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Weekly Alibi Palestine Declared Israel Overnight

By Sue Schuurman

MAY 18, 1998: 

50 Years Ago This Week

On May 15, 1948, Jews reclaimed the land of their ancestors and proclaimed Palestine to be the new state of Israel. While the need for a Jewish homeland, especially after the genocide of World War II, cannot be disputed, on Israel's 50th anniversary the continued limbo the Palestinians suffer is a generations-old injustice. How ironic that a people who have been oppressed for centuries now find themselves criticized for restricting the economic and political freedoms of others.

Bombs Fall on Tel Aviv as British Mandate Ends

TEL AVIV, Israel--Britain surrendered her 25-year-old mandate over Palestine at midnight and one minute later the new Jewish state of Israel came into existence.

The newly-born state faced an almost immediate threat of blood as Arab nations of the Middle East, awaiting the end of the mandate to launch their regular armies on an invasion of the Holy Land, poised troops on its frontiers. ...

Leaders of the new Israel promised, however, that its militia, Haganah, would defend the Jewish nation against the bloodiest Arab attacks. ...

The 2000-year-old Jewish dream of a homeland became almost a complete realization at 4:06 p.m. yesterday when leaders of the new state issued their declaration of independence.

The painstaking simple ceremony lasted only an hour. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion read the proclamation. ...

Meanwhile, the Arab League of Nations planned to set up an administration--not a state--of their own in Palestine to function with occupying Arab forces. ...

The general secretariat of the Arab league proclaimed a state of war exists between the Arab League nations and Palestinian Jewry. ...

Israel's government called upon Arabs living in the Jewish state 'to return to ways of peace and play their part in the development of the state, with full and equal citizenship.'

The proclamation said the Jews had the historic right of a national home in Palestine and a 'right to a life of dignity, freedom and labor.' ...

'The Nazi holocaust which engulfed millions of Jews in Europe proved anew the urgency of re-establishment of a Jewish state which would solve the problem of Jewish homelessness by opening the gates to all Jews and lifting the Jewish people to equality in the family of nations,' the proclamation said. ...

--compiled by Susan Schuurman

Source: Albuquerque Journal; May 15, 1948

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