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Israeli independence 65 years ago today

    The front page of the Jewish Chronicle on May 21 1948
    The front page of the Jewish Chronicle on May 21 1948

    Sixty five years ago today, on May 14 1948 at 4pm, a day before the British Mandate in Palestine was due to expire, a Jewish state was established in Israel.

    David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the state of Israel at the Tel Aviv Museum and, the next day, the Israeli War of Independence began.

    Indicating just how overshadowed the declaration was by war, the Jewish Chronicle reported the event in its issue of May 21 1948 under the headline: ‘Full-Scale War in Palestine’.

    The report read: “Simultaneously with the declaration of the state of Israel, the forces of five Arab states, including the British trained and financed Arab Legion on King Abdullah [of Jordan], have crossed the borders of Palestine, and fierce fighting has taken place in many parts of the country.”

    Yom Ha’atzmaut was celebrated for the first time in 1949, when the big news of the day was Israel being accepted into the United Nations.

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