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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Last living witness to Israel's Declaration of Independence

On May 14, 1948, on the day on which the British Mandate over Palestine expired, the Jewish People's Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum, and approved the following proclamation shown in the video. Arieh Handler is said to be the only person alive today who attended the signing of Israel's Declaration of Independence. Here's an interview with him.

And he slams Olmert in the interview :-) Let's go to the videotape!

His criticism of the current leadership as compared with the past is quite valid. While I don't agree with a lot of things the earlier generation of leadership did, and while I believe they often traded the good of the state for the good of the party (Labor controlled the government from 1948-77), I don't think they were out to line their own pockets like today's generation of 'leaders' is.


At 5:17 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The founders were not perfect but they put the country first. Arieh Handler recounted how David Ben Gurion's passionate advocacy for national independence prevailed over those who thought it was a lost cause. Some in the Yishuv didn't want Israel to come into being over American objections. Ben Gurion didn't care what the rest of the world thought. He saw a historic opportunity and felt this was the Jewish people's hour to make good on their age old longing to see Jewish sovereignty reborn in its ancient homeland.

Israel today is afflicted with timid leaders who grew in the shadow of giants. Israel's leaders need to care less about world opinion and devote more attention to doing what is good for the state rather than themselves.


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