• Issue: May 1973
  • Designer: M. Amar
  • Plate no.: 391
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

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 the land of Israel, the Jewish people remained faithful to it in all the countries of their dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and the restoration of their national freedom.

Impelled by this historic association, Jews strove throughout the centuries to go back to the land of their fathers and regain their statehood. In recent decades they returned in their masses. They reclaimed the 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 prepared to defend themselves. They brought the blessing of progress to all inhabitants of the country and looked forward to sovereign independence.

In the year 1897, the First Zionist Congress, inspired by Theodor Herzl's vision of the Jewish State, proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national revival in their own country.

This right was acknowledged by the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, and re-affirmed 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 recent Holocaust, which engulfed millions of Jews in Europe, proved anew the need to solve the problem of the homelessness and lack of independence of the Jewish people by means of the re-establishment of the Jewish State, which would open the gates to all Jews and endow the Jewish people with equality of status among the family of nations.

The survivors of the disastrous slaughter in Europe, as well as Jews from other lands, have not desisted from their efforts to reach Eretz-Yisrael, in the face of difficulties, obstacles and perils, and have not ceased to urge their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their ancestral land. In the Second World War, the Jewish people in Palestine made their full contribution to the struggle of the freedom-loving nations against the Nazi evil. The sacrifices of their soldiers and their war effort, gained them the right to rank with the nations which founded the United Nations.

On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution requiring the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. The General Assembly called upon the inhabitants of the country to take all necessary steps on their part to put the plan into effect. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their independent State is unassailable.

It is the natural right of the Jewish people to lead, as do all other nations, an independent existence in its sovereign State. Accordingly, "We, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the World Zionist Movement, are met together in solemn assembly today, the day of termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, and by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people and of the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, we hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called Medinat Yisrael (The State of Israel).

We hereby declare that, as from the termination of the Mandate at midnight, May 14-15, 1948, and pending the setting up of the duly elected bodies of the State in accordance with a Constitution to be drawn up by the Constituent Assembly not later than October 1, 1948, the National Council shall act as the Provisional State Council, and that the National Administration shall constitute the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, which shall be known as 'Israel'.

The State of Israel will be open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their dispersion; will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; will be based on the principles of liberty, justice and peace as conceived by the Prophets of Israel; will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion, race, or sex; will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, education and culture; will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions and will loyally uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The State of Israel will be ready to cooperate with the Organs and representatives of the United Nations in the implementation of the Resolution of the Assembly of November 29, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Palestine.

We appeal to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building of its State and to admit Israel into the family of nations.

In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions - provisional and permanent.

We extend our hand in peace and neighborliness to all the 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 prepared to make its contribution to the progress of the Middle East as a whole.

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 fulfillment of the dream of generations for the redemption of Israel.

With trust in Almighty God, we set our hand to this Declaration, at this session of the Provisional State Council, on the soil of the Homeland, in the city of Tel Aviv, on this Sabbath eve, the fifth of Iyar, 5708, the fourteenth day of May, 1948.

(Signed) David Ben-Gurion, Daniel Auster, Mordekhai Bentov, Yitzchaq Ben-Zvi, Eliahu Berligne, Fritz Bernstein, Rabbi Wolff Gold, Meir Grabovsky, Yitzhaq Gruenbaum, Dr. Avraham Granovsky, Eliahu Dobkin, Meir Wilner-Rubner, Zerach Warhaftig, Herzl Vardi, Rachel Cohen, Rabbi Kalman Cahana, Sa'adya Kubashi, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Levine, Meir David Levinstein, Zvi Luria, Golda Meyerson, Nachum Nir, Zvi Segal, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Hacohen Fishman, David Zvi Pinkas, Aharon Zisling, Moshe Kolodni, Eliezer Kaplan, Avraham Katznelson, Felix Rosenblueth, David Remez, Berl Repetur, Mordekhai Shattner, Bentzion Sternberg, Bekhor Shitreet, Moshe Shapira, Moshe Shertok."

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Twenty-Fifth Independence Day