by: Ilse Strauss, News Bureau Chief
At 16:00 on May 14, 1948—hours before sunset signaled the start of the Sabbath—David Ben-Gurion banged his gavel on the table to call the 250-strong crowd in the Tel Aviv Museum to order. “I shall now read to you the scroll of the Establishment of the State,” the architect of the modern State of Israel and its soon-to-be first prime minister announced.
It took 16 minutes for Ben-Gurion to read the Israeli Declaration of Independence, establishing a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. Those 16 minutes brought to a close 2,000 years of waiting, longing and watching for the promises of God to His people. The Israeli Declaration of Independence ushered in the fulfilment of prophesies spoken by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah and Ezekiel. The Jewish people had begun returning to their ancient homeland—just as God said they would. A nation was born in a day—just as God said it would.
May 14, 2023 marks 75 years since Israel’s rebirth. In these seven-and-a-half decades, the world had front row seats to God fulfilling a host of other promises spoken by the ancient biblical prophets.
So on this, Israel’s diamond jubilee, we invite you to walk with us through the mountaintops and valleys of the 75-year history of a nation and her people whose existence stands as proof that God exists, that He is faithful and that once He made a promise, its fulfilment is as sure as the rising of the sun.
|May 1948||God’s promises fulfilled! Israel reborn!
War of Independence as five Arab armies invade Israel
|1949||Armistice agreement ends War of Independence. Jordan annexes Judea and Samaria; Jerusalem under divided Israeli and Jordanian rule. Egypt occupies Gaza.
First Knesset established with Ben-Gurion as prime minister
Admitted as a UN member state
Operation Magic Carpet rescues tens of thousands of Yemenite Jews. Nearly a million Jews would flee persecution and expulsion in Arab countries, resettling in Israel. Some 250,000 Holocaust survivors also make Israel their home.
|August 1953||Five-year-old Israel’s first humanitarian aid operation after an earthquake hits Greece. In the ensuing 70 years, Israel sent over 30 aid missions abroad to help survivors of disasters.|
|1959||First experimental system of modern drip irrigation developed, an invention that blossomed countless deserts—in Israel and internationally|
|June 1967||Six Day War against five Arab armies. Israel reclaims Judea and Samaria, reunifies Jerusalem and regains control over Gaza, Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights.|
|March 1969||Golda Meir, Israel’s first female prime minister and the fourth female head of state in the world, takes office.|
|October 1973||Arab states launch a surprise attack, sparking the Yom Kippur War.|
|July 1976||Operation Entebbe rescues 100 hostages taken when Palestinian terrorists hijack a flight from Tel Aviv.|
|March 1979||Israel and Egypt sign a peace treaty, Israel’s first with an Arab state.|
|June 1982||First Lebanon War|
|November 1984||Operation Moses covertly evacuates first of thousands of Ethiopian Jews from refugee camps in Sudan.|
|December, 1987||First Intifada erupts and rages until 1993.|
|1991||Iraqi scud missiles rain down on Israel during the Gulf War.
Operation Solomon rescues 14,000 Ethiopian Jews in 36 hours.
Soviet Union falls. Mass immigration of Russians alters Israel’s demographics forever.
|September 1993||Israel and Palestinians sign Oslo I Accord, prompting Israeli withdrawal from specific areas and creating an interim Palestinian self-governing authority.|
|1994||Israel withdraws from most of Gaza and Jericho, followed by Palestinian self-government implemented there.
Yasser Arafat establishes the PA.
Israel gains its second Arab peace partner, Jordan.
|February, 1996||First suicide bombing, sparking a wave of 150 attacks spanning 20 years|
|September 2000||The Second Intifada erupts, triggering years of terror in which thousands died. Operation Defensive Shield and the construction of the security fence helped restore calm by 2005.|
|August 2005||Israel evacuates all Israelis from Gaza.|
|July 2006||Second Lebanon War|
|June 2007||Hamas seizes control of Gaza. Israel declares Gaza hostile territory.|
|December 2008||Operation Cast Lead in response to 10,000+ rockets fired by Hamas|
|January 2009||Major natural gas deposits discovered off the Mediterranean coast|
|January 2010||IDF’s efforts in aftermath of the Haiti earthquake elicits international praise.|
|April 2011||The Iron Dome intercepts its first rocket fired from Gaza. This defense system has neutralized thousands of rockets since, saving countless lives—in Israel and abroad.|
|November 2012||Operation Pillar of Defense in response to ongoing rocket fire from Gaza|
|June 2016||Operation Good Neighbor launched to aid Syrian civilians affected by the civil war|
|July 2014||Operation Protective Edge to destroy terror tunnels from Gaza|
|December 2017||The US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.|
|May 2018||The US embassy opens in Jerusalem.|
|March 2019||The US recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.|
|August 2020||Israel and the UAE announce a historic peace agreement.
Bahrain joins the UAE by making peace with Israel.
Abraham Accords signed!
Israel and Morocco establish diplomatic relations.
|February 2021||Kosovo becomes the first Muslim-majority state to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Operation Guardian of the Walls in response to rocket fire from Gaza
|2022||Russia invades Ukraine, prompting the largest wave of aliyah in nearly two decades.
The 37th government with Netanyahu as prime minister is sworn in, restoring political stability to the country
|May 2023||Happy 75th birthday Israel!|
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Photo License: David Ben-Gurion
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