“‘Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?’ says the Lord.” Isaiah 66: 9. This prophecy was fulfilled when Israel became a nation once again. On November 29th, 1947, the United Nations proposed dividing a part of the Palestinian Mandate into two states, one with a majority of Arabs and the other with a Jewish majority, while Jerusalem would be an international zone.
The Arabs rejected the plan but, in the words of the Israeli general, Moshe Dayan, after “two thousand years of exile from the land of Israel [despite] persecutions, the Spanish Inquisition, pogroms, anti-Jewish decrees, restrictions, and the mass slaughter by the Nazis in our own generation… [Judaism] reached the fulfillment of its age-old yearning—the return to a free and independent Zion… We danced—but we knew that ahead of us lay the battlefield.”
Within days guerilla gunfights erupted between Palestinian Arabs and Jews. The British, who were still in charge of Palestine, could not control the violence. Supported by Arab forces from Syria, Lebanon, and Transjordan, there were frequent terrorist attacks on isoloated Jewish settlements, Jewish-owned shops, buses and even ambulances, with sniper attacks on unarmed civilians. 6000 Jews died in this period, 1% of the Jewish population of Palestine. The Jewish authorities denounced retaliatory terrorist activity by dissident Jewish gangs, but sanctioned reprisals against individual Arabs who attacked Jews.
Effective counter-attacks made Arabs gradually withdraw from parts of the country, and the Jews took possession. David Ben-Gurion prophesied that this trend would continue and there would be “great changes in the composition of the country.”
In April 1948 Zionist forces went on the offensive and within weeks captured most of the territory that had been allotted to them by the United Nations, while Arabs evacuated their homes and the British forces gradually withdrew. On May 15th the British left Palestine, for good.