Twenty-FIVE years ago the Jewish state proclaimed its independence in a part of Palestine. Six months earlier, the General Assembly of the United Nations had recommended its establishment. This act of historic justice strove to fulfill the earlier pledge of the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate which gave recognition not only to an immediate Jewish need but also to the principle of a Jewish right to national self- expression. Zionism, as an aspiration, is as old as the Exile. As a political movement it goes back a hundred years. The vision of a Jewish return to the original homeland is far older than the solemn international commitments of 25 and 55 years ago. An independent Jewish state arose as the culmination of a long process of national liberation, which eventually won formal sanction through the moral sense of the community of nations.
In the twenty-fifth year of independence, Israel has ample cause for satisfaction: she has developed from a community of 600,000 at the close of the British Mandate into a technologically advanced, democratic state of three million. She has fulfilled her mission of homeland and refuge by absorbing over a million Jews from every sector of the globe, including half a million refugees from Arab lands as well as hundreds of thousands of survivors of the Nazi holocaust; and while engaged in her enormous constructive tasks she has managed, though vastly outnumbered, to repel concerted assaults by the Arab states on her very life. She has translated a remote dream into solid reality. In all this Israel has brought to fruition the labor of Jewish pioneers who, since the turn of the century, gave their lives to transform a barren and denuded land into fertile fields, flourishing settlements and new patterns of society. In surveying the burgeoning towns of modern
Israel, it is easy to forget that the land to which the young settlers came was rich only in historic memories and religious associations. It had neither oil nor abundant
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