This year, Yom Ha’atzmaut will be celebrated from May 12 to 13. Also known as Israel’s Independence Day, the date falls either in late April or early May in accordance with the 5th day of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar. The date is modified by a day if the date of 5th Iyar falls too close to the Jewish Sabbath. Since days start in the evening as per the Hebrew calendar, Yom Ha’atzmaut straddles two days. There was a lot of opposition that met the Israeli’s push to have their own homeland in Palestine but they did not relent in their quest hence Yom Ha’atzmaut.
History of Yom HaAtzmaut
Ever since the late 19th Century, Zionist organizations wanted a Jewish homeland in Palestine. British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, wrote a letter to British Jewish community leader, Walter Lord Rothschild, officially endorsing Zionism. This letter is known as the Balfour Declaration.
The U.K. was given the mandate for Palestine post World War I. The Peel Commission suggested partitioning Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, but this was deemed unworkable by the government at the time. This rejection is believed to be the reason for the Great Palestinian Revolt by Palestinian Arabs against the British administration. Following World War II, the uprising and violence got out of control and the British administration handed the matter over to the newly formed United Nations. As a result, Resolution 181(II) was born, planning to partition Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem. This was well-received by the Jewish population but the Arab population opposed it vigorously.
The drafting of the text of declaration and signing of it was met with utmost turmoil and unpleasant aftermath. The Arabs intervened in innumerable ways and there was sheer chaos even around the declaration ceremony. However, the time came to declare Israel as a sovereign state. The honors fell upon David Ben-Gurion who was the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. The declaration was made on May 14 1948 and David Ben-Gurion was declared the First Prime Minister of the State of Israel. This came into effect on the termination of the British Mandate at midnight that day.
Yom HaAtzmaut timeline
The then British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour endorses Zionism.
The proposal by Peel Commission to partition Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state is rejected.
The resolution for partition is put to the vote at the UN General Assembly.
The Independence of the State of Israel is finally declared.
Yom HaAtzmaut FAQs
Why is Israel known as the Startup Nation?
Israel is home to over 3,000 startups and high-tech companies, which is the highest in the world after Silicon Valley.
How do you wish for Yom Ha’atzmaut?
While there is no one way to do it, “I wish success and prosperity to the brave people of Israel! Yom Ha’Atzmaut Sameach!” or something similar is good.
What is the government system in Israel?
In the Middle East, Israel stands out as the only nation that practices democracy.
How to Observe Yom HaAtzmaut
Have a BBQ
Israelis often celebrate Independence Day with a bbq, so grab your grill and your friends and family and make your own! Make sure you have some yummy hummus to go with your selections of kebabs and meats.
Watch Israel Air Force Shows
Each year on Independence Day, the Israel Air Force flies along the coast displaying its incredible and impressive soaring skills. You can watch these showcases on Youtube.
You could use the day to contribute time or resources to an Israel-based charity. From vineyards to lone soldiers, numerous nonprofit organizations are set up to benefit Israel and its citizens.
5 Interesting Facts About Israel
Israel is a young country
Israel is just 73 years old, which is very young in country years.
It has a balanced staple diet
Israel is the world’s top third consumer of sweets and vegetables.
It’s left a mark on academia
Israel has the highest academics per capita rate in the world.
It is technically adept
Jerusalem was the first country in the world to be completely covered by Wi-Fi.
It has conquered outer space
Israel is one of the only countries to have sent a satellite into space.
Why Yom HaAtzmaut is Important
It keeps us rooted in history
Historians have done their best to document the events that led to our world becoming constituted as it is today. A day like today reminds us to look into history as we pave a path for tomorrow.
It instills gratitude
This day reminds us to recognize and celebrate all those who have endured great hardship in the fight for freedom. It also gives us a new appreciation for all the men and women who, today, take on the responsibility to serve and protect our nation.
Israel is incredible
The nation of Israel has so much to offer the rest of the world. From its beaches to the ultra hi-tech advancements, Israel is revolutionary in many ways and we love to celebrate that.
Yom HaAtzmaut dates