Why was Israel created?
January 30, 2016 7:51PM
Jewish people had been migrating around for thousands of years without a homeland. Also, many people did not like the Jews being in their country (the most famous example being Hitler's Holocaust). Anti-Semitism was also very high during that time.
People felt pity on the Jews after the Holocaust.
Additionally, the Zionist movement lead by Theodor Herzl was able to establish a Jewish homeland, Israel.
The hatred for the Jews kept them from living decent lives in Christian Europe and the Islamic world (Ottoman Empire then) with thousands being killed for their religion throughout the Middle Ages in Europe. Antisemitism has come to a peak with The Holocaust, an ongoing mass genocide committed by Nazi Germany on the Jews of all Europe, with 6 million of them being murdered. It was clear that the solution is the Jews having their own state, and as a big community of Jews has grown in Israel those days, the U.N decided to allow the Jews a home in a portion of this country. (It was the only logical place for a Jewish nation to be founded as a Jewish community was in the place, it is the homeland of the Jews and the majority of the place wasn't populated.)
The idea of Israel and the founding of a country for the Jewish people is said to have been the idea of Theodor Herzl, as an answer to the problems of the Jews living in foreign lands, in Europe and in the ottoman empire. The Jews were not granted equal citizen rights in these foreign lands, and in christian Europe, were often persecuted for their religion and their ancestors' connection with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Antisemitism saw a significant rise in Europe in the late 19th century and on, coming to a peak in Nazi Germany and The Holocaust, in which about 6 million Jews were killed in an ongoing mass genocide committed by the Germans and partly by ally countries. After these horrific events, Jews were living in refugee camps in Europe, in terrible conditions, and even then, were killed by the hundreds for being Jewish in eastern Europe.
It was then, that the world has understood that the Jews must have their own state, protected by their own army, safe from persecution and having full citizen rights.
At the time, Jews that has left Europe in the early 20th century to follow the idea of Zionism (A modern state for the Jews) has established a flourishing community in Israel, alongside the Arabs in the place. Seeing Israel, and this community, as the only realistic place for the founding of this new state, the U.N. has decided Israel (or Palestine then) was to be divided between the Arabs and the Jews. The Arabs did not accept the decision and went to war for the land, but The Jews won the war, and declared an Independent Jewish Nation State - Israel.
January 30, 2016 1:52AM
There are two operative parts to that question. There is the
implicit question as to whether a Jewish State is something that
should exist. There is the explicit question as to whether the
geographical location chosen for this Jewish State is proper for
1) Why a Jewish State: Herzl explained quite well that the European concept of a nation-state was dependent on the idea that all of the people in any particular nation were of the same ethnic stock and heritage. Jews were branded by this system to be "the Other" and were regarded at best as possible equals and at worse as traitors, spies, thieves, and fifth columns. When the Dreyfus Affair turned out marches in Paris that said "Death to the Jews" on account of a kangaroo court against a particular guiltless Jew, it became clear that the Jew could not be integrated into Europe. After the Holocaust, the strongest proof that the Jew and the European Nation-State were irreconcilable, this view of denigrating "the Other" persists. In Europe, it is now directed at the Muslims since the Jews are not large enough of a threat to the European System. Unlike Muslims, though, which can return to their countries of origin if the discrimination becomes intolerable, the Jews did not have such a place. This is why the Jewish State is necessary. Since it came into existence it has accepted Jewish political refugees from over 50 nations and flown missions at its own expense to rescue Jews from at least 10 nations.
2) Why the Land of Israel: Ahad Ha'am explains that the Jewish Soul is intrinsically connected to his history and in the same way that a German-American can never be as properly German as a German in Germany, the People of Israel can never be as properly Jewish if they are not in the Land of Israel. The relics in that land speak to a Jewish sensibility and character. There are also religious reasons as expounded by Rav Avraham Kook which posit that the development of a Jewish State in Israel hastens the arrival of the Messiah. There are additional political reasons why the Land of Israel and not Europe. As explained above, the European Culture is strongly anti-Other and making a Jewish State there would have fostered much more contempt and alienation (ironically).