As it turns 70, the State of Israel looks back with great satisfaction and proudly reviews the many achievements it has made along a frequently bumpy road.
On May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. At that time, the Jewish population had been at war with the Arabs of Eretz Israel for six months and the day after the proclamation the young country was invaded by armed forces from five different Arab countries. After many months of bloody fighting, which ended in a truce agreement, the State of Israel successfully thwarted its enemies. However, it suffered a severe economic crisis and extreme shortages, which required a policy of austerity and the rationing of basic consumer goods.
Despite these difficult initial conditions, the State of Israel did not hesitate to undertake a series of challenging national tasks right from the start. The nation opened its doors to Jewish refugees, Holocaust survivors from Europe and members of Jewish communities who were expelled from Arab countries. Hundreds of new towns were built throughout the country and economic development began in many different fields.
As an arid country situated at the edge of a desert, from the outset the State of Israel was concerned with the efficient utilization of its water resources. Innovative inventions such as various ways to desalinate sea water, efficient drip irrigation systems and the development of agricultural products that can grow in brackish water rank Israel at the forefront of global achievement and have allowed it to assist other countries to develop their own agriculture.
Because it is lacking in natural resources, Israel has had to rely on the abilities and innovative capabilities of its people as its main source of development. Scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and executives in a wide range of fields have led to the establishment of thriving industrial factories and groundbreaking development centers: Israel is one of the only countries in the world that manufactures satellites and launches them into space; Israeli inventions lead the global hi-tech industry; sophisticated medical devices that were developed in Israel improve the lives of the ill around the globe. Thus, Israeli scientists are frequently awarded prestigious awards, such as the Nobel Prize.
Along with its economic development, Israel has also developed a vibrant and diverse world of culture and sports. Israeli cinema produces internationally acclaimed innovative films, the works of Israeli authors are translated into multiple languages and Israeli athletes win trophies and medals in the international arena.
Today, as it celebrates 70 years of independence, Israel is a developed country with a strong economy and high quality of life, the life expectancy of its residents is among the highest in the world and its political standing is stronger than ever. The State of Israel looks forward with a sense of hope and security and with faith in its ability to continue to strengthen the momentum of its achievements for an even better future.