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Jewish Federation statement on Israel Independence Day, 2014
Happy 66th Birthday, Israel!
Jewish Federation congratulates the people of Israel on Israel Independence Day, 2014
With its establishment on May 14, 1948 [5 Iyar, 5708] the State of Israel began a new chapter in the history of the Jewish people. Accompanied by both jubilation and adversity, the birth of Israel 66 years ago opened the doors to Jews worldwide to come and live in a democratic and Jewish nation state, a state in which all citizens would be protected, as promised within Israel's proclamation of independence, with access to freedoms unparalleled in the Middle East.
Here is that portion of the proclamation that serves to guarantee those vital promises:
THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
From its tenuous beginnings, Israel, which is about 1/5th the size of Iowa, has grown remarkably. With more immigrants per capita than any other country in the world, Israel's population now exceeds 8 million people, 20% of whom are its Arab citizens. It has become a country in which need has necessitated innovation, and innovation has spurred invention. Whether in the fields of medicine, agriculture, water reclamation, or computer technology, Israel continues to find new ways to improve the quality of life for its citizens and has shared its advances with the world. In terms of saving lives, the Israelis are very often the first to send medical personnel to countries ravaged by natural disasters, and the Israeli hospitals are second to none in extending their services on a humanitarian basis, often providing assistance to wounded and ailing people from hostile neighboring countries.
On this Israel Independence Day, we offer our heartfelt congratulations to the people of Israel, the democracy it is and the Jewish homeland. We ask that all Americans join us in wishing it continued prosperity, ingenuity, vibrancy, strength, and most of all, for the sake of all its citizens, lasting security and peace.
This statement was issued May 6, 2014 on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines by the Jewish Community Relations Commission. Comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.