On May 30th, the Israeli Embassy in Tbilisi invited guests from across the board to celebrate 75 years of independence of the State of Israel at the Zurab Tsereteli MOMA museum.
The national anthems of both countries were sung, delicious Georgian wine was poured, and a beautiful spread was laid out featuring popular dishes from both countries.
Ambassador of Israel to Georgia, Hadas Ester Meitzad, spoke about the meaning of that independence, and the valued friendship the country shares with Georgia, a relationship that spans decades, and between the two peoples – centuries.
The Israeli Declaration of Independence, formally the “Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel,” was proclaimed on 14 May 1948 by David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and from that moment, first Prime Minister of Israel.
The declaration declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the “State of Israel,” which would come into effect on termination of the British Mandate at midnight that day.
Throughout their long history, the yearning to return to the Land of Israel was the focus of Jewish life. Independence Day is thus a celebration of the renewal of the Jewish state in the land where the Jewish people began to develop their distinctive religion and culture some 4,000 years ago.
The Central Bureau of Statistics announced that on the eve of Israel’s 75th anniversary, the population of Israel was estimated at 9.757 million, almost 12 times the population at the establishment of the state in 1948 (806,000). Jews today constitute 73.5% of the population, Arabs 21.0%, and Others 5.5%. About 75% of the Jewish population is comprised today of native-born Israelis, and more than half are at least second-generation Israelis. Since the establishment of the state, over 3.3 million immigrants have arrived in Israel. As a result, the allocation of Jews in Israel as a percentage of total Jewish population in the world grew from 6% on the country’s first anniversary to 44% on the eve of the 75th. [Source: gov.il]
Today, Israel is best known as an innovator – from USBs, Firewalls and other IT saves, to agricultural equipment that boosts yields and saves water, and pharmaceutical and medical wonders. It has more hi-tech start-ups per capita than anywhere else in the world, and is second only to the US in venture capital funds.
For more details on how independence came to be declared in Israel, click here. For some interesting and little-known facts about the signing and recognition of that independence, look here. To find out some of the brilliant things Israeli innovators have brought the world, see here.