Israel at Fifty-from Vision to Life

Israel at Fifty-from Vision to Life



Exhibit Preview

On November 29, 1947, in the shadow of the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of Jews around the globe, their ears to the radio, listened intently as the vote was taken on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181. Would a 2000-year-old dream, a prayer on the lips of generations, become a reality? On May 14, 1948, prominent Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel in the ancient Jewish homeland.

Israel is an old-new country, the 4000 year-old birthplace of the Jewish people. As the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel states: "Here the Jewish people's spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books." Despite the two millennia of exile, Jews have always maintained a presence in their land, neither forgetting nor severing their bond with it.

Today, as in ancient times, Israel is a country where, both geographically and culturally, east meets west and past touches present, creating a vibrant and dynamic country. The "ingathering of the exiles", bringing to Israel Jews from the four corners of the globe, is made evident in its mosaic population - over 5.5 million people from a myriad of ethnic, religious, cultural and social background. Indeed, Israel is a new society, rooted in the ancient past and still evolving today.

The first fifty years of Israel's existence were marked by both war and the striving for peace. Israel has witnessed massive waves of immigration from over 70 countries, social integration and religious diversification, technological and scientific advancement, cultural pluralism, economic growth and development, industrial modernization, language revival and the varied goals and challenges of a modern democracy.

This exhibit presents the manifold dimensions of Israeli life and history over the last 50 years and beyond. Together, the photographs displayed on each of the panels recreate the diverse spectrum of Israel's concerns and experiences in the years since its creation. The complete exhibit, currently under preparation, will be displayed here.

This exhibit was produced by the Public Affairs Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairson the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel.


Immigrants in tents. Within its first two years, Israel doubled its population.


Paratroopers at the Western Wall in liberated Jerusalem.

The signing of the Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt.

An Ethiopian Jewish family in an absorption center.

The Madrid International Peace Conference launching the current Mideast peace process.

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