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The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

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Formation of Israel

The Holocaust, the killing of approximately 6 million European Jews by the Nazis, had a major impact on the situation in Palestine. During World War II Britain, which had been granted a mandate over Palestine by the United Nations, forbade entry into Palestine for European Jews escaping Nazi persecution.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions, in favor of a Partition Plan that created the State of Israel. The British reliquished their mandate over Palestine in 1948. War broke out between the Arabs and Jews soon after. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War, established the state of Israel as an independent state, with the rest of the British Mandate of Palestine split into areas controlled by Egypt and Transjordan.

In 1949, Israel signed separate cease-fire agreements with Egypt on February 24, Lebanon on March 23, Transjordan on April 3, and Syria on July 20. Israel was able to draw its own borders, occupying 70% of Mandatory Palestine, fifty percent more than the UN partition proposal allotted them. These borders have been known afterwards as the "Green Line". The Gaza Strip and West Bank were occupied by Egypt and Transjordan respectively.

While the establishment of the state of Israel was seen by Christian Zionists as a sign that God was fulfilling his promises to Abraham and Jacob, the early political leaders of Israel were primarily secular. David Ben Gurion, Israel's Prime Minister from the founding of Israel until 1963, represented the secular Ideals of the early Zionists. For practical reasons, Ben Gurion accepted the boundaries that excluded the ancient Jewish lands of Samaria and Judea in the West Bank. The early Israeli leaders also agreed to a divided Jerusalem.

Last updated: January-2005