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Israeli Independence Day

60 years ago today according to the Hebrew calendar, the State of Israel declared its independence. I think it is still a point of pride that it only took the United States 11 minutes before we became the first country to formally recognize Israel, and that today we remain one of Israel’s strongest allies.

Even 60 years later Israel’s principles of independence are inspirational:

Eretz Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books….

Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland….

[The State of Israel] 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….

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….

Mazal Tov, or good fortune and congratulations to the the tiny state of Israel, 60 years later still under attack but still committed to the same righteous principles of her founding.

The full Declaration of Independence can be read here.


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