PHOTO SECTION

BUILDING AND AGRICULTURE

Working the land and building the Yishuv were central to the ethos of early Zionism.

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Men working a field in 1932. Daniel Kaplan, Israel Government Press Office

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Building Tel Aviv Gymnasium (high school). Central Zionist Archives

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The plow breaks through. Central Zionist Archives

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Men constructing a “tower and stockade” (homa u-migdal) settlement. Central Zionist Archives

HEBREW WRITERS

Renewing the Hebrew language was a central project of early Zionism, and Hebrew writers were widely revered as the voices of a reemerging nation.

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Learn Hebrew! Central Zionist Archives

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The purple 50 nis bill featured Shai Agnon, Israel’s first Nobel Laureate. © 2014 The Bank of Israel

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Agnon was later replaced on the 50 nis bill, but by another writer, the poet Saul Tchernichovsky. © 2014 The Bank of Israel

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Eliezer Ben-Yehuda surrounded by books. Central Zionist Archives

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Hayim Nachman Bialik at his desk. Central Zionist Archives

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Illegal immigration—in defiance of British restrictions—was critical in the early years, both to save Jews fleeing Europe as well as to amass a population sufficient for creating a viable state.

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British soldiers carefully watch a ship approaching with illegal immigrants. Central Zionist Archives

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Pulling an immigrant boat into shore. Central Zionist Archives

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Immigrants arrive on boat. Central Zionist Archives

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This Zionist poster shows a “new” muscular Jew helping European Jewish survivors reach shore. Central Zionist Archives

IMAGES OF THE NEW JEW

Early Zionism was focused on the creation of a “new Jew” who, unlike the Jews of Europe, could shape his or her own future. These early Zionist posters illustrate the focus on the new, muscular Jew, and weave together images of Jews who both work the land and defend it.

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Join the Army! Central Zionist Archives

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Rifle and Hammer. Central Zionist Archives

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Redemption of Nation and Humankind. Central Zionist Archives

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Shoulder to Shoulder Gun and Shovel. Central Zionist Archives

DECLARING INDEPENDENCE

Israel’s independence was seen as one of the most transformative moments in all of Jewish history.

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David Ben-Gurion just moments before declaring the new state on May 14, 1948. Frank Shershel, Israel Government Press Office

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A tally sheet the Zionist delegation used at the UN during the vote on Partition (later signed by many dignitaries). Israel State Archive

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Crowds celebrate and dance in Palestine after the vote. Central Zionist Archives

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A telegram from Chaim Weizmann to President Harry Truman pleading for his help in ensuring that the motion for Partition would pass. Courtesy of Yad Chaim Weizmann, The Weizmann Archives, Rehovot, Israel

PEOPLE WHO MADE IT HAPPEN

Among the shapers of Israel’s story were fascinating and passionate men and women, religious and secular Jews, scientists and generals, writers and politicians. They developed the ideas behind Zionism, advocated for the movement in international circles, built Israel’s democracy and infrastructure, led its military and turned from enemies of Israel to peacemakers. These are but a few of the most central figures.

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Theodor Herzl visits Palestine. The tuxedos illustrate the chasm between Herzl’s imagination the realities of Palestine. Israel Government Press Office

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Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook meets with nonreligious Jews. Central Zionist Archives

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Golda Meir addresses members of the Histadrut labor union. Zoltan Kluger, Israel Government Press Office

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Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Lord Arthur Balfour. Central Zionist Archives

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Menachem Begin beside a photo of his political nemesis, David Ben-Gurion. Joseph Roth, Israel Government Press Office

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Yitzhak Rabin and his peace partner, King Hussein of Jordan. Ya’acov Sa’ar, Israel Government Press Office

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Yitzhak Rabin, Hosni Mubarak, King Hussein, and Bill Clinton putting on their ties as Yasser Arafat watches. White House Photographer Israel Government Press Office

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Ariel Sharon, though long a warrior and politician, always saw himself as a farmer. © 2016 Gideon Markowicz/Flash90

IMMIGRATION AND ETHNICITIES

Israel was built in large measure by successive waves of immigrants, bringing to the Jewish State Jews from all over the world.

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Operation Magic Carpet brings Yemenite Jews to Israel. © 2016 courtesy of the JDC

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Ethiopian Aliyah. © 2016 FLASH90

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Survivors of Buchenwald concentration camp arrive in Israel. Yad Vashem

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