In the Bible it is written “And I saw this great empty place with dry bones. Can these bones live? Only you know.” Ezekiel 37.
The Jews were cast out of their ancient land. Their Temple ruined and its treasures stolen by Rome and its people cast into slavery, doomed to wander the face of the earth, rejected, threatened, and slaughtered.
Through the Holocaust until shocked American and Russian soldiers witnessed the horrors of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Birkenau. “And I saw this great empty place with dry bones. Can these dry bones live?”
But the pioneers came to reclaim their ancient land. Yet, despite the world decreeing the right of the Jews to a land of their own, the Arabs declared a war of extermination. “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be the most momentous massacre in history.” Azzam Pasha, head of the Arab League.
American imposed an arms boycott against the nascent Jewish State. The British armed the armies of Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq.
The Palmach unit of the Hagenah has just 300 men, most without weapons or uniforms. The Jews had no tanks and just a few planes. Against five Arab armies.
David Ben-Gurion wired Chaim Weizmann, “Do I declare a state?” Weizmann replied, “Proclaim the state, no matter what ensues.”
The next day, Ben-Gurion declared, “We declare the establishment of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, to be called the State of Israel.”
Two thousand years of Jewish exile came to an end. The most legendary comeback story in human history, made more legendary by the rag-tag volunteers who held back five invading Arab armies bent of their destruction. Fully 10% of our people died in that war against us.
Then, in 1948, we were 600,000. Today, we are almost nine million. A tiny nation, but one of the most innovative, powerful and advanced nations on earth, beset with challenges and threats against us but proud and confident in ourselves as the Jewish nation.
David Ben-Gurion said it best. “In Israel, to be a realist, you have to believe in miracles.”
To those who defy us we say;
Happy 70th Anniversary, Israel!!