Tag Archive for: Independence Day 2024

ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY 2024: How was the name ‘Israel’ chosen for the Jewish State?

Tonight we will celebrate the country’s birthday, but do you know the story behind the scenes of giving the name Israel to the country on the way?

On Wednesday, May 12, 1948, the leadership of the Hebrew settlement sat down in an attempt to find the most suitable name for the upcoming declaration of the state.

During the debate, the national executive (which later became the provisional government) sat on the preparation of the declaration on the establishment of a Jewish state.

After the announcement was decided, the question of the name came up, which required an immediate solution.

The members of the committee put forward a number of proposals, and to your surprise (perhaps) Israel was not the first…

During the discussion, various proposals were made.

The most requested name, the name that was supposed to be the name of the new state would be Judea.

However, when they came to examine the name, the name became problematic.

The area assigned to the Jewish state by the United Nations was entirely outside the territories of historical Judea, when the reunification of Jerusalem with the Jewish state was then seen as a distant vision.

As attached to the photo of the partition proposal, the territory of Yehuda was not at all within the territories of the partition proposal.

The next idea that came up was to call the country Zion (remember the name of this country ZION from the Matrix?), as the name of the renewed Zionist movement in Israel, but this name was also rejected due to the fact that Mount Zion is in East Jerusalem, an area that was not part of the partition proposal.

The next proposal on the agenda was the state of the Sabra, as the name of the thorny plant that became a characteristic of the local residents of the settlement with the thorns on the outside, but the sweet fruit on the inside.

But there were those who said that the plant came from Central America to Europe and was not mentioned in our sources (which Ben-Gurion considered very much in his reliance on the vision of the prophets in establishing the National House in his third round).

It was Ben-Gurion, to put the name “Israel” on the table.

The name Israel appears as the name given by the angel to Jacob as a blessing after the struggle with him:

Genesis 32:9, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

And also later in the verse: “And all the congregation that come from Israel” — 2 Chronicles 3:25.

The Kingdom of Israel was the name of the northern kingdom of the two Hebrew kingdoms, which according to the Bible existed in the days of the First Temple. According to what is told in the Bible, the division of the United Kingdom of Israel occurred after the death of King Solomon when his son Rehoboam ascended to the throne.

The ruling symbols of the State of Israel were also seen later in history, on the “Israeli shekel” coin that was minted as part of the independent symbols of the administration of the Great Revolt between the years 66 and 70 AD.

After slight doubts, the name was accepted by the opinion of the majority of the board members and confirmed by a vote: seven (out of ten participants of the yeshiva) voted in favor of the name: Israel.


Dr. Kobby Barda

Dr. Barda holds a Ph.D. in American Political history and International Affairs, specializing in research on Grassroots lobbies groups and their influence on Israel-U.S. relations. A senior researcher at the Haifa Laboratory for Religious Studies at the University of Haifa, Israel. Host and owner of the podcast “America Baby”.


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