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Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a parliamentary republic in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, Egypt, the Gaza Strip, and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. Israel is defined as a Jewish and Democratic State in its Basic Laws and is the world's only Jewish-majority state.
Following the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations on 29 November 1947, David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be independent from the British Mandate for Palestine. Neighboring Arab states invaded the next day in support of the Palestinian Arabs. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states. Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have so far not resulted in peace.
- WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel".
- THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
- Israeli Declaration of Independance (1948)
- In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.
- David Ben-Gurion, interview on CBS, (5 October 1956)
- Variant: Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist.
- As quoted in Israel: Years of Crisis Years of Hope (1973) by Roman Frister, p. 45
- We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon — no alternative. The Egyptians could run to Egypt, the Syrians into Syria. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that we might as well fight.
- Golda Meir, as quoted in LIFE magazine (3 October 1969), p. 32
- Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!
- Golda Meir, at a dinner honoring West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, as reported in The New York Times (10 June 1973)
- Unsourced variants: Moses dragged us for 40 years through the desert to bring us to the one place in the Middle East where there was no oil.
- Moses dragged us through the desert for 40 years to bring us to the one place in the Middle East where there was no oil.
- The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more.
- One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.
- Ramallah is not Auschwitz. Israel is not the Third Reich. We have no death camps and we haven't massacred one third of the Palestinian population in gas chambers. Therefore, everything we do is quite all right. We may fill the occupied territories with tear gas and blood, we may kill and injure and torture and blackmail and dispossess, we may surround millions by electric fences and tanks in tiny enclaves, we may hold them under siege and daily bombing, we may make pregnant women walk to hospitals, and we shoot ambulances too, don't we. But as long as we fall even an inch short of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, it's all fine and good, and don't you dare make the comparison.
- Of course Iranians don’t hate Israel. The regime wants you to think so. Our nations share a biblical relationship since the times of Cyrus, who helped the Jewish people in their hour of need. This is our hour of need. We’re asking Israel’s help to free us from our tyrannical regime. Are you going to help us, or are you going to bomb us?
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