Birth of Israel

On this day: David Ben-Gurion dies

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

Israel’s first prime minister was born in Russian Poland in 1886, and given the name David Green by his father Avigdor. A leader of the Hibbath Zion movement, Avigdor instilled in his son a love of Zion from an early age and the house was always buzzing with talk of Zionism and Hebrew ideas.

By his late teens he had joined the Socialist-Zionist Poale Zion and become a dedicated opponent to both Tsarist antisemitism and the exploitation of workers. His activism got him into trouble, and he was arrested and jailed for agitating.

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On this day: UN votes for Jewish state

By Katie Taylor, November 29, 2010

It is a day that is not remembered, celebrated or even marked down on any calendar, but today is the 63rd anniversary of one of the most momentous events in Jewish history. It is the day that the state of Israel was created.

The United Nations submitted its partition plan in August 1947 and three months later, on November 29, it was affirmed - although the British were still in command of Palestine until May 1948.

The plan was devised by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, (UNSCOP), which was created after World War ll amid emerging evidence of the Holocaust.

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On this day: the Balfour Declaration

By Jennifer Lipman, November 2, 2010

Hailed as a “Jewish triumph” in that week’s JC, the Balfour Declaration is one of the most significant texts in the history of the Zionist movement.

Following a War cabinet meeting on the subject, it was a formal statement by the British government saying that they “View with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.

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Mira Awad: I won't perform on Israel Independence Day

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad, who pulled out of a performance at the Zionist Federation’s Israel Independence Day concert, has insisted death threats were not behind her decision to cancel.

In a message on her Facebook page, the singer, who jointly represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest, maintained she had pulled out after she realised the significance of the date of the performance.

Ms Awad was due to perform with her Eurovision partner Achinoam Nini, known as Noa, with whom she sings to sell-out audiences internationally, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.

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Death threats silence Independence Day singer

April 9, 2010

The woman who sang for Israel at the last Eurovision Song Contest, has pulled out of the ZF Israel Independence Day Concert in London following death threats.

Mira Awad, is an Arab-Israeli and one half of a duo with Achinoam Nini, otherwise known as NOA, with whom she performs to sell-out internationally audiences, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.

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Book Week boss accuses Edinburgh event of bias

By Shelly Paz, June 20, 2008

Jewish Book Week director Geraldine D’Amico has expressed disappointment that the Edinburgh International Book Festival plans to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary by focusing on the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, the Palestinian term for the creation of Israel.

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Revealed: how the Exodus Jews hit back

By Bernard Josephs, May 9, 2008

Holocaust survivors whose efforts to reach Palestine after the war were halted by the Royal Navy were sent in 1947 to grim camps in Germany and Austria surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers.

But they did not go without a fight, according to secret documents released this week by the National Archive.

The struggle between well-equipped troops and the refugees brought deep embarrassment and international criticism for the British government.

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Maybe time for a truce, Jeremy

By Simon Round, May 9, 2008

The Birth of Israel
BBC2, Sunday May 4

The juxtaposition of the words Jeremy Bowen and Israel often causes the paranoia centre in the Zionist brain to go into overdrive. Bowen has, in the past, been seen as unfairly critical of Israeli policies. So, his hour-long special on events leading to the formation of Israel was always going to be analysed forensically for signs of bias.

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How Britain helped forge Israel

By Simon Round, May 2, 2008

British Jews and the Dream of Zion
Radio 4, Monday April 28

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of Israel, here was a programme which told the story of the involvement of British Jews, and indeed non-Jews, in the foundation of the Jewish state.

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'They want to kill me for making documentaries'

By Nick Johnstone, May 2, 2008

Filmmaker Raneen Geries receives death threats for showing the Palestinian view of the events of 1948.

When Raneen Geries, a Palestinian woman, arrived at Tel Aviv University to study for a degree in social work, most of the students on her course were Jewish. As conversations frequently touched on family history, she realised how little she knew of her own.

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