Facts about Israel: The State

Facts about Israel: The State


2010 Edition




 ...ותשועה ברב יועץ. - משלי י"א י"ד

...in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)

The Proclamation of the Establishment of the State of Israel, signed on 14 May 1948 by members of the National Council, representing the Jewish community in the country and the Zionist movement abroad, constitutes the nation's credo. Included therein are the historical imperatives of Israel's rebirth; the framework for a democratic Jewish state founded on liberty, justice, and peace, as envisaged by the biblical prophets; and a call for peaceful relations with the neighboring Arab states for the benefit of the entire region.

 Recording: David Ben-Gurion announces the establishment of the State of Israel


David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the establishment of the State of Israel
Photo: GPO

Eretz 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 statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

... Jews strove in every successive generation to reestablish themselves in their ancient homeland. ... they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community, controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself...

The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration... 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 extend our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.

(from the Proclamation of the Establishment of the State of Israel)

- Full text

Israel's Declaration of Independence - May 1948

The Israeli flag

The flag of the State of Israel is based on the design of the Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), with a blue Shield of David (Magen David).

 Photo: I. Sztulman

Emblem of Israel

The official emblem of the State of Israel is a candelabrum (menorah), whose shape is said to be derived from the seven-branched moriah, a plant known since antiquity. The olive branches on either side represent Israel's yearning for peace.


The Menorah through the Ages

Menorah on a Hasmonean coin from the first century BCE The Menorah on a Hasmonean coin from the first century BCE
(Israel Antiquities Authority)
Menorah on two plaster fragments from the first century CE
The Menorah on two plaster fragments from the first century CE, found in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem (Israel Exploration Society)
Menorah in the mosaic floor of a 5th-6th century synagogue in Jericho
The Menorah in the mosaic floor of a 5th - 6th century synagogue in Jericho
(Israel Antiquities Authority)
The Menorah near the Knesset by Benno Elkan
The Menorah near the Knesset, by Benno Elkan
(Israel Government Press Office

Hatikvah-The National Anthem

The text of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, was written by the Jewish poet Naphtali Herz Imber in 1878. The anthem speaks of the hope of the Jewish people to live as a free and sovereign people in the Land of Israel.

As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew yearns,
And towards the East
An eye looks to Zion,
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.​



 Listen to Hatikva

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