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David Ben-Gurion, head of the Jewish Agency declared the State of Israel to be established on May 14, 1948. The new state was recognized by the U.S. and large amounts of Jews started migrating to Israel from the Muslim Countries and Europe. Today, 42% of the world’s Jewish population live in Israel. The local Arabs however did not agree with these developments and refused to recognize the State of Israel. Although an armistice was signed in 1949, Arab-Israeli conflicts have not stopped.

Announcement of the State of Israel

Britain had a colonial mandate over what was then Palestine, up until May 1948 and was against creating a Jewish state as well as the immigration of an unlimited amount of Jewish refugees to the area. Britain knew that it would cause conflict with the Arabs and wanted to maintain good relations with them, who also considered the area to be their Holy Land. The UN appointed a special commission to decide on what was to happen with Palestine once the British mandate runs out. This commission decided that the area had to be split into an Arab and a Jewish state and that Jerusalem was to be controlled by the UN. When Ben-Gurion announced the State of Israel in 1917, both the U.S. and the Soviet Union recognized this new state, but the members of the Arab League, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Transjordan and Syria refused and marched their forces to the area. The UN tried to intervene with an arms embargo, which Czechoslovakia violated by supplying the Jews with military equipment. In the end, the Israeli forces managed to push the Arab powers back, conquering extra territory and forcing the Arabs to negotiate an armistice in 1949.

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