Israel was founded on May 14, 1948, by the head of the Jewish Agency, David Ben-Gurion. It was recognised by U.S. President Harry S. Truman on the same day and by the United Nations in the same month.Continue Reading
Israel faced numerous hurdles throughout its early years as an independent state. On the same day it gained its independence, it was attacked by the armies of Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. However, these attacks were unorganized and were defeated by Israeli army, who were better coordinated.
The newly formed country also had internal problems with local terrorist organizations, many of which had fought on Israel's side during the war. However, these organizations were quickly disbanded by the new Prime Minister and Defense Minister, David Ben-Gurion. The leaders of the terrorist organizations were arrested and the remaining members joined the Israeli army.
The Israeli army swelled to over 100,000 in 1948. Its military victories allowed Israel to expand the initial territory granted to it by the United Nations. However, this was at the expense of the Arab populations who lived in these areas. This act increased tensions between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations, culminating in the 1956, 1967 and 1973 wars. In 2014, tensions once again reached a climax, with clashes between Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Israeli army.Learn more about Modern History
Sources of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians include ancient claims by each party to the same land, Ottoman changes to laws regarding the title and ownership of land, and the establishment of Israel as a sovereign state. Israel’s claim to the land along the Mediterranean stems from Hebrew tradition dating back to God’s promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham.Full Answer >
Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Albert Einstein wasn't exactly poised to become the Israeli president, but Israel's first president, Chaim Weizmann, asked Einstein if he was interested in becoming the country's leader. Though flattered by the idea, Einstein denied any desire for the role.Full Answer >
Two of the many changes that Henry VIII made to the Church during his reign were the rejection of papal authority through the Act of Supremacy, which made him the head of the Church in England, and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, which took land away from the Catholic Church in England and redistributed it to the king's supporters. Although Henry adhered to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, he did not recognize the authority of the pope in Rome, and he later persecuted Catholics.Full Answer >
South Africa became independent from Great Britain on December 11, 1931, but the British monarch remained head of state. On May 31, 1961, the country became a republic, severing all formal ties with Great Britain.Full Answer >