I have pointed out in my “six part series” on “Israel’s History, traditions and Ties” the perils, hardships and suffering this nation and it’s people have endured. I have also given recognition to the Jewish people for their contribution to the land, society, culture, religion, and to the world. No nation, nor it’s people, have suffered at the hands of others like Jews and Israeli’s have. All of my love, prayers, hope and respect go out to the Jewish people and the Nation of Israel. They are truly a blessed people. Shalom!
Here is a partial listing of the attacks and wars invoked against Israel. Many of the following events have happened in my life-time. Forgive me, Oh People of Israel, for not having told your story long ago. Shalom!
- 1920-1921 Arab Riots/Terrorism in the early Mandate Period Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini repeatedly fomented riots against Jews.
In the 1920 incidents, six Jews were killed and 200 wounded; in 1921, 43 Jews were killed and 147 wounded. In response, Jews organized defensive forces that would later become the Haganah, the forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
1929 Massacres instigated by Haj Amin al-Husseini Mobs attacked Jews in Jerusalem, Safed, Jaffa and Kfar Darom, a kibbutz in the Gaza Strip. The centuries-old Jewish community of Hebron was destroyed, and 67 Jews were slaughtered. British authorities reported incidents of rape, torture, beheadings of babies and mutilation. British High Commissioner John Chancellor wrote, “I do not think that history records many worse horrors in the last few hundred years. In total, 135 were killed, and 350 were maimed or wounded.
With the support of Nazi Germany, Haj Amin al-Husseini led a three-year rebellion against the British, the Jews and his political opponents to force an end to Jewish immigration and land purchases. An estimated 415 Jews, 200 Britons and 5,000 Arabs were killed.
On May 14, 1948, the British Mandate ended, and the State of Israel was established. Less than 24 hours later, Israel was invaded by the armies of five Arab nations: Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The newly formed Israel Defense Forces (IDF) managed to defeat the invasion in 15 months of war that claimed over 6,000 Israeli lives, roughly 1 percent of the total population.
Arab terrorists (fedayeen) trained and equipped by Egypt, repeatedly attacked Israeli civilians from bases in Lebanon: Gaza and Jordan. One thousand three hundred Israelis were killed or wounded in terrorist attacks.
Egypt increased its Fedayeen attacks, prevented Israeli shipping through the Suez Canal and blockaded the Israeli port of Eilat, violating international law and threatening Israel’s economic survival. With the support of France and Britain, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza. Israel completely withdrew six months later when Egypt assured Israel unimpeded navigation and safety.
The Egyptian-born Yasser Arafat formed Fatah in 1959 to conduct guerrilla warfare operations against Israel. In 1965 Fatah adopted “the entanglement theory,” which presumed that its repeated attacks would force Israel to respond aggressively against the Arab states hosting Arafat’s fighters, thereby escalating the animosity between Israel and her Arab neighbors.
The PLO was formed in Egypt, supported by the Arab League as an umbrella organization for anti-Israel militant groups. In 1968, Arafat’s Fatah joined the PLO and eventually dominated it. Over the decades, the PLO carried out thousands of attacks against Israelis andothers around the world, including the first airplane hijackings.
Israel was forced to defend itself when Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq intensified their terrorist attacks and Egypt illegally blocked Israel’s access to international waters and expelled UN peace-keeping forces. The four Arab countries mobilized more than 250,000 troops, armed with Soviet-supplied tanks and aircraft, on Israel’s borders in preparation for a full-scale invasion. The Iraqi defense minister ordered his troops to “strike the enemy’s civilian settlements, turn them into dust and pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews.”
Shortly after the Six-Day War ceasefire, Egyptian President Gamal Nasser ordered attacks on Israelis in the Sinai. During the three-yearlong conflict, 1,424 Israeli soldiers and more than 100 Israeli civilians were killed.
After 1967, Palestinian terrorists attacked Israelis worldwide. In their most public operation, the group Black September held hostage and murdered 11 members of the Israeli Olympic Team at the 1972 Munich Olympics. It is widely accepted that the terrorists were controlled by Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction of the PLO.
Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against Israel on the holiest day of the Jewish year. Caught unprepared, the IDF nonetheless managed to fend off this assault, cutting off Egyptian forces across the Suez Canal and pushing Syrian troops back from the Golan Heights. While Israel was victorious militarily, the human toll was devastating—2,688 Israeli soldiers were killed in the nearly three weeks of fighting. Egypt claimed to have restored its own honor because of its success in the war’s first 48 hours.
After Jordan expelled the PLO in 1970, it entrenched itself in southern Lebanon. During Lebanon’s ensuing civil war (1975-1990), PLO attacks on northern Israel intensified. Israel entered Lebanon in 1982 to root out the organization. The PLO was forced to relocate to Tunis. In 1985, Israel withdrew to a security zone, approximately four miles wide along the border, and stayed until it unilaterally withdrew in 2000.
The PLO initiated the Intifada (“shaking off”) after false rumors of Israeli atrocities circulated through Palestinian territories. Palestinians claim this was a nonviolent uprising, but it quickly turned violent with 27 Israelis killed and more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and 1,700 Israeli soldiers injured. Almost half (1,000) of the Palestinian casualties were caused by other Palestinians in the “Intifada,” or internal, fighting among Palestinian factions.
When the U.S.-led coalition fought to get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, Hussein attempted to draw Israel into the war and fired 39 Scud missiles into Israel. To avoid disrupting the U.S.-led coalition, Israel did not retaliate.
Eight civilians were killed in a suicide bombing on a bus in central Israel, a tactic that would increasingly be used by radical Islamic terrorist factions all over the world.
A campaign of suicide bombings and terrorist attacks began September 29, 2000 and within five years had left over 1,068 Israelis dead and over 7,000 injured—69 percent of them civilians. Approximately 3,000 Palestinians were also killed in this conflict.
After Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Hamas and other terrorists unleashed a barrage of daily rocket attacks into Israel. The city of Sderot, for example, one mile away from Gaza, was hit by over 360 Qassam rockets within a six-month period after Israel’s withdrawal. In June 2006, terrorists from Gaza tunneled into Israel, killing two soldiers and kidnapping one. Two weeks later, Hezbollah, supported by Iran and Syria, attacked Israel across the internationally recognized Israeli-Lebanese border, killing eight soldiers and kidnapping two, simultaneously launching a barrage of rockets against civilian towns in northern Israel. Israel responded with a military operation that lasted 34 days.