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Home > Virtual Office > Useful Information > About Israel > History



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 Ramat Gan, now home to Israel's diamond district, in the 1940s

The birthplace of the Jewish people is the Land of Israel. This is where a significant part of the nation's long history was enacted, and the first thousand years of this history is described in the Bible:  The Land of Israel is where Jewish religious, cultural and national identities were molded; and the Jewish people have maintained a physical presence here throughout the centuries, even after the majority was forced into exile by the Romans. With the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence was renewed after 2000 years of dispersion. 

Since 1948, Israeli independence has been marked by conflict with its Arab neighbors. Peace agreements have been negotiated with Egypt and Jordan. With the establishment of a Jewish state, the population of Jews in Israel has grown to approximately 40% of the world's total Jewish population. 

In 1897, the First Zionist Congress announced the decision "to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law." Between WW1 and 1948, when the State of Israel was established, British forces occupied the region and in 1917 Britain declared that it was in favor of establishing a national home for the Jewish people.  After WW1, the League of Nations formally endorsed the establishment of a Jewish Agency that would administer Jewish affairs in Palestine

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 Workshop for polishing of precious stones of the Israel Gem Corporation at the Jerusalem House of Quality – in the 1960s

After the conclusion of WW2, Jewish refugees from Europe saw the Land of Israel as their only hope for the future. The British forces in Palestine took strict measures to stem the flow of "illegal" Jewish immigrants into Palestine-Israel. Jewish militias took up arms and actively resisted the British policy of one-sided cultivation of Arab relations in the Middle East.

In November 1947, the United Nations passed resolution 181, calling for the establishment of two provisional states, one Jewish and the other Arab. This resolution provided the framework for the future State of Israel and the gradual withdrawal of British troops from the region. United Nations resolution 181 was cited in Israel's Declaration of Independence, as recognizing the basic right of the Jewish people to establish an independent state of their own in the Land of Israel


On May 14th, 1948, the establishment of the State of Israel was declared by David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel.

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