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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach



The early history in a nutshell

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃

When G-d began to create heaven and earth[1]

The Torah is essentially a book that teaches us G-d’s commandments. It would have been logical to begin with a commandment such as “believe in G-d” and then proceed. However, it begins with this verse because of [the verse] “The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations” (Ps. 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, “You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],” they will reply, “The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.[2]

From the first verse, everyone can see how history unfolds – in his relationship to G-d[3]; we read about Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham.

And G-d said to Abraham:

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר ד’ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃

G-d said to Abram, “Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.[4]

Abraham went and came into the land (Israel) and G-d said to him:

וַיֵּרָ֤א ד’ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לְזַ֨רְעֲךָ֔ אֶתֵּ֖ן אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֑את וַיִּ֤בֶן שָׁם֙ מִזְבֵּ֔חַ לַיהֹוָ֖ה הַנִּרְאֶ֥ה אֵלָֽיו׃

G-d appeared to Abram and said, “I will assign this land to your offspring.” And he built an altar there to G-d who had appeared to him.[5]

But first, Abraham’s descendants would descend into Egypt, where they would be delivered by G-d’s powerful arm on the 15 day of the Jewish month Nissan in 1313 BCE. It had grown into a country there, a nation that would enter the promised land led by Moses and subsequently Joshua. In the land, the people were initially led by Judges, about whom we can read in the book of Judges in Tanach.  The first king of Israel was Saul, who was succeeded by King David and his son Solomon, under whom the country would prosper.

However, the land was invaded by the Babylonians, and a considerable portion of the population was carried to Babylon and lived there for many years before returning under Sheshbazzar’s leadership. According to the scriptures of Ezra and Nehemiah, approximately 50,000 Jews returned. The Babylonians also reconstructed the Temple, which had been devastated.

But there would be no calm in the country since the Persians would arrive after the Babylonians, followed by the Greeks and ultimately the Romans. Under Herod the Great’s administration, the Romans conquered Israel in 64 CE. Titus crushed the insurrection against Roman control in the year 68, and in 70 AD he seized Jerusalem and demolished the Holy Temple on Tisha Be’Av (the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av). A group of Joden had dispersed on the mountaintop, which we now know as Masada, which held out until it was defeated in 73 AD.

Most Jews ended up in the diaspora, while a tiny handful of Jews remained in Israel, doing their utmost to maintain Jewish life. Among them was Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, a priestly descendant who served as deputy head of the Sanhedrin prior to the fall of Jerusalem. Emperor Vespasian granted him permission to live at Jabneh (today’s Yaffo near Tel Aviv). Many sages rallied around him, and the Sanhedrin was carried on by them. The Sanhedrin suggested several rules of living in order to preserve Jewish identity in the Diaspora, and it was from this that the new moon and festivals were determined.

After the fall of Rome, the Christian Byzantine Empire ruled over the territory of Israel from 337 until 636. Caliph Omar ibn-al-Khattib conquered the Byzantines from 638 to 1099, bringing the country of Israel under Islamic authority. Caliph Abd el-Malik then took control of Jerusalem. He wanted to make his territory a pilgrimage site, so he began construction on the Dome of the Rock in 692, on the foundations of the Second Jewish Temple.

It would be too long for this site to delve into detail about the countless crusades, programs, humiliations, and sorrow that the Jewish people had to endure in the Christian and Islamic worlds.

Return to the land of Israel

Over the years, there have always been attempts to return to the Land of Israel, and a tiny group of Jews have always remained in the Land of Israel. In the mid-nineteenth century, a small number of Jews returned to Israel and lived in Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed, among other places. The majority of the people in Jerusalem are most likely Jewish.

The entire population of Israel, on the other hand, is modest. In 1867, American journalist Mark Twain visited the country. He describes it as follows:

He was, unimpressed by the country. It was a dusty, desert-like landscape with the occasional olive tree and cactus. The settlements there are described as small and rudimentary by him. He stated:

 “Palestine[6] is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition – it is dreamland.”[7]

The country was still under Ottoman administration at the time of Mark Twain’s journey to Israel, but this would change. The Ottoman Empire was partitioned (secretly) between France and Great Britain in May 1916, with England taking over control of Israel. In October 1917, the English general Edmond Allenby entered Jerusalem, and the city came under British control.[8] This led to the important “Balfour Declaration” on November 2, 1917. As a result of this statement, an immigration wave (the third Aliyah[9]) of around 37,000 (more educated) Jews returned to their homeland. The obvious improvement in living conditions in Israel attracts a large number of Arabs from all nearby nations, who frequently cross the British border illegally.

Balfour Declaration – 1917

November 2, 1917, statement of British support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” It was made in a letter from Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary, to Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild (of Tring), a leader of the Anglo-Jewish community.

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.


Arthur James Balfour[10]

The Faisal Agreement 1921

This declaration has sparked widespread outrage, particularly in the Arab world. It immediately becomes evident to world leaders that they must devise a strategy that would satisfy everyone.

The League of Nations agreed on April 24, 1920, during the Conference of San Remo, two “A” mandates were created out of the old Ottoman province of Syria: the northern half (Syria and Lebanon) was mandated to France, the southern half (Palestine) to Great Britain.[11]

A year later, on March 1, 1921, Palestine (consisting of modern-day Israel and Jordan) was divided in two. According to the Faisal Agreement, the Jordan River will become the natural border between Arab-Palestinian territory and Israeli-Jewish territory.

The formation of Jordan means that 77% of the whole region that was under British control is now Arab/Palestinian territory. This area is instantly proclaimed Jewish-only. On July 24, 1922, 52 League of Nations member countries approved this mandate.

A safety plot of land in an anti-Semitic world appears to be certain, but nothing could be further from the reality.[12]

The Mandate Area contained the later division into an Arab and Jewish state. The Arab state is today’s Jordan.

The Second World War

Many Jews sought refuge in Israel, particularly before the onset of World War II. Most Arabs, however, did not want to live in a future Jewish state. Under the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini (a friend of Hitler –  יִמַּח שְׁמוֹ, may his name be erased’)[13], anti-Jewish riots were common, such as the August 24, 1929, massacre at Hebron[14], in which 67 Jews were slaughtered by Arabs. Despite Winston Churchill warning the British government about Germany’s anti-Jewish measures, Prime Minister Chamberlain determined that only very limited Jewish immigration would be permitted. Only 15,000 Jews are permitted to enter Jewish Palestine in the coming 5 years and be doing so bringing the Jewish population to around one-third of the total in five years, after which further immigration would require Arab consent. This judgment is documented in the so-called “White Paper” dated 1939.[15]

How many Jewish lives could the British Kingdom have saved if this rule had not been implemented? After all, we’ve all heard the terrible stories about the concentration camps, which are now the fate of many Jews. But, the British government caved into Arab extremists because they were concerned about Arab unrest and the flow of oil from the oil states.

After the Second World War

The 6 Aliyah consists of Jews who survived the war and the camps. The British severely restricted Jewish immigration into the country. Arabs frequently attack Jews in the country. The situation for Jews is horrible and desperate. On November 29, 1947, there was a vote in the United Nations to adopt a plan to partition the British Mandate into two states, one Jewish, and one Arab. It recognized the right of the Jews of their own state.  

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations adopted Resolution 181, with 33 countries voting in favor, 13 voting against, and 10 abstaining. The historic vote was followed with unprecedented zeal on radio by Jews all over the world.

However, the local Arab populace and Arab States firmly rejected this decision. Denying the Jewish people’s right to their own state, Arab governments openly announced their desire to use all measures to block the establishment of a Jewish state. The Jewish population was subjected to a wave of violent attacks, and when Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, five Arab armies invaded the nascent state the same night, seeking its extermination.

Meanwhile, around 800,000 Jews were evacuated from Arab countries and found sanctuary and a new home in the resurrected State of Israel, which was established on May 14, 1948.[16]

The 1947 UN partition plan.

The State of Israel – 1948 – Independent War

Arab officials are enraged and have called on Arab citizens to flee their houses to attack Israel. Golda Meir and the Jewish leaders asked the Arabs to stay and work on the new state with them. This is ignored, and the Palestinian refugee crisis is born.

Seven Arab countries have launched an attack against Israel. Egypt has been vanquished; only the Gaza Strip is now under Egyptian control. The boundary with Lebanon stays as agreed upon internationally. Jordan and Israel reached an agreement in which Jerusalem stayed divided and Samaria and Judea remained under Jordanian rule, even though this territory belonged to Israel. Syria has also agreed to a cease-fire, with the Golan Heights remaining in Syrian hands.[17]

The Six-Day War – 1967

For the first time, PLO Chairman Arafat referred to the ‘Palestinian People’ in 1967. Previously, this group was referred to as Arab refugees. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq marched against Israel again this year. Defeating these armies appears to be an impossible undertaking, but the Israeli soldier’s triumph. Egypt has lost control of the Sinai Peninsula, as well as the Gaza Strip. In exchange for peace, Israel will return the Sinai to Egypt in 1979. The Golan Heights were retaken from Syria, while Judea and Samaria, as planned in the original division, returned to Jewish authority.[18]

The Palestinian State – 1988

This year, Yasser Arafat declared the Palestinian state, and the first intifada (popular revolt) began. Years of war would follow. Relations between the Arab Republic of Iraq and the State of Palestine have historically been close, with the Palestinian Liberation Organization supported by the Ba’athist Iraqi regime during the second half of the 20th century, and vice versa, Iraqi Ba’athist regime supported by PLO leadership during the Gulf War.[19] In this war, Israel was being shelled with Scud missiles.

The Oslo Accords – 1993

The Oslo Accords are a set of agreements between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel that were intended to be the first steps toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by establishing Palestinian self-government under a specific Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The accords did not promise an independent Palestinian state.[20] Despite this agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and Arafat, Arafat continued his military campaign and suicide bombs occurred at bus stops, restaurants, and entertainment sites in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.

Peace negotiations in Taba – 2001[21]

Because the conflict is still ongoing, the Israeli leadership wishes to make earlier concessions to Arafat. Peace talks began in Taba, Egypt, on January 21, 2001, with Arafat being offered 92% of the West Bank, and 100% of the Gaza Strip, with some territorial compensation for the Palestinians from pre-1967 Israeli territory, but he refused.[22]

The Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip has never had an autonomous Palestinian state. It was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, then by England from 1922 to 1948, and then by Egypt from 1948 to 1967. The Israeli government opted to withdraw from the Gaza Strip in 2003, influenced by foreign pressure. This would have two benefits, among others: it would give Palestinians self-government, which would ideally improve relations between the two groups, and it would remove the need to guard Jews living in the Gaza Strip, which was becoming increasingly difficult. However, the desired and hoped-for peace did not come to pass. There were elections, and the Palestinians elected Hamas. A terrorist organization with the goal of killing or expelling all Jews from Israel. We witnessed what they are capable of on October 7, 2023. Instead of using the billions of dollars sent into Gaza by the UN and others to better their own living conditions, they are utilized to dig tunnels and buy weapons. Hamas’ command and control centers are in schools and hospitals to make it as difficult as possible to destroy them without incurring civilian casualties.[23]

By Angelique Sijbolts


The Biggest Lie in the Palestine vs. Israel Debate | With PM-Elect Benjamin Netanyahu by Jordan B Peterson Clips

[1] Genesis 1:1
[2] Rashi on Genesis 1:1
[3] The Tanakh is not a history book, as some believe, but it does depict G-d’s connection with His creation, humanity, and, most importantly, His people, the Jewish people.
[4] Genesis 12:1
[5] Genesis 12:7
[6] The word Palestine derives from Philistia, the name given by Greek writers to the land of the Philistines, who in the 12th century BCE occupied a small pocket of land on the southern coast, between modern Tel Aviv–Yafo and Gaza. The name was revived by the Romans in the 2nd century CE in “Syria Palaestina,” designating the southern portion of the province of Syria, and made its way thence into Arabic, where it has been used to describe the region at least since the early Islamic era. After Roman times the name had no official status until after World War I and the end of rule by the Ottoman Empire, when it was adopted for one of the regions mandated to Great Britain; in addition to an area roughly comprising present-day Israel and the West Bank, the mandate included the territory east of the Jordan River now constituting the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan, which Britain placed under an administration separate from that of Palestine immediately after receiving the mandate for the territory. – Source: Palestine written by: K.M. Kenyon, W.F. Albright, and W.A. Khalidi.
[7] Mark Twain in Palestine – “A Hopeless, Dreary, Heart-Broken Land”
[8] Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby
[9] 1 Aliyah – 1881 – 1903: these were mainly farmers from Eastern Europe and Yemen. They settled in Rish Pina, Rishon LeZion, and Petach Tikva, among others.
2 Aliyah – 1904-1914: these were mainly Jews from Russia and Poland. They founded the first kibbutz in Degania in 1909 and in 1909 they started founding the City of Tel Aviv.
3 Aliya – 1914-1918: see the text above
4 Aliya – 1924-1929: these were mainly Jews from Russia, Poland, Lithuania and Romania
5 Aliya – 1929 – W.O-II: Jews from all over Europe flee from the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1933
[10] Balfour Declaration: Text of the Declaration
[11] Conference of San Remo
[12] World War I and after
[13] Full official record: What the mufti said to Hitler
[14] The Hebron Massacre
[15] British White Paper of 1939 on Palestine (MacDonald White Paper)
[16] 1947: The international community says YES to the establishment of the State of Israel
[17] Israel’s War of Independence (1947-1949)
[18]  The Six-Day War: Background & Overview
[19] Iraq–Palestine relations
[20] Oslo Accords
[21] Taba Peace Talks
[22] Arafat didn’t negotiate – he just kept saying no – by Benny Morris

Other Used Sources:
Eerherstel voor Israel geschreven door Saecko TjepkemaEncyclopedie van de Joodse Geschiedenis – uitgeversmaatschappij J.H. Kok – Kampen en uitgeverij Brepols – Turnhout 1989
Images reproduced with permission

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