5TH DAY OF IYAR, 5708
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.
After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout
their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for
the restoration in it of their political freedom.
Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive
generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades
they returned in their masses. Pioneers, ma'pilim (Hebrew) - immigrants coming to
Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation] and defenders, they made deserts
bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving
community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how
to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants,
and aspiring towards independent nationhood.
In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State,
Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of
the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.
This right was recognized in the
of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the
Mandate of the League of Nations
which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between
the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild
its National Home.
The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people - the massacre of millions
of Jews in Europe - was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the
problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State,
which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the
Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the comity of nations.
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.
In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full
share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces
of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained
the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.
On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution
calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly
required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on
their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United
Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.
This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own
fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.
ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE
TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL
AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL
ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO
BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL.
WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being
tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment
of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution
which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st
October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State,
and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government
of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel".
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.
THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives
of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of
the 29th 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-up of
its State and to receive the State of Israel into the comity of 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 up building 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 neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace
and good neighborliness, 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 up building and to stand by them in
the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream - the redemption of
PLACING OUR TRUST IN THE "ROCK OF ISRAEL", WE AFFIX OUR SIGNATURES TO THIS PROCLAMATION
AT THIS SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE, ON THE SOIL OF THE HOMELAND,
IN THE CITY OF TEL-AVIV, ON THIS SABBATH EVE, THE 5TH DAY OF IYAR, 5708 (14TH MAY,1948).