The territory where Israel stands gained independence from Britain in 1948.
  • 1. How Did Modern Day Israel Come Into Being?
  • 2. How Did Arab-Israeli Tensions Flare up?
  • 3. What Happened in 1948?
  • 4. Is it an ‘Intractable’ Conflict?
As Netanyahu Visits India, Decoding Israel’s Tumultuous Creation

Months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister, it is now his Israeli counterpart’s turn to visit India.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s four-day visit to India kicks off on 14 January, and is expected to strengthen defence and security ties between the two countries, as also enhance cooperation in the fields of agriculture, water management and trade.

What more, Netanyahu and Modi are also scheduled to visit Gujarat, with a joint roadshow likely to be held in Ahmedabad. And to top it all, Netanyahu would also be attending a Bollywood event on 18 January, where he would meet the film industry’s leading personalities.

Although, to fully gauge the significance that Israel holds for India, it is necessary to delve into the history of the country’s creation.

  • 1. How Did Modern Day Israel Come Into Being?

    The formation of modern-day Israel has its origins in Zionism, a 19th century nationalist movement that proposed a state for the Jewish community to call their own – Israel – which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire.

    Earlier, the Jewish-Roman wars of the 1st and 2nd century AD had displaced the Jewish community from the territory of Israel. One of the flash points of this conflict was the Siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD.

    The Zionist movement to reclaim this territory gained currency in a backdrop where the Jewish community was facing growing persecution – starting from the 19th century and culminating in the horrific Holocaust under Germany’s Adolf Hitler. The persecution led to mass migration of Jews to Israel.

    Austrian-Jewish journalist Theodor Herlz, said to be the father of modern Zionism, helped facilitate this mass Jewish influx into modern day Israel.

    The territory where Israel stands gained independence from Britain in 1948.
    The migration of Jews escaping persecution in Europe.
    (Photo Courtesy: Vox screengrab)

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