The Declaration Of Independence

Israel's Declaration of Independence was made on 14 May 1948, four o'clock in the afternoon, at Dizengoff House on Rothschild Boulevard 16, Tel Aviv. It was on a Friday, the day before the British Mandate was due to expire.

David Ben-Gurion opened the ceremony by announcing to the People's Administration, the People's Council and representatives of the Jewish settlement and the Zionist Movement, altogether about 250 guests: "I shall read to you the Foundation Scroll of the State of Israel". The "She'hecheyanu" blessing and the singing of "Ha'Tikva" followed. The ceremony lasted 32 minutes.

The members of the People's Council, which had now become the interim State Council, signed the Foundation Scroll. Thousands of people had assembled outside during the course of the ceremony.

The declaration ceremony was held at the Tel Aviv Museum, which was later called "Independence Hall", and which today includes a reconstruction of the hall in which the establishment of the state was announced. The museum building, prior to its expansion served as the private residence of Meir Dizengoff, the first Mayor of Tel Aviv, who had placed his private home at the service of the public, in the form of an art museum of the first Hebrew city.

Today, "Independence Hall" also includes a permanent exhibition reviewing the historical background of the establishment of the state. "Independence Hall" is an extension of the Land of Israel Museum in Tel Aviv.

The Foundation Scroll –
The previous stamp, featured with the Hebrew article, is dedicated to the Foundation Scroll which is called Megilat Ha'Atzma'ut in Hebrew. Its first half describes in length the historic, moral and legal basis for the establishment of the State of Israel. Following is the 2nd part of the declaraion's text (it is interesting to note the use of the phrase "Rock of Israel"; this was a compromise between religous leaders who wanted God to be mentioned and secular leaders who opposed an explicit reference to God: Rock of Israel refers either directly to God or to the cultural and historical heritage of the Jewish people):

"We, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the World Zionist Movement, are met together in solemn assembly today, the day of termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, and by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people and of the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, we hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called Medinat Yisrael (The State of Israel).

We hereby declare that, as from the termination of the Mandate at midnight, May 14-15, 1948, and pending the setting up of the duly elected bodies of the State in accordance with a Constitution to be drawn up by the Constituent Assembly not later than October 1, 1948, the National Council shall act as the Provisional State Council, and that the National Administration shall constitute the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, which shall be known as 'Israel'.

The State of Israel will be open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their dispersion; will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; will be based on the principles of liberty, justice and peace as conceived by the Prophets of Israel; will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion, race, or sex; will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, education and culture; will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions and will loyally uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The State of Israel will be ready to cooperate with the Organs and representatives of the United Nations in the implementation of the Resolution of the Assembly of November 29, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Palestine.

We appeal to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building of its State and to admit Israel into the family of nations.

In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions - provisional and permanent.

We extend our hand in peace and neighborliness to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is prepared to make its contribution to the progress of the Middle East as a whole.

Our call goes out to the Jewish people all over the world to rally to our side in the task of immigration and development, and to stand by us in the great struggle for the fulfillment of the dream of generations for the redemption of Israel.

With trust in The Rock of Israel, we set our hand to this Declaration, at this session of the Provisional State Council, on the soil of the Homeland, in the city of Tel Aviv, on this Sabbath eve, the fifth of Iyar, 5708, the fourteenth day of May, 1948.

(Signed) David Ben-Gurion, Daniel Auster, Mordekhai Bentov, Yitzchaq Ben-Zvi, Eliahu Berligne, Fritz Bernstein, Rabbi Wolff Gold, Meir Grabovsky, Yitzhaq Gruenbaum, Dr. Avraham Granovsky, Eliahu Dobkin, Meir Wilner-Rubner, Zerach Warhaftig, Herzl Vardi, Rachel Cohen, Rabbi Kalman Cahana, Sa'adya Kubashi, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Levine, Meir David Levinstein, Zvi Luria, Golda Meyerson, Nachum Nir, Zvi Segal, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Hacohen Fishman, David Zvi Pinkas, Aharon Zisling, Moshe Kolodni, Eliezer Kaplan, Avraham Katznelson, Felix Rosenblueth, David Remez, Berl Repetur, Mordekhai Shattner, Bentzion Sternberg, Bekhor Shitreet, Moshe Shapira, Moshe Shertok."

The stamp was issued in 1998, design: Batya Ton. The Foundation Scroll stamp was issued in 1973, design: M. Amar.