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Israel’s Declaration of Independence—May 1948
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“The General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution authorizing the establishment of a Jewish state . . . by reason of our natural and historic right, we hereby proclaim the establishment of...the State of Israel.”

[Israeli Declaration of Independence]. Newspaper. Yom ha-Medinah. Jerusalem, May 14, 1948. In Hebrew. 2 pp. 16½ x 22 in., framed to 23½ x 29½ in.

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On May 14, 1948, “the last day of foreign rule”, the Hebrew newspapers in Palestine published a joint issue titled Yom ha-Medinah, “The Day of the State,” announcing the establishment of the State of Israel. The front page prints the entire Israeli Declaration of Independence, signed that day by the members of the Provisional State Council, as well as an announcement that all the regulations of the British “White Paper” of 1939 are null and void.

“WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace … 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.

WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream - the redemption of Israel.

Israel’s Declaration pledges to “uphold the full social and political equality of its citizens without distinction of race, creed, or, sex.” Thus, Israel’s founding document put in place ideals which took America over a hundred years to achieve. Israel’s emphasis on protecting human rights, though beset with real-world challenges in the ground, remains radical compared to many nations, especially in the Middle East.

This first issue of the Official Gazette of the Israeli government contains the first printing of the Decree Concerning the Establishment of the State of Israel. The names of the 37 members of the Temporary Government headed by David Ben-Gurion are listed on page 2.