Israel is turning 75, and it’s a moment to step back and take stock. Ask where we came from, where we are, and where – from where – we are going. To answer those questions, we go back to basics, and dissect the Declaration of Independence from every possible angle.
Israel’s Declaration of Independence was created amid strife and turmoil. It was a decision that, everyone knew, would spark a war. But it was also a rare moment of unity and agreement. Historical, cultural, legal and – to some extent – religious context for a Jewish State in the Land of Israel. Today, this document looms large again, and has emerged as a central point of contention as we discuss with Israelis the future of our country.
Thirty-seven people signed Megillat Ha’Atzmaut. There were no Arabs, and for that reason there were no Jews, among them. But the group that signed represented many factions of the Jewish population: There were Revisionists and Labor Party apparatchiks; capitalists and communists and socialists; kibbutznikim, moshavnikim and city dwellers; charedi rabbis and atheists.
Over the past several months, our team has diligently tracked down and interviewed the closest living relative of each of these signatories. We talked about their ancestors and their families, about the promise of the Declaration, about the places where we made that promise, about the places where we exceeded our wildest dreams, and also about the places where we fell short.
And it is through the descendants of the men and women who – with the tip of a pen – gave this country our time, that we want to learn something about ourselves.
In the introduction to the series we meet Ruti Avramovitz, Chief Archivist of the State Archives of Israel, who takes us straight to the source, and gives us a rare insight into the Holy Grail itself.
The song is the last Ein Li Eretz Acheret (“I Have No Other Country”), written by Ehud Manor, arranged and sung by Corinne Allal. (Courtesy of Israel Story via Acum)
About Israel’s Story: Israel Story is the award-winning podcast that tells extraordinary stories about ordinary Israelis. Often called “This American World,” by the Israelis, we bring you strange, unpredictable, interesting and exciting stories about a place we all think we know a lot about, but we don’t. Produced in partnership with The Times of Israel.
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