*State of Israel Born Amid Strife
May 13, 1948
Jew, Arabs Prepare for War
Britain's 31-Year Rule of Holy
Land Is Ended
Tel Aviv, (CP) - The State of Israel, first Hebrew nation in 2,000
years, was born Friday in a Jewish declaration of independence
asserting the "historic right" of the Jews of Palestine to reconstitute
their nation home. As the Jewish state was born, fierce fighting
between Jews and Arabs raged in the Holy Land.
The proclamation by the national council is effective at one
minute after midnight, when Britain's 31 - year rule of the Holy Land
ends. The British high commissioner already has left Palestine soil for
a British cruiser, and the British mandate government has left the Holy
City of Jerusalem.
While Jewish forces and soldiers of the
surrounding Arab countries prepared for war, the Jews proclaimed their
"right to a life of dignity, freedom and labor. The declaration said
this right was recognized by the United Nations.
The Arab League, meanwhile, planned to set up an
administrative-not a state-of their own in Palestine to function with
occupying Arab forces if and when Palestine is invaded.
In London, the Arab Office declared the termination of the
British mandate had created a disastrous situation in the Holy Land,
but "will at least give the Arabs the opportunity, which they have
never had until now, of resisting the invaders face to face and without
the intervention of a foreign power which has hitherto given them its
protection" the general secretariat of the Arab League has
proclaimed a state of war existing with the Palestine Jewry.
The Haganah high command Friday broadcast an appeal to the
Jewish population to be ready for the possibility of invasion and air
raids against the newly-proclaimed Jewish state.
Two hours after the proclamation of the Jewish state, Haganah called
for a partial black out in Jewish cities as from Friday
night.It called also for trenches to be dug in rural settlements.
Shelters and the prevention of crowding in the streets were asked.
Ben-Gurion Friday became premier of the new Jewish state.
takes the defence portfolio in the Jewish national council which will
act as provisional council for the new state.
His 12 ministers are:
Foreign affairs, Moshe Shertok, treasury, Eliezer Kaplan,
communications Dav Remez trade, industry and supplies I Bernstein, home
affairs, I Grunbaum immigration , M. Shapiro, land and public works, M
Bentov agriculture, A. Zisling, Poice B. Shitreel Justice. f.
Rosenblut, ministers without portfolio, Rabbis J. L. Fishma and I M
The Jewish provincial government immediately revoked the British White
paper of 1939 limiting immigration to Palestine and legislation
limiting land sales.
The law limiting land sales to Jews was revoked retroactively from May
18, 1939. the day after the white paper was issued. All other existing
laws remain in force in the Jewish state.
The 1939 white paper limited Jewish immigration into
Palestine to 75,000 after which Arab consent would be sought before
further immigrants were admitted.
The Arab League's general secretariat proclaimed Thursday night that a
state of war exists between the Arab countries and Palestine Jewry.
Syria, in line with this, was declared Friday to
be in a state of emergency.
As the Jewish state was born, the Arabs wrested their first
real victory in Palestine. Arab, neutral and Jewish sources confirmed
that Arab legionnaires, supported by 2,000 tribesmen from Hebron hills,
wiped out four Jewish colonies in the Kfar Etzion bloc south of
Jerusalem, athwart the Arab invasion route from the south.
The informants said 200 Jews died in the battle.
The Jewish Agency declaring the Arabs had killed prisoners of
war despite promises of adherence to the international law, had urged
the United Nations truce commission to intervene the battle.
The battle for the Bab el Wad gorge, lifeline Jewish link
between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, raged unabated.
The Birth of the
Jewish state of Israel was proclaimed at a solemn assembly of members
of the Jewish National Council.
The Proclamation declared:
"We members of the National Council representing the Jewish people in
Palestine and the Zion movement of the world, met together in solemn
assembly on the day of the termination of the British mandate for
Palestine, and by virtue of natural and historic right of the Jewish
people, and by resolution of the general assembly of the United
Nations, hereby proclaim the establishment of a Jewish state in
Palestine to be called "Israel'
from the termination of the mandate at midnight tonight, and until the
setting up of duly-elected bodies in accordance with the constitution
to be drawn up by the constituent assembly not later than Oct. 1, 1948.
the present National Council shall act as the provisional government of
the State of Israel.
"The state will be open to all Jewish immigrants, will promote the
development of the country for all its inhabitants, will be based on
the precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew
prophets, will uphold full social and political equality for all its
citizens without distinction of race, creed or sex, and will guarantee
full freedom of education and culture."
The proclamation also
promised safeguards for shrines and religious places for all religions
and that the state would dedicate itself "to the principles of the
charter of the United Nations."
The proclamation appealed to the U.N. to assist the Jewish
people in building their state and sought admission into the U.N.
It called upon the Arab inhabitants of "the State of Israel"
to return to ways of peace and promised them full and equal citizenship
and repreentation in the state bodies and institutions.
Peace also was offered to neighboring Arab peoples.