Today is Israel Independence Day. This is the date on the Jewish Calendar (May 15th on the Gregorian Calendar) in 1948 that the State of Israel was officially declared. Some eight minutes later, President Truman ordered his State Department to recognize the new State. Most of his Administration, including his State Department and the UN Representative, were adamantly reluctant to take this step. They were pulled kicking and screaming to such recognition. They felt it was more important for America to consider the Arabs than the Jews. Officials at the Pentagon had declared that they expected Israel to last two weeks in a coming war with the Arabs. Truman lamented that all the USA could give was diplomatic support.
When that war occurred, with the Arab High Command broadcasting that Arabs should leave their homes to clear a path so that the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq as well as units from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states could “push the Jews into the sea,” multitudes of Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust, prohibited by British armed forces from previously entering Israel, now went straight from incoming ships to the battlefields. Many Shoah Survivors died immediately, partly because of the lack of weapons to go around. When one would be killed, another behind him would pick up his weapon and take his place. Survivors and fighters of that era told me they expected to die and be defeated, but pressed on anyway, and were themselves surprised by the victory of Israel over the Arab armies. They had already developed an Alamo plan to make the last stand on Mt. Carmel in Haifa.
Little, mostly isolated Israel against the vast might of the Arab combined armies, some equipped and trained by the British, with sophisticated weaponry, including many tank forces and air superiority, defeated them all. The neutral, official British were far from neutral, and stunned by the Israeli victory.
Once the war was over, and the world was astonished by Israel’s survival, Israel had to reckon with the flood of 700,000 to 1,000,000 Jewish immigrants from Arab lands who were themselves pushed or run out of their centuries-old places in the Arab world. Israel took them in and made a country out of the land and its people.
King David’s Israel, and the Jerusalem he founded as its capital approximately 1000 BCE, was at last reborn. Jews, who had lived and longed continuously through all those years for such a rebirth, once again had their home. They no longer needed to wander through the world as homeless beggars at the mercy of other people in other places.
Below is the link to The Israel Project where you can peruse many facets of this miracle.
Chag Sameach Yom Ha’atzmaut,
|Israelis to Celebrate 62nd Year of Independence April 20
Members of Congress Introduce Legislation Reaffirming Support for
Beginning at sundown Monday (April 19) and ending at sundown on Tuesday (April 20), Israelis will celebrate their country’s 62nd Independence Day, known as Yom Ha’Atzmaut in Hebrew. The day before, Israelis will observe Yom HaZikaron, the national day of remembrance of soldiers who died fighting in Israel’s wars, as well as victims of terrorism. [ Read more ]
| A Voice and a Home: Arab Rights in Israel
Upon Israel’s establishment in 1948, its founders declared that the country would be not only a Jewish state, but also a democratic one, where all citizens, regardless of religion, ethnicity, race or gender, would live in peace with equal civil rights. [ Read more ]
|Healthcare in Israel: Universal Access and World-Class Treatment
While modern Israel is widely recognized for its high quality of health care and abundant contributions to medical and biological sciences, Israel’s health care system continues to embody its foundational consensus that society is responsible for health of citizens. [ Read more ]
|Israel: A World Leader in Agricultural Technology
Since the establishment of the state of Israel, the country has become a world leader in agricultural technology and water management. In light of the recent surge in global food prices, such advances, which have major applications in increasing crop yields, are more important than ever. [ Read more ]
|Leading the Way: Israel Innovates for the Environment
Israel is uniquely equipped to face the challenges posed by global climate change because of its long-standing environmental awareness and advanced scientific infrastructure. It has become a world leader in promoting environmental initiatives and sharing its cutting-edge technologies.
[ Read more ]
|Nurturing the Next Generation: Universal, Comprehensive Pediatric Care in Israel
Israel’s Ministry of Health operates a nationwide, public network of 850 mother-and-child care centers for all citizens, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other religion. The centers provide low-cost, universal preventive services, well-child care and referrals for early intervention. [ Read more ]
|Political Parties in Israel
About 10 to 15 parties, representing dramatically diverse political views, have been elected to every Knesset (Israeli Parliament, comprising 120 seats). [ Read more ]
| Israeli Journalists: Guardians of a Free Press
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|Israel’s Leaders: Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Action
Israel’s religious and ethnic minorities have held some of the most prominent posts in government and other spheres of society since the country’s founding. The following is a sampling of those whose exceptional – and in some cases unprecedented – achievements have helped Israel become a model of diversity in the region. [ Read more ]
|Profiles: Israel’s Environmental Stewards
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|Religious Freedom in Israel: A Fundamental Guarantee
Israel Funds Mosques, Korans; Protects Holy Sites for All
The Israeli government supports religious services for communities of all faiths. That includes funding Korans and the operating costs for more than 100 mosques as well as the salaries of Muslim religious leaders; serving as a safe haven for minorities persecuted in surrounding countries; allowing citizens of any religion to hold political office; and paying for the upkeep of holy sites for all religions. [ Read more ]
|The Israeli Press: Voices of Freedom
Israeli news media provide a diverse array of ideological, political and cultural perspectives characterized by a strong spirit of independence. In Israel’s open society, which comprises Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Circassians and Baha’i, a free press has always been crucial to the existence of its flourishing democracy. [ Read more ]
|Voting in Israel: A Right for All Citizens
All Israeli citizens 18 and older — regardless of religion, gender or race — enjoy the right to vote free from intimidation. Israel’s vibrant political system ensures that virtually every segment of society and every viewpoint can be represented. Parties reflect a broad array of ideological, ethnic and religious groupings. [ Read more ]
|Women’s Rights in Israel
All women in Israel, regardless of ethnicity or religion, enjoy broad freedoms, rights and protections, including the right to vote, dress as they wish, say what they wish and pursue any career. Women are protected by law from discrimination. Indeed, Israel’s Declaration of Independence grants “all Israel’s inhabitants equality of social and political rights irrespective of religion, race or gender.” [ Read more ]
|Alternative Energy: Israel at Forefront of Industry Development
From Electric Cars to Affordable Solar Power, Israel Pioneering New Technologies
Israel has been taking the lead in a number of alternative energy fields aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and promoting the use of renewable energy. It is one of the first countries to actively promote zero-emission electric cars and prepare the infrastructure for mass marketing such vehicles. [ Read more ]
|Humanitarian and International Aid: A Core Israeli Value
Within a decade of Israel’s founding, the government and its people had demonstrated a deep commitment to engage in humanitarian relief efforts and international development programs. In 1958, Israel adopted an official humanitarian aid agenda as a principal element of the country’s international cooperation efforts. [ Read more ]
||Israeli Women at the Helm: Profiles of Leadership
The Israel Project is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.
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