The planet New Israel
This page Copyright © 2010, Karl Leffler
A cold, dry world resembling Mars, New Israel - officially RAS (Republic Astronomical Survey) 819-VI-B - orbits a gas giant slightly smaller than Jupiter, about 1.3 AU from a star somewhat dimmer and cooler than Sol. The gas giant, named Abraham’s Eye, is like Jupiter considered a “brown dwarf,” a body that had not quite enough mass to ignite into a star in its own right. It gives off enough heat, combined with that of its primary, to create habitable conditions on the second of its nine moons. Terraforming, still underway, began here with the arrival of the first colonists, and has now significantly improved the climate, while deliberate comet impacts have raised sea levels and increased the moisture cycle.
New Israel is the second-oldest world in the Republic. Settled shortly after the Escape by Jewish separatists who assisted the fleeing Jeffersonian Founders, it is probably the most religiously-homogenous world in Human Space. In the eighteenth year of the Republic, the local government petitioned for equal membership in the Republic, and the laws and treaties created for that occasion have been used as a template for subsequent worlds ever since.
This world was occupied by Imperial troops during the War, but they were unprepared for the zealous resistance of the thirty million Jeffersonians who live there. Most residents of New Israel still practice the Jewish faith, and remember their history all too well. While the Empire was, at great cost in ships and men, able to force a landing - the only instance of an enemy setting foot on Republic territory - constant guerilla attacks inflicted such heavy losses that outlying Imperial positions became untenable in mere weeks, forcing the invaders to consolidate at Steeltown for the remainder of their three-year stay. The Haganah - the New Israeli Resistance, named for the mid-20th Century CE Israeli underground which helped Jewish refugees first escape the Nazis and later enter British-controlled Palestine - maintained communication with Republic military command and coordinated their own liberation, providing Second Fleet with invaluable tactical information for the Second Battle of New Israel, resulting in the complete destruction of a numerically superior Imperial force.
Interestingly, a significant population of ethnic Japanese has gathered at New Israel, most of whom practice the ancient Shinto faith. There is little interaction between the Shintos and Jews, but no hostility either. During the War followers of both faiths worked quite well together to harass the Imperial invaders, going back to their own lifestyles and communities afterward.
One notable partnership between the two groups has arisen in Fujimora, Rabinowitz & Company. Originally formed with the Haganah to fabricate weapons, they have since gone into regular manufacture of reproduction firearms, and are quickly becoming known for the quality and authenticity of their copies of classic designs.
A very few authentic Japanese swords, handmade in the ancient method of metal-folding, are created on New Israel for sale to those who can prove, to the makers/sellers, that they are worthy of such weapons. Few katanas or weapons of that type are carried or used in the Republic; nearly all are owned by individuals who have dedicated themselves to the proper use of such sophisticated weapons. These individuals engage in separate competitions and do not take part in Republic Fencing Association tournaments. A few such swordsmen and -women used their swords in combat during the War, especially in boarding actions and close-quarters city or jungle fighting. Reports indicate that the katana and wakazashi, used by one who is properly trained, have lost none of their effectiveness over the centuries.
Originally settled by Jewish separatists, disgusted by their government's "peace agreement" with their ancient enemies...
...New Israel became the third Member World of the Republic in the year 18 (about 2020 CE)...
...changed her flag in mourning after the destruction of Old Israel in the Terran Empire's War of Unification in 2153 CE...
...flew some interesting battle flags when the Jewish and Shinto populations united against Terran invaders...
...and settled on this one after the Republic-Empire War.
Legio III, officially the New Israel Militia but usually called the Army of David. When New Israel became the third Member World of the Jeffersonian Republic in 18 JR (2020 CE), her standing army and police force were disbanded in compliance with the Jeffersonian Constitution, but were reformed as the Third Legion of the Exploration and Colonization Service. When the Terran Empire forced a landing on New Israel nearly two centuries later, Legio III formed the nucleus of the Haganah (a centuries-old name for Jewish resistance), whose actions soon made Terran positions untenable despite the enormous initial invasion force and constant reinforcements from the Empire.
Legio XVII. When the Terran Empire invaded New Israel at the beginning of the Republic-Empire War, Jews didn't do all the fighting; the world's ethnic Shinto/Japanese population had, mindful of the buildup of Terran forces before the outbreak of hostilities, formed their own planetary militia, which most Jeffersonians informally call the Samurai Legion. When the Republic Navy and Marine Corps (formerly, and once again, the Space Patrol and Exploration & Colonization Service) shifted from defense to counterattack, the warriors of the Seventeenth Legion more than earned their place in military history.
Haifa Station is an orbiting city, and home to a great deal of traffic and industry, including the primary shipyards and manufacturing facilities of Steeltown Aerospace. Occupied by Terran forces during the War, much of its output during that period was pressed into Imperial service - or would have been, if not for frequent Haganah raids on the facilities, and widespread sabotage among the natives forced to labor in the factories.
I made this flag by changing a color or two, removing the crownlike city wall symbol which could have been misinterpreted as monarchist, and adding a canton to the actual flag of the actual city of Haifa. If you look closely you can see the city's name on the banner beneath the heraldic device. On the original, the name appears in Hebrew script in the center, English on the left, and apparently Arabic on the right. The Jeffersonian version of this flag has English in the middle, Hebrew to the left and Japanese to the right. Of course I don't know Japanese, but a search of the web found an online translator that works reasonably well, considering the enormous differences between the two languages. I've used the symbols this translator spat out for "overhead; in the sky" and "port city." They didn't shrink well in Windows Paint.
Edo Station is another orbiting city, and the first operational O'Neill Cylinder. Approximately one-third of New Israel's ethnic Shinto/Japanese population lives here instead of on the planet's surface. Edo is also home to Matamori Electronics, the cutting-edge high-tech corporation responsible for many recent breakthroughs in materials science and automation. In traditional Japanese fashion, Edo Station was gutted by sabotage during the Terran invasion, by Shinto suicide volunteers who blew an entire end off the main cylinder, breached 93% of all compartments and destroyed 87% of all factory equipment. The Empire therefore largely ignored the orbiting hulk - which turned out to be the staging point for the Haganah's largest raid on Imperial forces in orbit, at the beginning of the Second Battle of New Israel, when the Republic Navy's 2nd Fleet finally entered the system in sufficient force to sweep away the Terran invaders. Reconstruction of Edo Station continues.
Edo is, among other things, the ancient name for what became Tokyo. I used the symbols the translator spat out for that interpretation of the name.
El Al Passenger Service boasts the finest record of safety and efficiency in Human Space. Their ships may not be the fastest or most luxurious, but are usually the most dependable and affordable. El Al also carries a great deal of interstellar freight, accounting for nearly half their operations.
Edo Interstellar Freight Corporation is one of the more expensive freight lines in Human Space, but in nearly two hundred Monticellan years of operation they have failed to make their guaranteed deliveries only eleven times, and five of those were during the Republic-Empire War and the Imperial occupation of New Israel.
I don't know if the symbols for Edo are arranged properly here. Except for being arranged vertically, they're just as the translator provided. The other symbols should approximately match the English. Jeffersonian (for most purposes, early 21st Century CE American) English is the official language of the Jeffersonian Republic and fluency is one of many requirements for Citizenship, but nothing prohibits individuals from using other languages; or businesses, so long as they provide the official language alongside.