I remember the night of November 29 as though it were only yesterday. Since then, we’ve only had a few joyful moments. As a child, I remember the groups of dancers on the streets and the vehicles that crossed the streets of Tel Aviv, chanting “Aliyah hofshit, medina Ivrit!” (Free immigration, a Hebrew state).
I also remember the silence that prevailed the following day, as an Egged bus was attacked near Petah Tikva and its passengers were killed. Among the dead was an acquaintance of my family, Pnina Federman, may her memory be a blessing, who was one of the first people to die for the State of Israel on its first day.
Seventy years have passed and the State of Israel still exists, and there is no other country like it in the entire world. We are an unusual economic success story, an inconceivable success story in military and security policy, a place where every Jew would like to live if it were possible.
Thirty-three states voted for the State of Israel’s establishment 70 years ago. Today, the United Nations includes some 200 members, and most of them were not even states at the time. Although we suffer greatly from the UN and the Security Council Resolutions, we must thank this international institution, which was founded after World War II, for its agreement and willingness to establish a state for the Jewish people.
On that same occasion, the UN suggested and sought to establish an Arab state alongside the Jewish state. The Arabs made an unforgivable historic mistake in turning down the Partition Plan. The mistake was inconceivable, and we are lucky that David Ben-Gurion imposed his will and agreed to the advancement of a Jewish state. The Arabs kept living under illusions and believing that they would defeat the State of Israel, but they were defeated themselves—and this defeat too led to the great wonder called the State of Israel.