Why all the angst about recognizing the Jewish State?

Israel’s need to be recognized as a Jewish State seems to be superfluous since this fact is repeated, very clearly, no less than 5 times in Ben Gurion’s state-founding declaration.

The specific quote is unambiguous, namely:

“Accordingly we, members of the people’s council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British mandate over Eretz-Israel and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations general assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the state of Israel.”

Thus there can be no doubt that all the States voting to pass the UN’s resolution on November 30, 1947 knew they were voting for or against acceptance of a Jewish State. As did President Truman, who announced the USA’s recognition of the State of Israel 11 minutes after it came into being, May 14, 1948. Here is the specific wording:

“This Government has been informed that a Jewish State has been proclaimed in Palestine and recognition thereof has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the de facto authority of the State of Israel.” Could any of the states which subsequently established relations with Israel have been ignorant of the fact that Israel was a Jewish State?

The founding document is in fact Israel’s constitution. We were surely remiss not to incorporate ‘The Jewish State’ appellation on the official letterhead which features the Menorah as Israel’s logo. ‘The Jewish State’ should have been used to sub-title the artwork. However, there’s no reason why this addition should not immediately become a permanent part of the state’s logo.

Here are the 5 paragraphs in which the Jewish State is mentioned. I did not attach this information to my letter to the Jerusalem Post knowing this would not be welcome.

1.
In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the first Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

2.
The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people – the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe – was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the comity of nations.

3.
On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

4.
Accordingly we, members of the people’s council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British mandate over Eretz-Israel and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations general assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the state of Israel.

5.
WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People’s Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People’s Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called “Israel.

Moreover, President Truman’s recogition statement which came a scant 11 minutes later makes it very clear the Israel is a Jewish state. Here are his words:

“This Government has been informed that a Jewish State has been proclaimed in Palestine and recognition thereof has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the de facto authority of the State of Israel.”

So why are we fussing about explicitly demanding the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state? This seems to be quite unnecessary.

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7 Responses to “Why all the angst about recognizing the Jewish State?”

  1. Arlene Kushner Says:

    No! Israel is not asking for permission to be a Jewish state. This gov’t insists upon our inherent right to identify ourselves this way. The issue is something else: the acknowledgement of the Arab world and specifically the PA that this is what we are. This is not just semantics. If they recognize us as the Jewish state, then they must abandon ‘right of return’ and begin to really work for “two-states for two people.” As it is, the Arabs hypocritically use that slogan without genuinely intending this — their intention being, of course, to overtake Israel so that there is Arab control between the Jordan and the Sea. Netanyahu’s demand exposes their lie. And, quite honestly, I think he’s more after that exposure than anything else. He refuses to be caught in a trap of Arab construction.

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    p>Arlene Kushner http://www.arlenefromisrael.info

  2. Jock Falkson Says:

    May 3, 2009 Thanks, Arlene, for your incisive comments. Much appreciated. My point is that any country which recognizes Israel, automatically recognizes the Jewish State. There seems to be no way they can get out of this.

    Jock

  3. Arlene Kushner Says:

    I will say that I disagree with you, however. It’s not automatic that in recognizing Israel they recognize tghe Jewish state. The Arabs insist that they do NOT recognize us as a Jewish state. And, as I’ve already said, this is not semantics. They claim that there is a state called Israel, which is a political reality and must be acknowledged as such. It has Jews living there, certainly, but should not be recognized specifically as a state for Jews, as 4.1 million refugees have a right to return there as it was their home first. And — G-d forbid — is 4.1 million hostile refugees were to come here, we indeed wouldn’t be able to call this a Jewish state any more. Recognizing two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs, sets up entirely different parameters.

  4. Maurice Ostroff Says:

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    p>Well said maestro.

  5. Gerry Dinerman Says:

    In 1919, Emir Feisal, on behalf of his father, The King of Hejaz and Nejd [i.e. Arabia] signed an agreement with Dr, Chaim Weizmann in which he looked forward to a “cordial” relationship between the Arab Nation and the Jewish State to be.

    Thirteen years later his brother was given some 78% of the Jewish State to be, and in ’48, tried to take the rest of it. Feisal’s “Iraq” sent troops to Abdullah, to help him when Abdullah attacked the newly established Jewish State of Israel. So how far can any treaty with “them” be relied upon?

    PS. In 1926, ibn Saud, deposed Hussein and renamed the Arab kingdom, Saudi Arabia.

  6. Stephen P. Smith Says:

    Thanks – well researched and good information. Keep up your good work.

  7. Rami Niv Says:

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    p>Excellent, thanks.

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