I’m doing this from memory, but I believe that I read in Sir Martin Gilbert’s epic work, Israel, that the first all-Jewish town (Petah Tikvah) was settled in 1882.
This was a watershed event, and one that has huge implications for us today.
At the time this village was settled, Palestine (so-named by the Romans in the second century, so driven were they to erase any mention of the Jews from the land) was a pretty desolate place.
Revisionist history today disputes even that, but source documents and eyewitness sightings of the time affirm it.
As the Jews began to come back in large numbers—and I hope you will be as stunned by this as I am, as I read the books of the prophets and realize that the story of the Return is DOMINANT—this created a conflict with Muslims in the region who could not embrace the idea of an eventual Jewish state in the Middle East.
Remember, the 20th century was a period of seismic changes in that region, as the European colonial powers pulled-out and formed borders for Muslim tribal clans.
Now, however, we know there are extreme tensions between Israel and her Arab neighbors. But these tensions have existed since at least 1948, when Israel was established. This was also 16 years before the PLO was formed, an interesting/relevant fact that not many people are aware of in the midst of the conflict.
That means that it has been a significant Jewish presence in the region that has been a trigger for unrest.
From humble beginnings in Palestine, to its current status as an elite economic and military power, Israel is itself a divisive issue in our world today. In terms of Bible prophecy, it is the key.
To my Jewish friends who are living witnesses to the power and majesty of God as He reveals Himself through fulfilled prophecy, I say:
I love you. You are no longer fiction, but reality. So let me quote a fictional icon and say: “Live long and prosper!”