On This Day: Israel Becomes a Nation

On May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council met at the Tel Aviv Museum and announced the creation of the state of Israel.

New State Immediately Challenged

Britain seized control Palestine in 1917 and was granted mandate over the area by the League of Nations in 1922. In a 1917 letter by Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour and in the League of Nations mandate, the British expressed their desire to create a Jewish state in Palestine.

In 1947, Britain announced that it would end its Palestine mandate no later than Aug. 1, 1948. In November 1947, the United Nations approved a proposal to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Palestinian states. However, in response to intense opposition to the plan from Arab states, Britain did not implement the partition.

Britain later announced that it would terminate its mandate on May 15, 1948. On May 14, British forces pulled out of Palestine a day early. That afternoon, Jewish leaders assembled at the Tel Aviv Museum to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence and announce the creation of the first modern Jewish state.

The declaration read: “This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.” Read more

Categories: Israel

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