1948-1949: War of Independence:
Immediately after declaring independence, Israel was attacked by the Arab League, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. The new state bravely fought for its survival using very limited resources, and held off the much more powerful Arab armies while securing its sovereignty.
*Inspiring fact: Anticipating war and determined to be prepared, Jewish leaders managed to obtain arms before the war from abroad despite a blockade - by clandestinely smuggling them. This even included disassembled parts of planes and tanks that were then secretly put back together in Israel.
1967: Six-Day War:
With exceptional intelligence from the Mossad, Israel foiled attack plans by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria by striking first. The Israel Defense Forces swiftly decimated the other armies in only six days, while capturing key territories - most notably unifying all of Jerusalem under the Israeli flag and gaining access to the holy sites of the Old City.
*Inspiring fact: The war was not just a major victory for Israel and the IDF, but for Jews all around the world. It inspired a great deal of Zionism and Jewish pride as it solidified that Israel is here to stay and cannot be destroyed despite being surrounded by enemies, and it led to the creation of the holiday of Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day.
(Read our full posts on the Six-Day War and Jerusalem Day to dive deeper into this incredible event!)