Fanack Home / Israel / Past to Present / The Way to Partition / Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

On 14 May 1948, the last British High Commissioner, General Alan Cunningham, left Palestine in accordance with Great Britain’s pledge. At about the same time, David Ben-Gurion, the chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, read out the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel in the Tel Aviv Museum (today the Eretz Israel Museum, see Independence Hall), which was signed by 37 members of the Provisional Council of State.

The declaration linked the establishment of a Jewish state directly to ‘the catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people – the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe’ as ‘another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness’, and referred to Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly of 29 November 1947, which according to the declaration ‘required the inhabitants of Eretz Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution’. ‘This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable. 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.’

On the same day, the United States recognized the new state, followed three days later by the Soviet Union. In the early morning of May 15, regular armed forces of Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Transjordan crossed the borders of Palestine. War had broken out.

Official document of the Declaration of Independence / Image source: www.mfa.gov.il
Official document of the Declaration of Independence / Image source: www.mfa.gov.il

Palestine Post headlines of 15 May 1948
Palestine Post headlines of 15 May 1948
David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Independence of the State of Israel / Photo HH
David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Independence of the State of Israel / Photo HH

image_pdfimage_print

We would like to ask you something …

Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.

The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.

In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.

To run such a website is very expensive. With a small donation, you can make a huge impact. And it only takes a minute. Thank you.