Israel Independence Day is celebrated annually on the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, according to the Hebrew calendar, on the 5th day of the month of Iyar.
The day preceding this celebration is devoted to the memory of those who gave their lives for the achievement of the country’s independence and its continued existence.
This proximity is intended to remind people of the heavy price paid for independence. On this day, the entire nation remembers its debt and expresses eternal gratitude to its sons and daughters who gave their lives for the achievement of the country’s independence and its continued existence.
On May 14, 1948, the day the British Mandate expired, the new Jewish state – the State of Israel – was formally established in parts of what was known as the British Mandate for Palestine. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence was restored after 2,000 years.
Independence Day is a celebration of the renewal of the Jewish state in the Land of Israel, the birthplace of the Jewish people. In this land, the Jewish people began to develop its distinctive religion and culture some 4,000 years ago, and here it has preserved an unbroken physical presence, for centuries as a sovereign state, at other times under foreign domination. Throughout their long history, the yearning to return to the land has been the focus of Jewish life. Theodor Herzl, the leader and founder of the Zionist movement, increased international recognition for the need of a Jewish state.
Since its establishment, Israel continues to be a homeland to the thousands who make their way to Israel annually. It is home to some of the holiest religious sites of the three major religions, all which enjoy the democratic rights delineated in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.
Israel’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations commenced this year on Wednesday evening, April 14, immediately upon the conclusion of Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, when the state flag is raised to full mast at a national ceremony on Mount Herzl, at which 12 torches are lit.
Independence Day is filled with festivities and celebrations including picnics, barbecues, family gatherings and nature trips. Balconies, car windows, store fronts and more are liberally decorated with Israeli flags.
On the eve of Independence Day 2021, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced that as of February this year, the population of Israel numbers 9,313,000 – more than eleven times the population at the establishment of the state in 1948 (806,000). Jews and others today constitute 79% of the population, and Arabs 21%. About 75% of the Jewish population is comprised today of native-born Israelis, and more than half are at least second-generation Israelis.
Since the establishment of the state, over 3.3 million immigrants arrived in Israel. As a result, the allocation of Jews in Israel as a percentage of total Jewish population in the world grew from 6% on the country’s first anniversary to 44% on the eve of the 73rd.
In 1948, only Tel Aviv-Jaffa had more than 100,000 residents. Today there are 14 cities in Israel with a population of over 100,000, and 6 others with over 200,000 residents: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva.
Happy Independence Day!