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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 07, 2003

May 1948 - May 2003





Today is Israel's 55th birthday.

On May 14th, 1948, David Ben Gurion proclaimed Israel's Declaration of Independence, which stated, inter alia:



THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
...
WE APPEAL - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.
Israel has lived up to her mandate of being open "for the Ingathering of the Exiles": manifestly, Israel has provided a safe haven for Jews coming from such diverse countries as Ethiopia, the former USSR, and many Arab countries. A democratic lilly in a field of despotic weeds, Israel has also lived up to to her promise to "guarantee freedom", notwithstanding 55 years of constant war. Israel is nothing less than a miracle; may she flourish, prosper and thrive.