Eretz Israel



The Promised Land


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Declaration of Statehood

First-Hand Account


"I remember when the State of Israel was declared. At the time,  I was already in Balfour elementary school.
I remember well that day because I was sent to school in the morning - a new state was something for grownups, but children had to go to school. But the school changed its schedule, and after we heard about how important that day was, and sang 'Hatikvah', we were sent home. Two drunk men entered the school yard and broke my arm, so I was busy that day - a Friday - being sent from one place to another, e.g. for x-rays, and then to the school's clinic. Then a doctor who put my arm in cast and wrote the date on it, tried his hand in painting Hertzel's portrait on it. Then I went home, but the police stopped me because at the Tel Aviv Museum they were declaring the new state - but I, tired and  hungry and with tears, tried to get through. My attempt ended when, after trying to going around for a long time from different directions, I simply raised my hand and hit a policeman with my cast, and ran through till I was home.
I always wondered why my parents didn't come for me, but they were busy all morning sewing together our homemade Israeli flag. Because the new government needed flags, and flags were hard to get on that day, my parents, like so many others, bought white and blue material and sewed together a flag. Of course no one decided what the flag would look like, i.e. the correct size and proportions, so everyone could choose for themselves. Actually, no one even decided that the flag will have the Star of David, or just a star. I think all of us, the people of the new State of Israel, decided that by hanging the Star of David. Our homemade flag was hung from our balcony many years on the anniversary of Independence Day. I have it now, though it has been torn by winds and soiled beyond cleaning by dust and sand. I refused to exhibit it for our sixty year anniversary - but it will be passed on within our family." *

* -- by Aviva M. Neeman, 2008.





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