Israel Declares Independence: May 14th, 1948

The State of Israel was officially declared an independent country on May 14, 1948, and replaced the British Mandate’s control over the area of land called Palestine. That same day, the United States became the first country to recognize Israel, while several days later, on May 17th, the USSR recognized Israel as well. The following day, Nicaragua, the Czech Republic/Slovakia, Serbia and Poland acknowledged Israel with many others following suit in the following days and months. Yet, it took almost a complete year for Israel to be accepted as a member of the United Nations. To date, approximately 25 nations still do not recognize Israel while an additional seven recognized Israel at one point but have since retracted their recognition.

Click here to see a complete list of the countries that do and do not recognize.

Watch and listen to one of the most significant parts from the history of Israel in which Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, reading the text of Israel’s Declaration of Independence (with English subtitles):