of Independence of Israel
Upon termination of the
British Mandate in Palestine, David Ben-Gurion, the first
Premier of re-born Israel, proclaimed the existence of the State
of Israel at 9:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time on may 14, 1948.
The new Jewish state officially came into being at 5:00 P.M.,
E.S.T. (Midnight in Jerusalem) the same day. Following is the
full text of the declaration of Independence of the Jewish State
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The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish People.
Here their spiritual, religious and national
identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created
a culture of national and universal significance. Here they
wrote and gave the Bible to the world.
Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people
remained faithful to it in all the countries of their
dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and
restoration of their national freedom.
Impelled by this heroic association, Jews
strove throughout the centuries to go back to the land of their
fathers and regain statehood. In recent decades they returned in
their masses. They reclaimed a wilderness, revived their
language, built cities and villages and established a vigorous
and ever growing community, with its own economic and cultural
life. They sought peace, yet were ever prepared to defend
themselves. They brought blessings of progress to all
inhabitants of the country.
In the year 1897 the First Zionist Congress,
inspired by Theodore Herzl's vision of a Jewish State,
proclaimed the right of the Jewish People to a national revival
in their own country.
This right was acknowledged by the Balfour
Declaration of November 2, 1917, and reaffirmed by the Mandate
of the League of Nations, which gave explicit international
recognition to the historic connection of the Jewish People with
Palestine and their right to reconstitute their national home.
The Nazi holocaust which engulfed millions of
Jews in Europe proved anew the urgency of the re-establishment
of the Jewish State, which would solve the problem of Jewish
homelessness by opening the gates to all Jews and lifting the
Jewish people to equality in the family of nations.
Survivors of the European catastrophe, as
well as Jews from other lands, claiming their right to a life of
dignity, freedom and labor, and undeterred by hazards, hardships
and obstacles, have tried unceasingly to enter Palestine.
In the Second World War, the Jewish People in
Palestine made a full contribution in the struggle of
freedom-loving nations against the Nazi evil. The sacrifices of
their soldiers and efforts of their workers gained them title to
rank with the people who founded the United Nations. On November
29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a
resolution for re-establishment of an independent Jewish State
in Palestine and called upon inhabitants of the country to take
such steps as may be necessary on their part to put the plan
This recognition by the United Nations of the
right of the Jewish People to establish their independent state
may not be revoked. It is, moreover, the self-evident right of
the Jewish People to be a nation, as all other nations, in its
own sovereign state.
Accordingly we, the members of the National
Council, representing the Jewish People in Palestine and the
Zionist movement of the world, met together in solemn assembly
by virtue of the natural and historic right of Jewish People and
of resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in
Palestine, to be called Israel.
We hereby declare that as from the
termination of the Mandate at midnight this night of the 14th to
15th of May, 1948, and until the setting up of duly elected
bodies of the state in accordance with a Constitution to be
drawn up by a Constituent Assembly not later than the first day
of October, 1948, the present National Council shall act as the
Provisional Government of the State of Israel.
The State of Israel will promote the
development of the country for the benefit of its inhabitants;
will be based on precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught
by the Hebrew prophets; will uphold the full social and
political equality of all its citizens without distinction of
race, creed or sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience,
worship, education and culture; will safeguard the sanctity and
inviolability of shrines and holy places of all religions; and
will dedicate itself to the the principles of the Charter of the
The State of Israel will be ready to
cooperate with the organs and representatives of the United
Nations in the implementations of the resolution of November 29,
1947 and will take steps to bring about an economic union over
the whole of Palestine.
We appeal tot he United Nations to assist the
Jewish people in the building of its state and admit Israel into
the family of nations.
In the midst of wanton aggression we call
upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to return to
the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the
state, with full and equal citizenship and due representation in
all its bodies and institutions, provisionally or permanent.
We offer peace and amity to all neighboring
states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the
independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The state
of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful
progress and reconstitution of the Middle East.
Our call goes out to the Jewish people all
over the world to rally to our side in the task of immigration
and development and to stand by us in the great struggle for the
fulfilment of the dream of generations--the redemption of
Source: Current History, July 1948
* * *
Jerusalem: The Biography
By Simon Sebag Montefiore
Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgment Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of three thousand years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the “center of the world” and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem’s biography is told through the wars, love affairs and revelations of the men and women—kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whores—who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem. As well as the many ordinary Jerusalemites who have left their mark on the city, its cast varies from Solomon, Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent to Cleopatra, Caligula and Churchill; from Abraham to Jesus and Muhammad; from the ancient world of Jezebel, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod and Nero to the modern times of the Kaiser, Disraeli, Mark Twain, Lincoln, Rasputin, Lawrence of Arabia and Moshe Dayan. Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers and a lifetime’s study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice—in heaven and on earth.
* * * * *
By Nidaa Khoury
Khoury's poetry is fired by belief in
the human and the spiritual at a time
when many of us feel unreal and often
Huri, Ben-Gurion University
Written in water and ink, in between the
shed blood. Nidaa Khoury's poems take us
to the bosom of an ancient woman . . .
an archetype revived. The secret she
whispers is 'smaller than words.'—Karin
Karakasli, author, Turkey
Nidaa Khoury was born in Fassouta, Upper
Galilee, in 1959. Khoury is the author
of seven books published in Arabic and
several other languages, including The
Barefoot River, which appeared in Arabic
and Hebrew and The Bitter Crown,
censored in Jordan. The Palestinian poet
is studied in Israeli universities and
widely reviewed by the Arab press. The
founder of the Association of Survival,
an NGO for minorities in Israel, Khoury
has participated in over 30
international literary and human rights
conferences and festivals. Khoury is the
subject of the award-winning film, Nidaa
Through Silence. Currently a senior
lecturer at Ben-Gurion University,
Khoury's poem Portal to the Orient is
being produced by Sarab for Dance for
performance in Palestine. Book of Sins
introduces this important Middle Eastern
poet to the Caribbean and the Americas.
* * *
12 December 2011