Israel's Independence Day - Yom Ha'Atzmaut
Israel became an independent country on the 5th day of Iyaar in the
year 5708 it would have appeared to an uninformed observer that this was just
one more small nation finally ridding itself of the colonial overlords who had
occupied the country these many years. Such a casual observation would surely
have been justified in view of the attainment of independence of so many
counties after the end of the Second World War. Colonialism had come to an end
because of that great struggle and the British were not only forced out of
Israel but also had to leave most countries in Africa along with the French and
the Belgians. The Dutch left Indonesia and even the Portuguese were forced to
give up their last holding in India.
were however a number of
differences between the achievement of independence for Israel and the
independence others reached then. The first of these differences was that Israel
had become a state again after 1900 years. That is not to say that there were no
Jews in Israel during all those years. In fact, the majority of the population
of Israel was always Jewish. It was only after the Russian Jews began to rebuild
that country at the end of the 19th century that Arabs from
neighboring areas moved into Israel in order to take advantage of the labor and
investments the Jews had made into colonial Israel under Turkish and British
David Ben Gurion proclaimed the reestablishment of a free and democratic Israel
on May 14, 1948 the
184 million Arabs surrounding 600,000 Jews attacked that small Jewish
community with all the weapons the British had given them before leaving.
Hopelessly outnumbered, surrounded on all sides, cut off from any outside help,
the Jews of Israel nevertheless succeeded in surviving the murderous assault by
the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi, Iraq and all the
bloodthirsty "volunteers" from other Arab lands. The survival of
Israel then and at every other Arab assault is indeed a miracle which is not
only to be attributed to the immense courage of our brethren in Israel but to
1967 another astounding victory during the Six Day War saved Israel once more
from Nazi style annihilation planned by Egypt and Syria with the connivance of
Jordan. That great victory was once more a miracle, particularly in face of the
utter indifference of the world to what looked once more like a probable
then, Israel has defended itself against the unrelenting hatred of the Arab
world who only 7 months ago began yet another campaign of killing and
destruction aimed at annihilating Israel with the help of the so-called United
Nations. That campaign will not succeed. It indicates, however, that after 53
years the Arab view of Jews has not changed. To them, and their followers, Jews
have no right to exist. Therefore
Israel has not right to exist. Since Jews exist despite this belief, it
follows that the Arabs and their friends have the duty to kill Jews anywhere.
Consequently, a real peace between the Arab bigots and Israel can only be
attained in the form of a cease-fire based on the superiority of Israel's
military strength and the determination of the United States to support the only
democracy in the Middle East. That has been done most decidedly by the current
administration in Washington and was demonstrated only this week when the State
Department placed the blame for the violence now continuing there on the
so-called Hizbollah killers and their Syrian friends.
need to remember that the liberals for whom almost all Jews keep voting never
supported Israel as forcefully as is done by those who received almost no Jewish
votes at all. We Jews need to keep in mind who our friends really are and stop
our automatic prostration before any idiocy labeled "liberal".
Israel, Independence Day is preceded by a day of remembrance for the fallen
soldiers who have defended Israel these 53 years. Then, a great celebration
encompassed the whole land. Fireworks are displayed in every town and city.
Entertainers perform on every stage. Dancing and music are heard until late at
night and every neighborhood is decorated with flags and lights.
Independence Day the President of Israel receives the outstanding soldiers of
the year at his residence, an International Bible Contest is held and in every
Beth Ha' Tefillah
special prayers of thanksgiving are recited.
is indeed a great day for Israel, for all Jews and for all who are willing to
recognize that the achievement of tiny Israel reflects how courage and
determination with the help of Shem Yisborach can overcome every obstacle and
every enemy. In the words of Theodore Herzl, “If you will it, is is no