In 1947, The Soviet Union was one of 33 countries to vote in favour of the United Nation’s partition plan for Palestine. Almost immediately after Israel declared its independence on May 14 1948, the Soviet Union offered recognition, along with the United States and other Western powers.
It was not to last. The Soviet Union, as would almost all of its satellites, cut ties with Israel less than five years later.
For the next 35 years, the Soviets pursued largely pro-Arab policies and Israel was a pawn in a much wider game between the US and USSR.
The Nazis told the leader of the Palestinian Arabs that in return for his help during the Second World War he would have control of Palestine.
According to a report released this week by the US National Archives, based on thousands of declassified documents, the Nazis planned to make the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, overall leader after the British were ousted and the 350,000-strong Jewish population was murdered.
Before the First World War, Jerusalem, as indeed the region, had been under the control of the Ottoman Empire for some four centuries. 1917 saw the fall of the Ottoman regime and, just weeks after the Balfour Declaration in Britain, saw Jerusalem be captured by the British army’s Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshall Sir Edmund Allenby.
British Prime Minister David Lloyd-George had already called on his army to secure Jerusalem by Christmas. Allenby improved on that wish.
Israel’s first prime minister was born in Russian Poland in 1886, and given the name David Green by his father Avigdor. A leader of the Hibbath Zion movement, Avigdor instilled in his son a love of Zion from an early age and the house was always buzzing with talk of Zionism and Hebrew ideas.
By his late teens he had joined the Socialist-Zionist Poale Zion and become a dedicated opponent to both Tsarist antisemitism and the exploitation of workers. His activism got him into trouble, and he was arrested and jailed for agitating.
It is a day that is not remembered, celebrated or even marked down on any calendar, but today is the 63rd anniversary of one of the most momentous events in Jewish history. It is the day that the state of Israel was created.
The United Nations submitted its partition plan in August 1947 and three months later, on November 29, it was affirmed - although the British were still in command of Palestine until May 1948.
The plan was devised by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, (UNSCOP), which was created after World War ll amid emerging evidence of the Holocaust.
Hailed as a “Jewish triumph” in that week’s JC, the Balfour Declaration is one of the most significant texts in the history of the Zionist movement.
Following a War cabinet meeting on the subject, it was a formal statement by the British government saying that they “View with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.
Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad, who pulled out of a performance at the Zionist Federation’s Israel Independence Day concert, has insisted death threats were not behind her decision to cancel.
In a message on her Facebook page, the singer, who jointly represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest, maintained she had pulled out after she realised the significance of the date of the performance.
Ms Awad was due to perform with her Eurovision partner Achinoam Nini, known as Noa, with whom she sings to sell-out audiences internationally, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.
The woman who sang for Israel at the last Eurovision Song Contest, has pulled out of the ZF Israel Independence Day Concert in London following death threats.
Mira Awad, is an Arab-Israeli and one half of a duo with Achinoam Nini, otherwise known as NOA, with whom she performs to sell-out internationally audiences, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.