Monday, April 15, 2013

Israel: Senior Citizen of the World: Yom ha-Azma'ut

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                 

Happy Birthday, Israel.  You are now 65 years old.  You've made it to the ripe old age of being classified as a senior citizen.

Sixty-Five years ago according to the Jewish calendar when the British,  who had held the mandate, pulled out of Palestine, you were able to announce to the world:

"It is...the self-evident right of the Jewish people to be a nation, as all other nations, in its own Sovereign State.  Accordingly, we, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the Zionist movement of the world, meet together in solemn assembly virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people and of the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, "Hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called the State of Israel...."

An audience in attendance to this historic and brave moment rose and applauded.  then, when the proclamation had been adopted by acclamation, Ben-Gurion put his signature to the scroll.  Other council members followed, stepping to the front of the dais to sign while Sharrett held the parchment for each of them.

"Suddenly, the melancholy strains of "Hatikvah," the Jewish national anthem, wafted over the audience" by the Jewish Philharmonic Orchestra which was playing above from an upper story of the building.  "Ben-Gurion declared the meeting ended and Israel REBORN."

The first Israeli Prime Minister made his way through well- wishers and walked over to a British reporter saying, "You see, we did it!"

It was May 14, 1948 and moments later a buzzer on Clark Clifford's desk at the White House got his attention and he went to the President's office.  Truman greeted him with a "broad smile."  Truman was able to tell Clifford that General Marshall called and he's agreed to de facto recognition but wanted to wait for a few days to consult with the British and the French. (They had been the ones holding the mandates.)  Clifford answered, "Mr. President, if we're going to recognize the country it's best to do it immediately."  Truman had received a letter from Chaim Weizmann pleading for immediate recognition.  "All right, Truman answered.  "Get a formal request for recognition immediately."

It was almost 10:00 am.  Only 8 hours until the Jewish State would be born, since Palestine time was 6 hours ahead of Washington time.  He called Eliahu Elath at the Jewish Agency headquarters and asked, "Are you people still determined to proclaim your independence today?
"I haven't the slightest doubt," was Elath's reply.

And it happened.  The British left and Israel was reborn.  May 14, 1948.

                                                           Hatikvah (The Hope)
In the Jewish heart..a Jewish spirit still sings,...and the eyes look East...Toward Zion
Our hope is not lost...Our hope of 2,000 years....To be a free nation in our land
In the land of Zion and Jerusalem.  

Definition of Zion:  Jerusalem, Israel
Resource:  "Genesis 1948 The First Arab-Israeli War" by Dan Kurzman, Chapter "The Civil War" page 250-251  Hatikvah by Barbara Streisand (in Hebrew) , and Golda Meier short interview    (Excellent information) 

No comments:

Post a Comment