The formation of Israel was the culmination of nearly 2,000 years of hopes by Jewish people that they would one day return to the land from which the Romans expelled them. The Holocaust of European Jewry in the Second World War had strengthened their determination to reclaim their ancestors land. In 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel and he became its first Prime Minister. U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognised the new nation on the same day. Currently the Jewish population makes up 6,377,000 (74.8%); 1,771,000 (20.8%) are Arabs; and those identified as “others” (non-Arab Christians, Baha’i, etc) make up 4.4% of the population (374,000 people). When the state was established, there were only 806,000 residents and the total population reached its first and second millions in 1949 and 1958 respectively after the Holocaust and when 850,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries.

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