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Declaration of the State of Israel

The Land of 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.

…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.

… We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream – the redemption of Israel.

Explanation of the Text:

These three excerpts from Israel’s Declaration of Independence all relate to Israel’s connection to the Jewish people. The first establishes the historical connection. Israel is where the Jewish people began its journey as a collective. It is where its spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Where it attained, in ancient terms and times statehood and where it began developing its culture.

The second establishes the connection between the vision of the State and Jewish values: “it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel”. That is the basis that is to ensure the complete equality of social and political rights to all inhabitants, and the freedom of religion , conscience, education, language and culture. Jewish ethics are at the base of Israel’s Statement of Independence.

The third excerpt relates to the future collaboration with world Jewry. The Declaration calls for Diaspora Jews to support the Zionist enterprise through Immigration and the building of the State. But it also calls upon world Jews to stand by the Israelis in general in the great struggle of realizing the Jewish age-old dream – the rebuilding of the Jewish homeland in Israel.
However at this point the Declaration ends on an intriguing note. It refers to the age-old dream as – “the redemption of Israel”.  As the term Israel also means the people of Israel it is not clear if the intention is that the state of Israel will provide the leadership and energy that will redeem the whole people throughout the world (as Ahad Ha’am suggested), or that redemption will come when all Jews immigrate to Israel.

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