Monday, May 14

Birth of a Nation

The independent state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv as British rule in Palestine came to an end on this day in 1948.  Immediately, all of its Arab neighbors declared war and vowed to destroy the nation altogether.  Arab troops greatly outnumbered the entire Jewish population, but of the 85,000 Jews in Palestine, 30,000 took up arms to defend their fledgling nation.  When overt hostilities ceased, the Arabs managed only to retain possession of the old quarter of Jerusalem and the West Bank territories and Israel had a nation again—after 1,878 years of exile.

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