DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
May 14th 1948
In the land of Israel the Jewish people came into
being. In this Land was shaped their spiritual, religious, and national
character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. Here they created a
culture of national and universal import, and gave to the world the eternal
Book of Books. Exiled by force, still the Jewish people kept faith with
their Land in all the countries of their dispersion, steadfast in their
prayer and hope to return and here revive their political freedom. Fired by
this attachment of history and tradition, the Jews in every generation
strove to renew their roots in the ancient homeland, and in recent
generations they came home in their multitudes. Veteran pioneers and
defenders, and newcomers braving blockade, they made the wilderness bloom,
revived their Hebrew tongue, and built villages and towns. They founded a
thriving society of its own economy and culture, pursuing peace but able to
defend itself, bringing the blessing of progress to all inhabitants of the
Land, dedicated to the attainment of sovereign independence.
In 1897 the First Zionist Congress met at the call
of Theodor Herzl, seer of the vision of the Jewish State, and gave public
voice to the right of the Jewish people to national restoration in their
Land. The right was acknowledged in the Balfour Declaration on 2nd
November, 1917, and confirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations, which
accorded international validity to the historical connection between the
Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and to their right to re-establish
their National Home.
The holocaust that in our time destroyed millions
of Jews in Europe again proved beyond doubt the compelling need to solve the
problem of Jewish homelessness and dependence by the renewal of the Jewish
State in the Land of Israel, which would open wide the gates of the homeland
to every Jew and endow the Jewish people with the status of a nation with
equality of rights within the family of nations.
Despite every hardship, hindrance and peril, the
remnant that survived the grim Nazi slaughter in Europe, together with Jews
from other countries, pressed on with their exodus to the Land of Israel and
continued to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest
toil in the homeland of their people.
In the Second World War, the Jewish community in
the Land of Israel played its full part in the struggle of the nations
championing freedom and peace against the Nazi forces of evil. Its war
effort and the lives of its soldiers won it the right to be numbered among
the founding peoples of the United Nations.
On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly of the
United Nations adopted a resolution calling for the establishment of a
Jewish State in the Land of Israel, and required the inhabitants themselves
to take all measures necessary on their part to carry out the resolution.
This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to
establish their own State is irrevocable.
It is the natural right of the Jewish people, like
any other people to control their own destiny in their sovereign State.
ACCORDINGLY WE, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish
people in the Land of Israel and the Zionist Movement, have assembled on the
day of the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, and by virtue
of our natural and historic right and of the resolution of the General
Assembly of the United Nations, do hereby proclaim the establishment of a
Jewish State in the Land of Israel – the State of Israel.
WE RESOLVE that from the moment the Mandate ends,
at midnight on the Sabbath, the sixth of lyar 5708, the fifteenth day of May
1948, until the establishment of the duly elected authorities of the State
in accordance with a Constitution to be adopted by the Elected Constituent
Assembly not later than lst October 1948, the National Council shall act as
the Provisional Council of state, and its executive arm, the National
Administration, shall constitute the Provisional Government of the Jewish
State, and the name of that State shall be Israel.
THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open to Jewish
immigration and the ingathering of exiles. It will devote itself to
developing the Land for the good of all its inhabitants. It will rest upon
foundations of liberty, justice and peace as envisioned by the Prophets of
Israel. It will maintain complete equality of social and political rights
for all its citizens, without distinction of creed, race or sex. It will
guarantee freedom of religion and conscience, of language, education and
culture. It will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions. It will be
loyal to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be prepared to cooperate
with the organs and representatives of the Untied Nations in carrying out
the General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947, and will take steps to
bring about the economic union of the whole of Eretz Israel. WE APPEAL to
the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building of their
State, and to admit the State of Israel into the family of nations. EVEN
AMIDST the violent attacks launched against us for months past, we call upon
the sons of the Arab people dwelling in Israel to keep the peace and to play
their part in building the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship
and due representation in all its institutions, provisional and permanent.
WE EXTEND the hand of peace an good-neighbourliness
to all the States around us and to their peoples, and we call upon them to
cooperate in mutual helpfulness with the independent Jewish nation in its
Land. The State of Israel is prepared to make its contribution in a
concerted effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East. WE CALL
upon the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to join forces with us in
immigration and construction, and to be at our right hand in the great
endeavour to fulfil the age-old longing for the redemption of Israel.
WITH TRUST IN THE ROCK OF ISRAEL, we set our hands
in witness to this Proclamation, at this session of the Provisional Council
of State, on the soil of the homeland, in the city of Tel Aviv, this Sabbath
Eve, the fifth day of lyar, 5708, the fourteenth day of May nineteen forty
National Anthem of the State of Israel
So long as still within our breasts
The Jewish heart beats true,
So long as still toward the East
To Zion looks the Jew
So long as our hopes are not yet lost,
Two thousand years we cherished them,
To live as a free people in our land,
Land of Zion and Jerusalem.