Eretz-Israel1 was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their
spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they
first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national
and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal book
After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith
with it throughout their dispersion and never ceased to pray and
hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their
Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove
in every successive generation to reestablish themselves in their
ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses,
pioneers, ma'apilim,2 and defenders. 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, bringing the
blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and
aspiring towards independent nationhood.
In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of
the Jewish state, Theodor Herzl, the first Zionist congress
convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national
rebirth in its own country.
This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd
November, 1917, and reaffirmed in the mandate of the League of
Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the
historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and
to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its national home. The
catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people - the massacre
of millions of Jews in Europe - was another clear demonstration of
the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by
reestablishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish state, which would open
the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the
Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the comity
Survivors of the Nazi Holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from
other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel,
undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never
ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and
honest toil in their national homeland.
In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country
contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom and
peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by
the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to
be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.
On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly
passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish state
in Eretz-Israe1. The General Assembly 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
Accordingly we, members of the People's Council, representatives of
the Jewish community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist movement,
are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British
Mandate over Eretz-Israel and, by virtue of our natural and
historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United
Nations General Assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a
Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israe1.
We declare that, with effect from the moment of the termination of
the Mandate, being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708
(15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular
authorities of the state in accordance with the constitution which
shall be adopted by the elected constituent assembly not later than
the 1st of October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a
provisional council of state, and its executive organ, the people's
administration, shall be the provisional government of the Jewish
state, to be called "Israel."
The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the
ingathering of the exiles; it 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
The State of Israel is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and
representatives of the United Nations in implementing the
resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947, and
will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of
We appeal to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the
building-up of its state and to receive the State of Israel into
the comity of nations.
We appeal - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us
now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to
preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on
the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in
all its provisional and permanent institutions.
We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in
an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to
establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign
Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is
prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of
the entire Middle East.
We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally
round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and
upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the
realization of the age-old dream - the redemption of Israel.
Placing our trust in the Almighty, we affix our signatures to this
proclamation at this session of the provisional council of state,
on the soil of the homeland, in the city of Tel Aviv, on this
Sabbath eve, the 5th day of Iyar, 5708 (14th May, 1948).
1 Eretz-Israel (Hebrew) - the Land of Israel, Palestine.
2 Ma'apilim (Hebrew) - immigrants coming to Eretz-Israel in
defiance of restrictive British legislation.