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.