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Extract from the archives: The Nation of Israel was born 75 years ago

Israel declared itself a state 75 years ago on May 14, 1948. The United States recognized the new Jewish nation on the same day. Israel was established in a part of the region called Palestine, which had been administered since the end of World War I by Britain under a mandate from the League of Nations and then from the United Nations.

From the San Diego Union, Saturday, May 15, 1948:

Hostile planes bomb Tel Aviv; Truman recognizes the Jewish state

The new nation of Israel is born as the Arabs attack


TEL AVIV, Israel, May 15 (Saturday) (AP)—Air raids bombarded this all-Jewish town at dawn today. Initial reports said there had been “a few casualties” near the powerhouse and lighthouse. Tel Aviv was pitch black all night but no sirens sounded during the raid. The Civil Guard is alerted and 15 to 20 ships in the port area set sail.

NEW YORK, May 14 (AP) — A Jewish broadcast from Tel Aviv, heard in the United States by both the American Broadcasting Co. and the National Broadcasting Co., said tonight that Tel Aviv has been bombed since the airs.

ABC quoted the broadcaster as saying, “Tel Aviv is being bombed by hostile aircraft as I speak.”


San Diego Union front page, May 15, 1948.

(The San Diego Union)

NBC said the show featured a keynote address from David Ben-Gurion, premiere of the newly proclaimed State of Israel. He quoted him as saying, “Tel Aviv is being bombarded by hostile aircraft right now.”

The technicians said in his speech, NBC reported, that he pledged full cooperation with Arabs for world peace and pleaded for help from “decent people around the world.”


The Columbia Broadcasting System, which also aired the show from Tel Aviv, quoted Ben-Gurion as saying:

“We hope all honest people around the world will help us in our difficult task. We know that we are in great danger. As I speak, Tel Aviv is being bombarded by hostile planes.

CBS commented, “That’s when distinct bombardment sounds could be heard.” Ben-Gurion paused before continuing, CBS said.

San Diego Union page three, May 15, 1948.

The report on the founding of the new State of Israel and the bombing of Tel Aviv continues on page three of The San Diego Union, May 15, 1948.

(The San Diego Union)

new state born

TEL AVIV, Palestine, May 15 (Saturday) (UP)—Jews today seized sovereignty over their own State of Israel and equipped themselves to defend it against five Arab armies stationed on the borders of Palestine.

Proclaimed at 4 p.m. yesterday, the new nation was officially born at midnight when the British Mandate in the Holy Land ended.

A minute later, Egypt, which has the largest army in the Arab world, announced that its troops had been ordered into Palestine.

From Amman, Transjordan, it was reported that Arab armies left Transjordan at 12:01 p.m. today to “liberate the Holy Land from Zionism.”

Even before Israel formally joined the community of nations, however, Jewish forces struck in Arab-held areas. Hagansh said his forces had captured the strategic port of Acre in northern Palestine.

The first official proclamation of the new state lifted British White Paper restrictions on Jewish immigration and ended the embargo on the sale of land to Jews.

It gave Israel’s interim government, led by a 66-year-old white-haired man, David Ben-Gurion, the power to pass emergency laws and validated existing UK laws “compatible” with the decree.

California Daily Newspapers

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