, and nothing much was done to improve the life of the Palestinians of Gaza in that time.
When the talks of Camp David of 2000, which were supposed to achieve another milestone in the peace process, failed after Arafat had been proposed serious compromise by Ehud Barak, the Prime Minister of Israel, a second Intifada was orchestrated from September 2000. It lasted until 2005 when Israel withdrew from all the Gaza Strip. Then the Palestinians held their first elections in January 2006.
Following an agreement signed at the end of December 1993 between the Holy See and the State of Israel, Rome and Jerusalem for the first time opened diplomatic relationship in 1994. The reason for not having done so before was caused by a disagreement of the Holy See about taxation of their properties in the Holy Land.
The Hebrew year 5757 was special because of the two only numbers making that year, the numbers 5 and 7, which are both related to divine presence. What happened in that Hebrew year, which started on September 1996. First, less than a month before, a person called Osama Bin Laden entered in the spot of the world media by declaring religious war (Jihad) against America in order to push them out of the two holy Muslim cities (Medica and Mecca). And in September 1996 (Tishri 5757), the Taliban took control over the country Afghanistan making it a defacto base country for militancy and training of terrorists who then operated across the globe. Five years later, Osama Bin Laden, who was based in Afghanistan, hit at the core of America in the infamous September 11, 2001 attacks.
The year 5757 indeed marked a turn into the world situation, as the Muslim radicals movements waged a terrorist war against American and Western interests over the years that followed. The traditional conflicts were overshadowed by this large scale war that was nicknamed War on Terror in September 2011. This situation also fuelled more tension against the State of Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora and, as a result, created a catalyst for Jews to "return to Sion" as they felt undangered and at times unwelcomed to remain in their host country.
And, also in year 5757 AM, Benjamin Netanyahu from the Likud Party became Prime Minister of Israel which signalled the end of the previous Labour Party's failed attempts to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
For all these reasons, the year 5757 AM was indeed special.
 For long time blamed on the Nazis, a more recent investigation demonstrated that the massacre was perpetrated by the Polish civilians; on this topic, you can read the controversial book published in 2001: Gross, Jan Tomasz, "Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland" and watch the Polish movie called Aftermath
[2a] During his trial in Jerusalem in 1961, Eichmann however denied that the Grand Mufti had anything to do with the Final Solution, or knowledge of the concentration camps, in contradiction with other Nazi officials' testimonials made during the Nuremberg Trial of 1947 such as the one from Dieter von Wisliczeny who declared: "The Grand Mufti has repeatdly suggested to the Nazi authorities - including Hitler, von Ribbentrop, and Himmler - the extermination of European Jewry; he considered this a comfortable solution to the Palestine problem." Should we believe witnesses' accounts of the time or the single parole of the very person who architected the extermination of the Jews some 20 years after the meetings in Berlin between the Grand Mufti and the Nazi officials?
[2b] Serbia also asked for his extradition to stand trial there for his personal responsability in the massacre of Serb civilians when he supported Muslim Bosnia
 This version is the one known to Israelis who used the testimonial of the woman who was in the flat at the time of the arrestation; otherwise the British Police who shot Stern stated that he dashed for a window in an attempt to escape and that they also feared he had grenades on him to blow himself up rather than being captured; the British authorities issued a verdict of justifiable homicide to clear the British Police
 Bytwerk, Randall L., Landmark Speeches Of National Socialism. Texas A&M University Press, 2008, p. 91, cited in Wikipedia
 Jordan had the most ready military army, called the Arab Legion, effectively trained by the British Army
[6a] Some of the explanations are derived from the conference in French "Paracha Vayichla’h : Yaakov et Adolf" in the web site www.leava.fr
[6b] See for example article in The Flow of History which states: Germany had been fragmented into as many as 300 separate states ever since the Investiture Struggle in the Middle Ages had wrecked the power of the German emperors.
[6c] According to the Holocaust resource web site of Yad Vashem, the mass extermination of the Jews started with the invasion of Russia in June 1941, and it ended right to the end of WW-II in May 1945, thus five years of mass extermination of Jewish populations
[6d] According to the figures published by Wikipedia, the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust is about 5.9 million (see also the table per country in the next paragraph of this page)
 In the case of Leo Frank, a Jew who was accused of "blood libel", the Johnson family actively pleaded for his defence; the Ku Klux Klan threatened to kill them; Frank was ultimately lynched by a mob in 1915; Lyndon Johnson himself later published in 1934 a work titled "Nazism: An Assault on Civilization" where he denounced the dangers posed by Hitler's ideas
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