Treasure Trove: David Matlow ponders the significance of Israel’s 75th anniversary

Commemorative magazine published for Israel’s tenth anniversary.

In 1958, Israel celebrated its 10th birthday with a year-long celebration. The biggest celebration in the United States was held in the Polo Grounds (the home of the New York Giants) before a capacity crowd of 50,000.

Senator John F. Kennedy said at a Washington observance of the anniversary on May 11, 1958, “The people of Israel, who have combined the loftiest idealistic vision with the greatest practical vigor, have proven that the human spirit—even under the cruelest suffering—has a power of endurance which no tyranny can extinguish.”

A commemorative magazine issued by The Jerusalem Post opened with the following words: “The tenth anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel is an event of moral and political significance in modern history. A decade is too short a period to permit us to know with any confidence and sense of finality just what Israel means.”

Do we know any better at the three-quarter of a century mark?