The Nation of Israel
The nation of Israel has played a critical role in the formation of Western and Eastern ideologies and has had an unmistakably profound impact upon the theological and cultural evolution of mankind. Former U.S. President John Adams, commenting on the historical importance of the Hebrews, once said the following:
"I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations … They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern (Aish).”
The Hebrews are not only of undeniable historical significance but also a key factor and concern in contemporary politics. In order to begin to understand the nature of Israeli politics it is important to understand the rich history of the Hebrews and also the events surrounding and leading up to the formation of the nation of Israel. We will begin our investigation into the politics of the nation of Israel by reviewing key historical contributions and events pertaining to that nation and its people.
The most significant and widespread impact of the Hebrew culture can be seen in its spread of monotheism to essentially polytheistic cultures. This theological ideal served to both lay the foundation and perpetuate the formation and evolution of the world’s three major monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The importance and breadth of changes affected by this new ideology can be better understood in light of the fact that approximately 55.25% of the world’s population are adherents to one of these three religions (statistics from adherents.com).
Within the three great religions it is generally recognized that the Hebrew patriarch Abraham, through his recognition of one God, initiated the primary and pivotal acceptance of the necessity of monotheism. This embrace of the reality of the existence of the one, supreme, and infinite God was called “Kiddush Hashem”, or “sanctifying the name of God” by the Hebrews (Aish). Reflections of the Kiddush Hashem can be found in the three primary prayers of the monotheistic religions: The Islamic Shahada: “la ilaha illa Allah” (there is no God but God)(George 27); The Jewish Shema: Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad… (Hear Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One); The Catholic Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God…” (Catholic Encyclopedia). In the formations of these religions we can see foreshadowed the current strife and often deadlocked political state of Israel. The Christian Bible (and thusly the Jewish Torah, which is contained within its Old Testament) and the...