Flag of IsraelToday we continue our series, Final Alignment Of The Nations, with today’s episode being part three. If you are a Bible believing Christian then you, like me, are awaiting the return of Yeshua HaMeshiach, Jesus the Messiah. When that time approaches, Gog of Magog will invade Israel along with his confederation, also known as the Battle of Armageddon. Just prior to this invasion there will need to be a final alignment of the nations as foretold by Daniel, John, and other Biblical prophets. In other words all the involved nations must exist and be politically aligned as dictated by prophecy and God’s sovereign plan. I’m confident we are not at that point yet and Yeshua’s return is not imminent. These days are called HaAcharit HaYamim, The Last Days.

Isaiah 2:2 Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.

In the last episode we reviewed Israel’s Biblical and ancient history. Today we continue with Israel’s modern history and then we will review Israel’s current position in light of prophecy and past. We began with the call of Abraham and ended with the birth of Theodore Herzl, lets pick it up from there. Much of the following information comes from the Jewish Virtual Library.

Israel’s Modern History
1860 – Father of Zionism, Theodore Herzl born

Theodore Herzl 1860-1904

Herzl was impacted by antisemitism he personally experience and also the Dreyfus affair and its blatant antisemitic atmosphere. Despite ridicule from Jewish leaders, Herzl published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, 1896). Herzl argued that the Jewish problem was not individual but national. He believed Jews could gain acceptance in the world only if they ceased being a national anomaly. The Jews are one people, he said, and their plight could be transformed into a positive force by the establishment of a Jewish state. Unfortunately this did not occur until after the Holocaust.

1874 – Chaim Weizmann born in Motol, Russia.

Chaim Weizmann 1874-1952

Weizmann’s scientific assistance to the Allied forces in World War I brought him into close contact with British leaders, enabling him to play a key role in the issuing of the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 1917 ­­ in which Britain committed itself to the establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine. After the end of World War II, Weizmann was instrumental in the adoption of the Partition Plan by the United Nations on November 29, 1947, and in the recognition of Israel by the United States. Weizmann served as the first President of Israel.

1886 – David Ben-Gurion born in Plonsk, Poland.

David Ben-Gurion proclaiming Israel’s independence May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv

Having led the struggle to establish the State of Israel in May 1948, Ben-Gurion became Prime Minister and Defense Minister. In late 1953 Ben-Gurion left the government and retired to Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev. He returned in 1955, assuming the post of Defense Minister and later the premiership leading the country during the 1956 Sinai campaign, in which Israeli forces temporarily secured the Sinai peninsula.

April 20, 1889 – Adolf Hitler is born in Braunau am Inn, Austria, .
1884 – French general staff officer Alfred Dreyfus is sentenced to life on Devil’s Island in the Dreyfus Affair
August 29 1897 – First Jewish Zionist Congress convened by Theodore Herzl in Basel, Switzerland, Zionist Organization Founded

The first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in the concert hall of the Basel Municipal Casino on August 29, 1897.

Herzl had planned to hold the gathering in Munich, but due to local Jewish opposition he transferred the gathering to Basel, Switzerland. The Congress declared of Zionism’s goals as: Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Eretz ­Israel secured under public law. The Congress contemplates the following means to the attainment of this end:

1. The promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Eretz-Israel of Jewish farmers, artisans, and manufacturers.
2. The organization and uniting of the whole of Jewry by means of appropriate institutions, both local and international, in accordance with the laws of each country.
3. The strengthening and fostering of Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness.
4. Preparatory steps toward obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary, in order to reach the goals of Zionism.

1903 – British Government proposes “Uganda Scheme,” rejected by the Sixth Zionist Congress.

At the Sixth Zionist Congress at Basel on August 26, 1903, Herzl proposed the British Uganda Program as a temporary refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. Three days later the British government released an official document allocating a “Jewish territory” in East Africa “on conditions which will enable members to observe their national customs.” The Uganda Program was finally rejected by the Zionist movement at the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905

Declaration of the British Government allocating a “Jewish Territory” in East Africa (August 29, 1903)

1903-1907 – 500,000 Jews flee Russia, 90% go to the United States.
1909 –  First kibbutz, Degania, founded.

View of Degania Alef, 1931

1909 – Founding of Tel Aviv as Hebrew speaking Jewish city.

Tel Aviv 2016

1914-1917 – World War I
1914 – The Ottoman empire enters the war on the side of Germany.
1916 – Louis D. Brandeis is nominated to the Supreme Court by Woodrow Wilson.

At the time of his nomination, the Senate had never before held a public hearing on a President’s Supreme Court Nominee; they had all been confirmed on the day of their nomination. However, it took four months of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings until the Senate brought the nomination of Brandeis to a vote. Brandeis was confirmed as the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice in a Senate vote of 47 – 22 on June 1, 1916.

1917 – Four-hundred years of Ottoman rule ended by British conquest
1917 – The Balfour Declaration favors Jewish Palestinian State.

The British government decided to endorse the establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine. After discussions within the cabinet and consultations with Jewish leaders, the decision was made public in a letter from British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild. The contents of this letter became known as the Balfour Declaration.

Balfour Declaration November 2, 1917

This is the 100 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. The Palestinians has labeled it a crime and demanded the UK apologize, which they refuse to do.

We won’t apologize for Balfour Declaration, UK tells Palestinians

Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the UK, has stated that unless Britain apologized, canceled planned celebrations and recognized a Palestinian state, the Palestinians would go ahead with plans for a lawsuit against the British government for issuing the Balfour Declaration.

1917 – Russian Revolution breaks out.

Heavy fighting in the South and West, where over 3 million Jews live. Over 2000 pogroms took place, claiming the lives of up to 200,000 Jews in the next three years.

1917 – Ottoman forces surrender in Jerusalem to Allied Forces under General Sir Edmund Allenby.
1920 –  Mandate for the Land of Israel given over to Britain on the condition that the Balfour Declaration be implemented, San Remo Conference.

In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Great Britain with the Mandate for Palestine. Recognizing “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine,” Great Britain was called upon to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine-Eretz Israel (Land of Israel). Shortly afterwards, in September 1922, the League of Nations and Great Britain decided that the provisions for setting up a Jewish national home would not apply to the area east of the Jordan River, which constituted three-fourths of the territory included in the Mandate and which eventually became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Mandatory government did not succeed in maintaining the letter and spirit of the Mandate. Under Arab pressure, it withdrew from its commitment, especially with respect to immigration and land acquisition. The White Papers of 1930 and 1939 restricted immigration and acquisition of land by Jews.

1921 – U.S. immigration laws “reformed” to effectively exclude Eastern European Jews and other immigrants. Further restrictions imposed in 1924.
1922 – Transjordan set up on three-fourths of the British mandate area, forbidding Jewish immigration, leaving one-fourth for the Jewish national home.
1922 – The United States Congress and President Harding approve the Balfour Declaration.
1922 – First British census of Palestine shows total population 757,182 (11% Jewish).
1929 – 2,000 Arabs attack Jews praying at the Kotel on the 9th of Av. Arabs view British refusal to condemn the attacks as support.
1931 – Etzel (the Irgun), Jewish underground organization, founded.

Armed Jewish underground organization founded of Haganah commanders, who left the Haganah in protest against its defense charter. In April 1937, during the Arab riots, the organization split—about half its members returned to the Haganah. The rest formed a new Irgun Zeva’i Le’umi (abbr. Etzel), which was ideologically linked with the Revisionist Movement and accepted the authority of its leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky. Etzel rejected the “restraint” policy of the Haganah and carried out armed reprisals against Arabs, which were condemned by the Jewish Agency. Many of its members were arrested by the British authorities; one of them, Shlomo Ben Yosef, was hanged for shooting an Arab bus. After the publication of the White Paper in May 1939, Etzel directed its activities against the British Mandatory authorities.

From 1943 Etzel was headed by Menachem Begin. In February 1944, Etzel declared war against the British administration. It attacked and blew up government offices, military installations and police stations. Most notable was bombing of The King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Monday, July 22, 1946. Their target was the British administrative headquarters for Palestine, which was housed in the southern wing, 91 people of various nationalities were killed and 46 injured.

In April 1947, four members of the organization were hanged in Acre prison. In May 1947, Etzel broke into the fortress at Acre and freed 41 prisoners. In July 1947, when 3 other Etzel members were executed, the I.Z.L. hanged two British sergeants.

After the Declaration of Independence, the Etzel high command offered to disband the organization and integrate its members into the army of the new Jewish state. Full integration was achieved in September 1948.

The 1960 movie Exodus, staring Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint,  is a 1960 epic film on the founding of the modern State of Israel. The film includes much about the Irgun and covers the Bombing of the King David. However, as far as the Exodus is concerned it was not allowed to port in Israel, in reality the British army boarded, killed three people, loaded the passengers on to prison ships and took them back to Hamburg.

1930 – Second British census of Palestine shows total population of 1,035,154 (16.9% Jewish).
1934 – American Jews cheer Detroit Tigers’ Hank Greenberg when he refuses to play ball on Yom Kippur.

In 1938, with five games left to the season, Greenberg’s 58 home runs are two shy of Babe Ruth’s record. When several pitchers walk him rather than giving him a shot at the record, many believe major league baseball did not want a Jew to claim that place in America’s national sport.

1939-1945 – German Holocaust against the Jews
1940 – Nazis establish ghettos in Poland

Ghettos were enclosed districts of a city in which the Germans forced the Jewish population to live under miserable conditions. Ghettos isolated Jews by separating Jewish communities both from the population as a whole and from neighboring Jewish communities. The Warsaw ghetto, established on October 12, 1940, was the largest ghetto, in both area and population. There, more than 350,000 Jews–about 30 percent of the city’s population–were eventually confined in about 2.4 percent of the city’s total area.

June 14, 1940 – The first train of prisoners arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Only 20 people of these initial 700+ were Jewish
1942 – Nazi leaders refine the “Final Solution” — genocide of the Jewish people — at Wannsee Conference
July 22, 1946 – The west wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem is bombed

King David Hotel 1946

The King David which housed British Military Headquarters and other governmental offices was destroyed by explosives planted by members of the Irgun. The casualties were 76 persons killed, 46 injured and 29 still missing in the rubble. The dead included many British, Arabs and Jews.

April 23, 1947 – The British First Lord of the Admiralty, Viscount Hall

He blamed contributions from American Jews to the Jewish Palestinians as aiding the underground groups there and cited the toll since August 1, 1945: 113 killed, 249 wounded, 168 Jews convicted, 28 sentenced to death, four executed, 33 slain in battles. Viscount Samuel urged increased immigration.

May 4, 1947 – The walls of Acre prison were blasted open by an Irgun bomb squad

251 Jewish and Arab prisoners escaped after a gun battle in which 15 Jews and 1 Arab were killed, 32 (including six British guards) were injured and 23 escapists were recaptured. The Palestine Government promised no extra punishment if the 189 escapees still at large will surrender.

June 4, 1947 – The Stern Gang sent letter bombs to high British governmental officials

Eight letter bombs containing powdered explosives were discovered in London. Recipients included Ernest Bevin, Anthony Eden, Prime Minister Attlee and Winston Churchill.

July 18, 1947 – Steamer Exodus repelled by forces from shores of Palestine

The Exodus 1947 ship carrying 4,500 Jewish refugees sails for British-administered Palestine from southern France, despite British restrictions on Jewish immigration. The British intercept the ship and force it to proceed to Haifa in Palestine and then the French port of Port-de-Bouc, where it lay anchor for more than a month. Ultimately, the British take the refugees from the Exodus 1947 to Hamburg, Germany, and forcibly return them to DP camps. The fate of the Exodus 1947 dramatized the plight of Holocaust survivors in the DP camps and increased international pressure on Great Britain to allow free Jewish immigration to Palestine. The American captain, Bernard Marks, and his crew were arrested. Washington D.C. Secretary of State George C. Marshall disclosed that the US had urged Britain to reconsider sending the “Exodus” group to Germany, but Britain replied that there were no facilities for housing them elsewhere because the French did not want them and there were a number of vacant detention camps in Germany.

November 29, 1947 – UN Partition Plan Resolution 181

As the postwar Jewish refugee crisis escalates and relations between Jews and Arabs deteriorate, the British government decides to submit the status of Palestine to the United Nations. In a special session on this date, the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into two new states, one Jewish and the other Arab. The decision was accepted by the Jewish leadership but rejected by the Arab leadership. UN approves partition plan by a vote of 33-13 with 10 abstentions to create a Jewish and Arab state.

UN Resolution 181 Partition Map

Dec. 13, 1947 -Bombings by the Irgun killed at least 16 Arabs and injured 67 more

In Jaffa the Irgun burned down a hundred Arab houses. In Syria, an anti-Jewish attack in retaliation for the Irgun actions burned down a 2,750-year old synagogue in Aleppo and destroyed the priceless Ben-Asher Codex, a 10th century Hebrew Bible of original Old Testament manuscripts.

January 25, 1948 – Following the deaths of ten Jews and two Arabs in a battle outside Jerusalem

British authorities stated that 721 Arabs, 408 Jews, 19 civilians and 12 British policemen (a total of 1,160) had been killed in an eight-week period and that 1,171 Arabs, 749 Jews, 13 civilians and 37 British officers had been wounded.

May 14 1948 – Declaration of Independence by the State of Israel

David Ben-Gurion announces the establishment of the State of Israel in Tel Aviv and declares that Jewish immigration into the new state would be unrestricted. Between 1948 and 1951, almost 700,000 Jews immigrate to Israel. President Harry S. Truman recognizes the State of Israel within its first hour of existence. Arab armies invade Israel.

We will stop here and complete the history of Israel next time, after which we will examine prophecies fulfilled. Till next time God bless.