7 Iyyar 577822 Days of the Omer
History keeps repeating itself - over and over again. Pharaoh let us go and then promptly changed his mind and set off after us to bring us back to Egypt. King Cyrus let us leave the Babylonian Exile to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple and then changed his mind and stopped the construction.
Even in modern times, we see the same pattern. Despite the common misconception that the nations "gave" us Eretz Yisrael out of guilt over the Holocaust, in fact, they made that decision some 25 years earlier.
Jews had been returning and settling the land in earnest since the first group of the Vilna Gaon's students arrived in 1809. The aims of the Zionist movement reached the high levels of leadership in the British government which merited to liberate the Holy Land from the Turks in 1917. No sooner had they taken control than they issued "The Balfour Declaration" supporting "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." In 1918, Britain was joined in this endeavor by France, Italy and the United States.
On 5th Iyar 5680 (April 23, 1920), the heads of the Allied Powers who had won the First World War - led by Britain, France and Italy - met in San Remo for an international convention, the purpose of which was to re-organize the world after the war.
The convention adopted the Balfour Declaration and gave it international validity, "recognition of the historic right of the Jewish people to return to their ancient homeland." Britain received the mandate over Eretz Yisrael, which meant taking responsibility for helping the Jewish people establish their national home in accordance with the Balfour Declaration.
The San Remo Conference also stated that the national home of the Jewish people would stretch over all of Eretz Yisrael on both sides of the Jordan River.*
Led by Haj Amin el-Husseini, the resident Arabs made their disapproval of these developments known through attacks on Jews. True to current form, the terror was rewarded with an immediate capitulation by Britain when they decided to divide the land between the Jews and the Arabs, lopping off the major portion east of the Jordan River, calling it Trans-Jordan and installing King Abdullah.
On 23 Elul 5682 (September 16, 1922), the League of Nations (precursor to the UN) approved the decision while upholding "the historic right of the Jewish people to return and establish their national home in their ancient homeland."
Despite the nations attempts at appeasement and generosity at our expense, Arab opposition continued to be expressed through waves of murder and mayhem across the country. The result was even bigger rewards to the Arabs: severe restrictions on Jewish aliyah and settlement just when Europe was beginning to simmer below the surface.
It reached its culmination on 28 Iyar 5699 (May 17, 1939), just three and a half months before the outbreak of WWII, when the British rescinded the Balfour Declaration and began to prohibit Jewish aliyah. This is when the Jews of Eretz Yisrael rebelled against British rule. And the situation did not improve after the war.
The British abuse of Holocaust survivors and their total denial of their international commitments stirred global public opinion, which became a major factor in expelling the British from the Land.
...the United Nations (UN) General Assembly convened on 8 Iyar 5707 (April 28, 1947) to discuss the question of Eretz Yisrael's future. ...the discussions ended with a decision to send a committee to investigate the Eretz Yisrael problem and to propose solutions....
...after months of trips and meetings, the committee decided - by a majority vote - to recommend the creation of two countries, Jewish and Arab, in the western part of Eretz Yisrael....
...Jerusalem - Old and New - would remain an international city under UN jurisdiction.*
The Jews acquiesced. The Arab reaction: "We will not agree to the establishment of a Jewish State on even 1% of Palestine."*
On November 29, 1947, the vote was taken and the Partition Plan was approved by a majority vote in the UN. The very next day, the Arabs of Eretz Yisrael went on the attack with help from other Arab nations and the British themselves. No one helped the Jews.
It was impossible to buy real armored vehicles because every other country - including America - had imposed a total embargo on selling arms and military equipment to the Hebrew Yishuv....Chaim Weizmann somehow convinced Truman to stand by his original decision, which he eventually did, but not without a lot of pressure on Weizmann and Ben Gurion to delay the declaration of the State, which essentially would amount to the same outcome of a continuation of the intolerable Mandate. It was put to a vote and, B"H, the leadership of the Yishuv stood their ground.
...While the battles raged in Israel, so they raged in the political arena, with the UN Building in New York at the center of attention. It seemed that the United States, which had supported the Partition Plan for two States in Eretz Yisrael, had changed its position. On the 8th Adar Alef 5708 (March 19, 1948), the American delegation announced that it supported UN trustee rule in Eretz Yisrael, a stance that meant the continuation of the British Mandate. Other countries quickly followed the American lead.*
By the time statehood was declared on 5 Iyyar 5708 (May 15, 1948), the brave, but exhausted defenders of the Yishuv had been fighting against all odds for five months. On the following day, they faced the rested, well-trained and well-equipped armies of five Arab countries. And still the international embargo of arms and equipment ("led by the United States") against the Jewish defenders was upheld! No one believed the Jews had any chance at all of winning and even their very survival was in question!
Only a month into the battle, with hundreds already dead and thousands wounded, the nascent State of Israel was about to be completely overrun by her enemies when the UN suddenly proposed a 28-day ceasefire and the Arabs accepted.
During this time, Israel began to "secretly and unofficially" receive much-needed supplies, arms and even planes through the auspices of Czechoslavakia "with the approval of the Soviet Union." This turned the tide of the war.
When Hashem runs the show, He can use anyone and anything to accomplish His will and it does not depend on the goodwill of the nations or their reliability as an ally. That's why we have to always stay in good standing with Him and depend solely on Him, because the nations are treacherous at heart.
True to form, the worst treachery was yet to come...
...the UN had used the ceasefire for its own purposes. The heads of the UN delegation - Swedish Count Bernadotte and his deputy, American Ralph Bunche - prepared a new proposal for solving the Jewish-Arab conflict. The new suggestion cancelled the Partition Plan...and instead proposed the set-up of a federation between two national entities, Arab and Jewish, which would be run under joint ruling institutions. The issue of continued Jewish immigration was supposed to be decided in these institutions, in which the Arabs would have a clear and decisive majority, since the Arab entity included all the Arabs in Eretz Yisrael....*Including returned "refugees" and including Trans-Jordan!!
...Despite Israel's opposition, Count Bernadotte stood firm, even swaying further to the side of the Arabs in a document he submitted to the UN General Assembly on 12 Elul 5708 (September 16, 1948). In his amended proposal, he removed the entire Negev - from the Ashkeon-Chevron line and southwards - from the area of the Jewish State. ...the Western powers unanimously adopted his plan.*We had gone from all of Palestine to 1/3 of Palestine to 45% of that 1/3 to no homeland at all as the nations of the world broke every promise and reneged on every deal!
It was only due to Hashem's help that we were spared. The new Israeli government rejected this plan and our Heaven-sent victory left the UN with no other option but to refuse to recognize our new borders. They called on us, in vain, to allow the Arab refugees to return and to retreat to the borders as laid out in the 1947 Partition Plan. The nations of the world, including the United States, have held firm on these demands until this very day.
* All quotes come from "The Ingathering and Independence Scroll" by Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi.
Interesting date correlations (see bold type above): 5 Iyyar was the day Israel declared its independence, 28 Iyyar was the day that Jerusalem was reunified in 1967, and 23 Elul is the Hebrew date of the 9/11 Twin Towers attack.