Celebrating 75 Years of Israel’s Independence
On Wednesday, the General Assembly was graced by Anat Sultan-Dadon, Israel’s Consul General to the Southeastern United States, in an address to the House of Representatives. She was here to mark the 75th anniversary of the State of Israel’s independence and celebrate its special bond with the people of North Carolina.
“In 75 short years we have come an incredibly long way, establishing a vibrant democracy, a diverse society in a robust economy,” said the Consul General Sultan-Dadon in her remarks to the House. “Israel, one of the smallest countries in the world, is today one of the world leaders in technology and innovation.”
Earlier this year, the House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 894, “recognizing the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, reaffirming bonds of friendship and cooperation between the State of North Carolina and Israel, and urging Congress to continue to support the relationships between North Carolina, the United States, and Israel.”
The bipartisan resolution was sponsored by Representative Ed Goodwin and Representative Caleb Rudow; it was co-sponsored by Representatives Maria Cervania, Jake Johnson, Nasif Majeed, Dennis Ridell, and Bill Ward. Only one House member voted against the measure.
The House’s strong show of support for Israel comes amidst a state platform fight within one of North Carolina’s two major parties, according to the Jewish Insider, a content curation and publication service which covers U.S. politics and business news. A similar controversy erupted last year, resulting in the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary to issue a statement condemning the party’s Resolutions & Platform Committee: Final 2022 Resolutions Report. They were joined by the North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association, which issued a call on its Facebook page to reject the party’s “unbalanced criticism of Israel.”
In 2021, Dr. Stephen Norwood, professor of history at the University of Oklahoma, examined the phenomenon of the left’s antisemitism in a special report to Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and most of Africa and Asia. It is governed by a unitary legislature called the Knesset, which has included both Jewish and Arab members since its first elections were held in 1949. The Knesset meets in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city.
The State of Israel is just one-seventh the size of North Carolina (the entire nation fits easily into the area comprising the Tar Heel State’s 17 coastal counties with lots of room to spare) and is home to more than 9 million people, roughly 85% of our own population.
”Alongside the many achievements to celebrate, one crucial achievement has yet to be fully realized for Israel, and that is peace with our neighbors,” continued Sultan-Dadon. “Peace was achieved with Egypt in 1979 and with the Kingdom of Jordan in 1994. 26 years later, in 2020, another monumental development was the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, which are paving the way for a new Middle East — one of partnership and prosperity for those who choose a better future for their peoples. Morocco has since joined the Abraham Accords, and both Israel and the United States are fully committed to further expanding this growing circle of peace (Editor’s note: the Republic of the Sudan signed on to the Abraham Accords on January 6, 2021). While we will keep pursuing that goal, we will always remain prepared to defend ourselves against any threat to our state and our people.”
David Ben-Gurion, the Jewish Agency’s then-chairman and later Israel’s first prime minister, declared Israel’s independence as a nation on Friday, May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv. It came into effect on midnight at the termination of British control of the territory, embodied in the Mandate for Palestine. In his historic remarks, Ben-Gurion pledged that the State of Israel would be “based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel,” that it would “ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex,” and that it would “guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.”
Eleven minutes after independence was declared, the United States became the first nation to officially recognize Israel’s existence. The State of Israel was formally admitted to the United Nations on on May 11, 1949.