Formation of Israel - Israeli Declaration of Independence

May 14, 2019

On 14 May 1948, the nation-state of Israel was born.

Its establishment was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, then head of the Jewish Agency (the primary Jewish not-for-profit organisation that was encouraging the Jewish diaspora to return to the region) who became Israel’s first Prime Minister.

Israel was recognised the same day by then US President Harry S. Truman. Israel's proclamation and declaration of independence was consistent with the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917 – announced by the British Government during WWI, two days after it had defeated the Ottoman Turks on their then-occupied territory in the famous Battle of Beersheba.

The Balfour Declaration and, in particular, the United States, supported establishing a “national home for the Jewish people” in the historical home of the Jews, in territory which by 1948 was controlled by Great Britain.

Although estimates vary, around 45% of the world's Jews live in Israel today, the largest Jewish community in the world. Despite the significant challenges posed by living under constant threat from some of its adjoining and other Middle Eastern neighbours (some of whom, such as Iran, have sworn to destroy Israel), Israel has become an oasis of Western development, prosperity and innovation.

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