Meir, Golda
April 1973
Foreign Affairs;Apr1973, Vol. 51 Issue 3, p447
This article focuses on the renewal of Jewish national independence after centuries of dispersion and persecution. Twenty-five years ago the Jewish state proclaimed its independence in a part of Palestine. Six months earlier, the General Assembly of the United Nations had recommended its establishment. This act of historic justice strove to fulfill the earlier pledge of the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate which gave recognition not only to an immediate Jewish need but also to the principle of a Jewish right to national self-expression. Zionism, as an aspiration, is as old as the Exile. As a political movement it goes back a hundred years. The vision of a Jewish return to the original homeland is far older than the solemn international commitments of 25 and 55 years ago. An independent Jewish state arose as the culmination of a long process of national liberation, which eventually won formal sanction through the moral sense of the community of nations. The renewal of Jewish national independence after centuries of dispersion and persecution is one of the great ethical affirmations of our time. An age-old inequity was at last redressed, not at the expense of another people, but with full regard for the rights of others. For we were not alone in securing independence. In a parallel development, many Arab states were established in the same period and in the same region but in a far more generous expense. In the huge area liberated by the Allies from Turkish domination we had been accorded a small notch which we sought to develop in peace and cooperation with our neighbors. The failure of that hope has been costly to both Arab and Jew, and I shall not pretend that the persistent conflict with the Arabs does not weigh heavily upon us.


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