Urging parliament to recognize the newly independent state of Israel in 1949, Winston Churchill argued that the restoration of Jewish sovereignty “be viewed in the perspective, not of a generation or a century, but in the perspective of a thousand, two thousand, or even three thousand years.” Meir Soloveichik attempts to do just that:
It should be obvious, of course, that Israel’s birth was astounding. . . . But as we mark 75 years of a modern Jewish state, a study of history reveals another fascinating fact: this might be the most stable 75 years of government that the Jewish people have had in Jerusalem in all of Jewish history.
Can this be? Consider: several thousand years ago, David first conquered Jerusalem and made it his capital and was soon after temporarily overthrown by his son Absalom. David was forced to flee the city, returning only after he had conquered and defeated his son’s forces. Solomon succeeded his father and ruled in peace and prosperity, whereupon the Israelite monarchy summarily split between kingdoms north and south, which is how the Holy Land remained until its conquest by Assyria and Babylon.
During the Second Temple period, Jewish independence was achieved by the Maccabees, creating a Hasmonean house that, almost immediately after it assumed a regal role, fell to infighting and civil war. This allowed for Rome’s entry into Jerusalem. In a certain sense, a third Jewish government was established in Jerusalem in the Jewish revolt against Rome of 66 CE, which fell in the year 70 because of the internecine battles among rival rebel factions.
This means that a 75-year span in which a stable Jewish government that governs the Holy Land from the Negev to the Galilee has never happened before in Jerusalem.