It is the year 1948. Jewish leader David Bengurian proclaimed Israel, a new homeland for Jews in Palestine among Arab Muslims across the Mediterranean. Since then, Israel has fought 7 wars in 75 years to save its existence.
However, the Palestine land on which Israel was created was not the first choice of Jewish leaders to create the country. It is the year 1894, a Jewish soldier in France was accused of betraying the country. The name of this soldier was Alfred Dreyfus. In October 1894, the French intelligence agency Deuxiem Bureau found a letter in a dustbin outside the German Embassy in Paris. As soon as this letter was received, Dreyfus was arrested.
In fact, in the letter received from outside the embassy, information about many secret documents was mentioned. It was believed that through this, secret information about France was being given to Germany. The investigators’ suspicion first fell on Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish soldier who worked in artillery. The only reason to suspect him was that the handwriting of the letter found in the dustbin matched Dreyfus’s handwriting. Apart from this, the French army had no other evidence. The only reason for his arrest was that Dreyfus was Jewish.
At that time the pages of French newspapers were full of hatred against the Jews. He was viewed with suspicion. Despite being a prosperous community in Europe, they were hated. After Dreyfus’s arrest he was court-martialed. He was given life imprisonment. However, only after 2 years, French Army Colonel George Picart got some evidence, which showed that the real culprit was not Dreyfus but French Army Major Ferdinand Valsin. Despite knowing the truth, officers holding high positions in the army tried to suppress the matter.
Ferdinand Valsin was acquitted within two days. However, a journalist named Émile Zola spoke out for Dreyfus. Pressure was put on the government and Dreyfus’s trial resumed in 1899 and he was declared innocent.
Ferdinand Valsin was acquitted within two days. However, pressure built on the government and Dreyfus’s trial resumed in 1899 and he was declared innocent. During this period, riots took place in many places in France against the Jews. The society divided into two groups. One was those who supported Dreyfus and the other were those who hated the Jews.
Search for separate country amidst hatred of Jews in Europe
After the Dreyfus Case in 1896, Zionist leaders had assumed that it would be difficult for Jews to live in Europe. Zionists were those leaders who demanded a separate homeland for the Jews. Theodore Herzel is considered the father of the Zionist movement. He belonged to a rich family of Germany. However, even wealth could not save him from the hatred he faced because he was a Jew.
After the Dreyfus case, in 1903, there was once again a crisis for the Jews in Europe. On Easter day, 49 Jews were murdered in Kishinev, Moldova. Women were raped. This event forced Jews throughout Europe to wonder whether they should stay there. The Zionist leader held his sixth meeting after the heartbreaking incident in Moldova. During this time he asked other Jewish leaders – Why don’t we establish a country for ourselves in East Africa.
In fact, even before this meeting, Herzel had made a deal with the British Empire. Under this, the idea of creating a country for Jews in Uganda was approved. Herzel said that until the right conditions were created for the Jews to establish their own country in Palestine, they would settle in Uganda, so that more of their people in Europe would not be killed while waiting for Palestine.
This proposal of Herzel was approved by the Zionist Party. 295 leaders of the Zionist Congress approved that Uganda could be settled. However, there were 178 Jews in Congress who did not agree to this proposal. He even called Herzel a traitor. Before the resolution could be passed, a delegation from East Africa declared that Uganda was not a suitable place for Jews to live.
The story of finally becoming Israel in Palestine
It is the year 1917. Britain promised to create a homeland for the Jews by dividing Palestine through an agreement called the ‘Balfour Declaration’. The people of Palestine strongly opposed this promise of Britain.
This was the time when the Jews were demanding a separate country for themselves. Only after this declaration, Jews from different countries came to Palestine and started settling in Jerusalem and its surrounding areas. Actually, people of Jewish religion believe that the holy temple of the Jews ‘The Holy of Holies’ used to be at this place.
Even today the ‘Wall of the Mount’ present there is a part of the same temple. Therefore Jews consider this place as their homeland. Jerusalem and its surrounding cities were repeatedly attacked and destroyed by the Ottomans, the Roman Empire, and beyond.
When Jews from all over the world started coming and settling here, a movement against them started in Palestine in 1939. The British government crushed this movement of the Palestinian people with full force. Now the people of Palestine were fighting both the British and the Jews. At the same time, Hitler and his Nazi army were massacring the Jews in Europe.
Due to this, the need for a country for the Jews settled in different countries of Europe increased. According to the New Yorker report, in such a situation, Europe put the responsibility of settling the Jews on Palestine. By 1945, the conflict between Jews and Palestinians increased significantly.
Fighting broke out daily between Palestinians and Jews in Jerusalem and its surrounding areas. In view of the violence taking place in Palestine, Britain sent this matter to the United Nations. After this, the United Nations decided to divide Palestine into two countries to stop this fighting.
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations took this decision through resolution number 181. Under this proposal, it was decided to keep Jerusalem under international control under the United Nations. In 1947, the UN released a map of Palestine and Israel, which you can see below.
In early 1948, Jews occupied many villages in Palestine. After this, finally on 14 May 1948, the new country Israel was formed. Historian Benny Morris writes in his book ‘The Birth of the Revised Palestinian Refugee Problem’ that after this partition, more than 7 lakh Palestinians were forced to leave their homes.
These people had their country snatched away. Many of these people had locked their homes and said that they would return here once everything becomes good again. However, this did not happen.