Israel’s 1967 Borders

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“Israel’s 1967 Borders must be secure and must be recognized.
They will not be secure unless they are recognized.”
Lord Caradon, then the United Kingdom Ambassador to the UN and the key drafter of the
resolution.

Resolution 242 is the cornerstone for what it calls “a just and lasting peace.” It
calls for a negotiated solution based on “secure and recognized boundaries” –
recognizing the flaws in Israel’s previous temporary borders – the 1948 Armistice
lines or the “Green Line”– by not calling upon Israel to withdraw from ‘all
occupied territories,’ but rather “from territories occupied,” now legally occupied
by Israel with the consent of the Security Council.
The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 242 in 1967 following
the Six-Day War. It followed Israel’s takeover of the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza
Strip from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan.
The resolution was to become the foundation for future peace negotiations. Yet
contrary to Arab contentions, a careful examination of the resolution will show
that it does not require Israel to return to the June 4, 1967 Armistice lines or
“Green Line.”
Resolution 242 was approved on November 22, 1967, more than five months
after the war. Although Israel launched a pre-emptive and surprise strike at
Egypt on June 5, 1967, this was a response to months of belligerent declarations
and actions by its Arab neighbors that triggered the war. In addition, Egypt had
imposed an illegal blockade against Israeli shipping by closing the Straits of
Tiran, the Israeli outlet to the Red Sea and Israel’s only supply route to Asia – an
act of aggression – in total violation of international law. In legal parlance, those
hostile acts are recognized by the Law of Nations as a casus belli [Latin:
Justification for acts of war].
The Arab measures went beyond mere power projection. Arab states did not plan
merely to attack Israel to dominate it or grab territory; their objective was and is
to destroy Israel. Their own words leave no doubt as to this intention. The Arabs
meant to annihilate a neighboring state and fellow member of the UN by force of
arms:
· “We intend to open a general assault against Israel. This will be total war. Our
basic aim will be to destroy Israel.” (Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser,
May 26, 1967)

A Post on the New York Post and the Post Stark Murder Fiasco

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One of my Jewish brothers was murdered over the weekend. This makes me very sad. One of my Jewish sisters is now a widow. Seven of my Jewish nieces and nephews lost their father. Few things tug more at the heartstrings than children who will grow up without a father because his life was knowingly taken by human murderers. From a personal angle, the murder of Menachem Stark is a tragedy. It hurts so much.

By all accounts, Stark was a member in good standing in his Chasidic community. He gave charity generously. He helped those in need. He was well regarded in his social circles. This is the side of the man that was known in the insular Chasidic community.

There may have been another side to this man. Stark was a high roller. He was involved in huge business deals and multi-million dollar investments. The world of the wheeling and dealing real estate mogul is a far cry from the quiet streets of Williamsburg. Many Chasidic men live with one foot in each of these two very different worlds.

kidnap4n-1-web

Photo: VINNEWS

It seems that over the weekend he succumbed to the outside world. Someone wanted him dead. Someone from the part of his life that was a mired in litigation, massive loans, a less than sterling reputation as a landlord, and a world with associates who would not feel at home in Stark’s shteible or Shabbos table chose to kill him. Stark met his Maker in the wake of unspeakable violence. To snuff out the life of a human being is the most heinous of crimes. There is no restitution. There is no forgiveness. It’s a crime that is deserving of the stiffest punishments available. In my view, murder is never justified. No matter the circumstances.

Almost all the discussion about this man and his death are about a headline in a tabloid newspaper. The Sunday New York Post ran an article that enumerated many of the allegations and rumors regarding Stark’s business dealings. The article was sordid and hardly journalism but the point of the article was that because Stark had so many potential enemies there were a lot of potential suspects in the murder investigation. It’s an immature angle to the story, but that was their angle. The front page was a photo of Stark in his Chasidic garb with the following headline: “Who Didn’t Want Him Dead?”

It’s hard to imagine a more provocative, attention grabbing, sensationalist headline. Especially because the true king of sensationalist headlines is the New York Post. They do it all the time. It’s also ironic because so many frum Jews in the more insular communities of New York have always thought of the Post as a friend of Israel and the Jews. They share the paper’s conservative bent and thus always thought the Post was something of value. Most serious people have known that the Post is trash for a long time. To them, the headline was gross, but it wasn’t a betrayal. The headline was obscene, but it was completely in character. (Just a few weeks ago, the Post editorial team ran a despicable article saying that New York City was too generous in its meager assistance of the homeless family of Dasani whose story was heartbreakingly portrayed in a superb in-depth article in the New York Times. That’s typical. Disgusting, but typical.)

In response to the terrible headline in the Post, many politicians have called for boycotts of the Post. Other spokespeople have condemned the Post. I join in those condemning the headline and I think the Post doesn’t belong in the home of a God Fearing Jew. It’s trash. We take the trash out. We don’t bring it in. Page Six is enough of a reason for the Post to be assur. Many people have politely called the Post to express their outrage. I admire them for their advocacy.

It seems to me that the headline is terrible because it makes a murder victim into an object of character assassination. It does not wonder who would commit such a heinous crime. It wonders what kind of person becomes an enemy to so many others. That’s an awful angle to take on a murder story. Although, I don’t doubt the Post has taken this approach to other murders. I just wouldn’t know because I don’t read the Post.

Some Chasidic bloggers have penned responses to the Post headline. I think they have a right to be outraged. But I do think some of the outrage is misguided and counter productive. I know that we are in pain, but we still must be responsible and accurate.

First, the headline says “Who Didn’t Want Him Dead?”. The headline was written by an editor. It was not written by any of the journalists assigned the story. Threats have been made to a journalist. I heard this from someone who knows the journalist personally. Photoshopped images of the journalist captioned “Who Wouldn’t Want Him Dead” have been produced. If you are mad about the headline, please direct your anger to the appropriate party. Do not threaten

Second, please learn English. The headline does not imply that his death was justified in any way. Nor does it give license to kill all slumlords. Please. The headline means that there are a lot of potential suspects because of his many colorful business associates and dealings. No sense in generating anger because of a misreading of the headline.

Third, he wasn’t just a philanthropist. It’s appropriate to eulogize our loved ones and community members by remembering them fondly. Even (and I am not making a moral equivalency here) mob bosses are remembered fondly at their funerals. But we cannot confuse the glowing positive memories with the harsh realities of the real world. We’ve all done things that we wouldn’t want announced at our funeral. But just because they are not cried over at our funeral does not meant that they are not true.

Fourth, let’s try to be consistent. If we hate sensationalist journalism, let’s not do it ourselves. Let’s not support the Post. Let’s try to be balanced and measured in our writing. Combating hyperbole and shoddy journalism with histrionics and wild accusations helps no one.

Fifth, let’s shelve the anti-Semitism card on this one. There is nothing different or unique about this disgraceful Post headline than any others. It has nothing to do with him being a Jew. It has nothing to do with him being a Chasid. It has everything to do with the fact that this is a really interesting story. Crying anti-Semitism when there is none is the easiest way to helping create real anti-Semitism.

Sixth, enough with the Hashem Yinkom Damav please. If the first reaction to death and murder is to take revenge, I think we have to consider whether we have a serious character issue.

So let’s join together and tell the Post how disgusted we are with this story and headline. Let’s also tell them that we don’t like their other nasty headlines either. Let’s be honest and truthful about what we do and do not know. Let’s not cry anti-Semitism.

Most of all, let’s try to compensate for any chillul Hashem that is occurring by increasing our efforts to be mekadesh Hashem. Let’s remember that the first question we will be asked when we reach the Heavenly Court is whether we dealt honestly in business. Let’s make sure that we pass that test. Let’s see if we can generate the same kind of outrage that we have about this headline for things that actually affect our communities. Headlines are harmless. Abuse and corruption are crimes with real victims.

Finally, I can only assume that the Stark family is going to be enduring a very difficult emotional and financial period. I am sure that their community will take good care of them as they always do. Perhaps some solidarity from us outsiders to their community would be a fine gesture in this difficult time. If only as a token of unity, I think it would be an appropriate thing to do. Families of murder victims deserve our help and camaraderie. Let’s give it to them.

– See more at: http://finkorswim.com/2014/01/06/a-post-on-the-new-york-post-and-the-post-stark-murder-fiasco/#sthash.Hmz2djIT.dpuf

WHY RECOGNITION OF ISRAEL AS THE JEWISH STATE HAS BECOME SUCH A BIG DEAL

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Demands that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state have become a major stumbling block in John Kerry’s search for a settlement to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said Palestinians’ refusal to formally acknowledge the country’s Jewish character had become the key topic in his discussions with Mr Kerry.

Palestinian officials admitted that Mr Kerry has pressed the issue with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, who has so farrefused to bend.

“The Americans have made it very clear that [recognition of Israel as a Jewish state] is their position,” one Palestinian official told The Daily Telegraph. “They talk about it in meetings with our side and make an issue out of it. We have made it very clear that we are not going to sign any agreement that recognises Israel as a Jewish state.”

Israel as a Jewish State is not a strange idea; in fact throughout its history, the Jewish people have recognized themselves as a religion/nation tied to a specific land. Which is why United Nations Resolution 181, the original partition resolution passed by the UN in November 1947, called for dividing Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish States.

Israel’s Independence Proclamation (it has no constitution) refers to the new state’s Jewish nature no less than 19 times and as well as guaranteeing equal rights to all inhabitants “irrespective of religion, race or sex.”

WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People’s Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People’s Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called “Israel”. 

THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The Magen David (Jewish Star) on the Flag of Israel is also a public affirmation of Israel’s Jewishness.

So why hasn’t the question of Israel’s Jewish become an issue before this Prime Minister?  The simple answer is that the Palestinians didn’t make it an issue.  Take a look at the history.

From 1948-1967 there was no issue with what is today called the Palestinian territories, the West Bank was part of Jordan, Gaza was part of Egypt.  BTW the PLO began its terrorist activities in 1964–before the Six-Day-War.

Israel has only been negotiating with the Palestinians for approximately 20 years. Until Oslo in 1993 the Palestinians believed they could destroy the Jewish State militarily. Afterward their goal changed. As I described in a Hot Air piece on Sunday morning:

While the number of Palestinian refugees in 1949 was somewhere around 800,000 (there were 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab states) today the number is over 4 million. The Palestinian refugees are the only example in history where the number of refugees has grown without a population shift. These refugees are also unique in that the UN counts the original refugees, their children, grandchildren, first cousin twice removed on their mother’s side, friends etc. as refugees.

Abbas’ hardline refusal to recognize Israel is part of the stated strategy to destroy Israel. The purpose of this unique artificial growth is one of the stated Palestinian goals is to flood Israel (within the green lines) with Palestinian Muslims. Being a democracy, if Israel allows herself to be flooded with those 1948 refugees’ along with descendants of those 1948 refugees, she will cease to be the Jewish State. Instead Israel will be just another Muslim country in the Middle East

But still it didn’t become an issue, because the deal that Arafat had negotiated (and then walked away from) in 1999 with Israeli PM Barak, did not include the Palestinians flooding Israel with the extended families of refugees. Arafat had negotiated a symbolic right of return of only 50,000, so the question of Israel’s Jewishness was not an issue.

After Arafat walked away from the deal and started the Second Intifada, Ariel Sharon became PM. By then there were no negotiations, Sharon was trying to stop the horrible wave of terrorism. The next PM Ehud Olmert proposed a similar deal as Barak, so again it was not an issue.

In 2010 as negotiations were still going on, Fatah the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority issued a new Charter.

The Internal Charter of Abbas’ Fatah Party written in 2010 did not remove Fatah’s rejection of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state (or any other kind of state) nor did it remove its support  of terrorism against Israel. It speaks of

“sacrific[ing] our souls, blood, time and effort. All these are the weapons of the revolutionaries … our tragedy continued throughout all those long years. You must know that our enemy is strong and the battle is ferocious and long. You must know that determination, patience, secrecy, confidentiality, adherence to the principles and goals of the revolution, keep us from stumbling and shorten the path to liberation. Go forward to revolution. Long live Palestine, free and Arab!”

The Charter speaks of the “enemy” and does not mention accepting Israel as a Jewish state or even as a state.

Also, it does not mention any replacement of the Fatah Constitution, which calls for

 “Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine” (Article 22) and insists that “Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated” (Article 19).

Therefore even if Abbas means what he says about “recognizing” Israel and can convince his party to go along, based on the Charter and the Constitution that recognition is useless without the rest of the sentence “…as a Jewish State.

Netanyahu’s reaction to the 2010 action was to make sure the Palestinians would stop their quest to destroy Israel by flooding the country with the extended families of the refugees, he moved the Jewish State demand from the background to an overt issue.

In October 2010 negotiations were going on to convince Netanyahu to extend the Judea and Samaria building freeze. Netanyahu made a very simple offer to the PA. If you were to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, we will extend building freeze indefinitely. As reported by Al Jazeera the answer was a resounding no:

Netanyahu’s proposal met with swift rejection from senior Palestinian officials.

“The whole world holds Netanyahu responsible for what is happening in the region, after he chose to push ahead with the settlement project at the expense of an advance in the peace process. Settlement freeze is a commitment Netanyahu should respect,” Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Al Jazeera.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior official of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, described the settlement issue as “an aggression on Palestinian rights and land”.

“What Israel calls itself is an Israeli matter that does not concern us. The two issues are not related,” he told Al Jazeera in reference to Netanyahu’s condition that Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

Nabil Abu Rudainah, the spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said a return to peace talks required a freeze on settlement building by Israel.

“The issue of the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter,” he told the Reuters news agency. According to Al Jazzeera Abbas replied almost imminently with a resounding no.

The “I recognize Israel” quote is nothing but a ruse…time and time again the Palestinians have refused to recognize the JEWISH State of Israel. And the only reason to reject that recognition is that the Palestinians ultimate goal (as stated) is the destruction the Jewish State if Israel.

Declaration of Israel’s Independence 1948

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Declaration of Israel's Independence 1948

Declaration of Israel’s Independence 1948

Issued at Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948 (5th of Iyar, 5708)

ERETZ-ISRAEL [(Hebrew) – The Land of Israel] was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people remained faithful to it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, ma’pilim [(Hebrew) – immigrants coming to Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation] and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country’s inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.

The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people – the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe – was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the comity of nations.

Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland.

In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.

On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.

ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE’S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL.

WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People’s Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People’s Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called “Israel”.

THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Eretz-Israel.

WE APPEAL to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building-up of its State and to receive the State of Israel into the comity of nations.

WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream – the redemption of Israel.

PLACING OUR TRUST IN THE ALMIGHTY, WE AFFIX OUR SIGNATURES TO THIS PROCLAMATION AT THIS SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE, ON THE SOIL OF THE HOMELAND, IN THE CITY OF TEL-AVIV, ON THIS SABBATH EVE, THE 5TH DAY OF IYAR, 5708 (14TH MAY, 1948).
David Ben-Gurion
Daniel Auster
Mordekhai Bentov
Yitzchak Ben Zvi
Eliyahu Berligne
Fritz Bernstein
Rabbi Wolf Gold
Meir Grabovsky
Yitzchak Gruenbaum
Dr. Abraham Granovsky
Eliyahu Dobkin
Meir Wilner-Kovner
Zerach Wahrhaftig
Herzl Vardi Rachel Cohen
Rabbi Kalman Kahana
Saadia Kobashi
Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Levin
Meir David Loewenstein
Zvi Luria
Golda Myerson
Nachum Nir
Zvi Segal
Rabbi Yehuda Leib Hacohen Fishman
David Zvi Pinkas
Aharon Zisling
Moshe Kolodny
Eliezer Kaplan
Abraham Katznelson
Felix Rosenblueth
David Remez
Berl Repetur
Mordekhai Shattner
Ben Zion Sternberg
Bekhor Shitreet
Moshe Shapira
Moshe Shertok

Israeli Declaration of Independence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Declaration of Independence
Israel Declaration of Independence.jpg

Location Tel Aviv
Author(s) First Draft:
Zvi Berenson
Second Draft:
Moshe Shertok
David Remez
Felix Rosenblueth
Moshe Shapira
Aharon ZislingThird Draft:
David Ben-Gurion
Yehuda Leib Fishman
Aharon Zisling
Moshe Shertok
Signatories David Ben-Gurion
Daniel Auster
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi
Mordechai Bentov
Eliyahu Berligne
Fritz Bernstein
Rachel Cohen-Kagan
Eliyahu Dobkin
Yehuda Leib Fishman
Wolf Gold
Meir Grabovsky
Avraham Granovsky
Yitzhak Gruenbaum
Kalman Kahana
Eliezer Kaplan
Avraham Katznelson
Saadia Kobashi
Moshe Kolodny
Yitzhak-Meir Levin
Meir David Loewenstein
Zvi Luria
Golda Meyerson
Nahum Nir
David-Zvi Pinkas
Felix Rosenblueth
David Remez
Berl Repetur
Zvi Segal
Mordechai Shatner
Ben-Zion Sternberg
Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit
Haim-Moshe Shapira
Moshe Shertok
Herzl Vardi
Meir Vilner
Zerach Warhaftig
Aharon Zisling
Purpose Declare a Jewish statein Mandatory Palestineshortly before the expiration of the British Mandate.[1]

The Israeli Declaration of Independence (Hebrew: הכרזת העצמאות‎, Hakhrazat HaAtzma’ut orHebrew: מגילת העצמאות‎ Megilat HaAtzma’ut), was made on 14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708), the British Mandate terminating soon afterwards at midnight Palestine time.[2] David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization[3][4] and the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine,[5] declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as theState of Israel.[6]

The event is celebrated annually in Israel with a national holiday Yom Ha’atzmaut (Hebrew: יום העצמאות‎, lit. Independence Day) on 5 Iyar of every year according to the Hebrew calendar.

Background[edit]

The possibility of a Jewish homeland in Palestine had been a goal of Zionist organizations since the late 19th century. The British Foreign Secretary stated in the Balfour Declaration of 1917:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[7]

After World War I, the United Kingdom was given a mandate over the area known as Palestine, which it had conquered from the Ottomans during the war. In 1937 the Peel Commissionsuggested partitioning Mandate Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, though it was rejected as unworkable by the government and was at least partially to blame for the renewal of the 1936–39 Arab revolt.

The UN partition plan

In the face of increasing violence after World War II, the British handed the issue over to the recently established United Nations. The result was Resolution 181(II), a plan to partition Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem. The Jewish state was to receive around 56% of the land area of Mandate Palestine, encompassing 82% of the Jewish population, though it would be separated from Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by most of the Jewish population, but rejected by much of the Arab populace. On 29 November 1947, the resolution to recommend to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union was put to a vote in the United Nations General Assembly.[8] The result was 33 to 13 in favour of the resolution, with 10 abstentions. The Arab countries (all of which had opposed the plan) proposed to query the International Court of Justice on the competence of the General Assembly to partition a country against the wishes of the majority of its inhabitants, but were again defeated. Resolution 181(II): PART I: Future constitution and government of Palestine: A. TERMINATION OF MANDATE, PARTITION AND INDEPENDENCE: Clause 3. provides:- Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, …, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948.

Drafting the text[edit]

The first draft of the declaration was made by Zvi Berenson, the Histadrut trade union’s legal advisor and later a justice of the Supreme Court, at the request of Pinchas Rosen. A revised second draft was made by three lawyers, A. Beham, A. Hintzheimer and Z.E. Baker, and was framed by a committee including David RemezPinchas RosenHaim-Moshe ShapiraMoshe Sharett and Aharon Zisling.[9] A second committee meeting, which included David Ben-Gurion,Yehuda Leib Maimon, Sharett and Zisling produced the final text.[10]

Minhelet HaAm Vote[edit]

On 12 May 1948, the Minhelet HaAm (Hebrew: מנהלת העם‎, lit. People’s Administration) was convened to vote on declaring independence. Three of the members were missing; Yehuda Leib Maimon and Yitzhak Gruenbaum were detained in besieged Jerusalem, while Yitzhak-Meir Levinwas in the United States.

The meeting started at 1:45 and ended after midnight. The decision was between accepting the American proposal for a truce, or declaring independence. The latter option was put to a vote, with six of the ten members present supporting it:

Chaim Weizmann, chairman of the World Zionist Organization[3] and soon to be the firstPresident of Israel, endorsed the decision, after reportedly asking “What are they waiting for, the idiots?”[9]

Final wording[edit]

The draft text was submitted for approval to a meeting of Moetzet HaAm (Hebrew: מועצת העם‎, lit. People’s Council) at the JNF building in Tel Aviv on 14 May. The meeting started at 13:50 and ended at 15:00, an hour before the declaration was due to be made, and despite ongoing disagreements, with a unanimous vote in favour of the final text.

During the process, there were two major debates, centering around the issues of borders and religion. On the border issue, the original draft had declared that the borders would be that decided by the UN partition plan. While this was supported by Rosen and Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, it was opposed by Ben-Gurion and Zisling, with Ben-Gurion stating, “We accepted the UN Resolution, but the Arabs did not. They are preparing to make war on us. If we defeat them and capture western Galilee or territory on both sides of the road to Jerusalem, these areas will become part of the state. Why should we obligate ourselves to accept boundaries that in any case the Arabs don’t accept?”[9] The inclusion of the designation of borders in the text was dropped after the provisional government of Israel, theMinhelet HaAm, voted 5–4 against it.[10] The Revisionists, committed to a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River (that is, including Transjordan), wanted the phrase “within its historic borders” included but were unsuccessful.

The second major issue was over the inclusion of God in the last section of the document, with the draft using the phrase “and placing our trust in the Almighty”. The two rabbis, Shapira and Yehuda Leib Maimon, argued for its inclusion, saying that it could not be omitted, with Shapira supporting the wording “God of Israel” or “the Almighty and Redeemer of Israel”.[9] It was strongly opposed by Zisling, a member of the secularist Mapam. In the end the phrase “Rock of Israel” was used, which could be interpreted as either referring to God, or the land of Eretz Israel, Ben-Gurion saying “Each of us, in his own way, believes in the ‘Rock of Israel’ as he conceives it. I should like to make one request: Don’t let me put this phrase to a vote.” Although its use was still opposed by Zisling, the phrase was accepted without a vote.

At the meeting on 14 May, several other members of Moetzet HaAm suggested additions to the document. Meir Vilner wanted it to denounce the British Mandate and military but Sharett said it was out of place. Meir Argov pushed to mention the Displaced Persons camps in Europe and to guarantee freedom of language. Ben-Gurion agreed with the latter but noted that Hebrew should be the main language of the state.

The writers also had to decide on the name for the new state. Eretz Israel, Ever (from the name Eber), Judea, and Zion were all suggested, as were Ziona, Ivriya and Herzliya.[11] Judea and Zion were rejected because, according to the partition plan, Jerusalem (Zion) and most of Judean mountains would be outside the new state.[12] Ben-Gurion put forward “Israel” and it passed by a vote of 6–3.[13]

The debate over wording did not end completely even after the Declaration had been made. Declaration signer Meir David Loewensteinlater claimed, “It ignored our sole right to Eretz Israel, which is based on the covenant of the Lord with Abraham, our father, and repeated promises in the Tanach. It ignored the aliya of the Ramban and the students of the Vilna Gaon and the Ba’al Shem Tov, and the [rights of] Jews who lived in the ‘Old Yishuv’.”[14]

Declaration ceremony[edit]

The invitation to the ceremony, dated 13 May 1948.

A celebratory crowd outside the Tel Aviv Museum to hear the Declaration

The ceremony was held in the Tel Aviv Museum(today known as Independence Hall) but was not widely publicised as it was feared that the British Authorities might attempt to prevent it or that the Arab armies might invade earlier than expected. An invitation was sent out by messenger on the morning of 14 May telling recipients to arrive at 15:30 and to keep the event a secret. The event started at 16:00 (a time chosen so as not to breach the sabbath) and was broadcast live as the first transmission of the new radio station Kol Yisrael.

The final draft of the declaration was typed at theJewish National Fund building following its approval earlier in the day. Ze’ev Sherf, who stayed at the building in order to deliver the text, had forgotten to arrange transport for himself. Ultimately, he had to flag down a passing car and ask the driver (who was driving a borrowed car without a license) to take him to the ceremony. Sherf’s request was initially refused but he managed to persuade the driver to take him.[9] The car was stopped by a policeman for speeding while driving across the city though a ticket was not issued after it was explained that he was delaying the declaration of independence.[13] Sherf arrived at the museum at 15:59.

At 16:00, Ben-Gurion opened the ceremony by banging his gavel on the table, prompting a spontaneous rendition of Hatikvah, soon to be Israel’s national anthem, from the 250 guests.[13] On the wall behind the podium hung a picture of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, and two flags, later to become the official flag of Israel.

After telling the audience “I shall now read to you the scroll of the Establishment of the State, which has passed its first reading by theNational Council“, Ben-Gurion proceeded to read out the declaration, taking 16 minutes, ending with the words “Let us accept the Foundation Scroll of the Jewish State by rising” and calling on Rabbi Fishman to recite the Shehecheyanu blessing.[13]

The entire declaration ceremony was recorded and broadcast live on Kol Yisrael (Voice of Israel) radio station.

Signatories[edit]

David Ben-Gurion declaring independence beneath a large portrait of Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism

As leader of the YishuvDavid Ben-Gurion was the first person to sign. The declaration was due to be signed by all 37 members of Moetzet HaAm. However, twelve members could not attend, eleven of them trapped in besieged Jerusalem and one abroad. The remaining 25 signatories present were called up in alphabetical order to sign, leaving spaces for those absent. Although a space was left for him between the signatures of Eliyahu Dobkin and Meir VilnerZerach Warhaftig signed at the top of the next column, leading to speculation that Vilner’s name had been left alone to isolate him, or to stress that even a communist agreed with the declaration.[13]

When Herzl Rosenblum, a journalist, was called up to sign, Ben-Gurion instructed him to sign under the name Herzl Vardi, his pen name, as he wanted more Hebrew names on the document. Although Rosenblum acquiesced to Ben-Gurion’s request and legally changed his name to Vardi, he later admitted to regretting not signing as Rosenblum.[13] Several other signatories later Hebraised their names, including Meir Argov (Grabovsky), Peretz Bernstein (then Fritz Bernstein), Avraham Granot(Granovsky), Avraham Nissan (Katznelson), Moshe Kol (Kolodny), Yehuda Leib Maimon (Fishman),Golda Meir (Myerson), Pinchas Rosen (Felix Rosenblueth) and Moshe Sharett (Shertok). Other signatories added their own touches, including Saadia Kobashi who added the phrase “HaLevy”, referring to the tribe of Levi.[15]

After Sharett, the last of the signatories, had put his name to paper, the audience again stood and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestraplayed “Hatikvah”. Ben-Gurion concluded the event with the words “The State of Israel is established! This meeting is adjourned!”[13]

Context and aftermath[edit]

Ben Gurion (Left) Signing the Declaration of Independence held by Moshe Sharet

Main article: 1948 Arab-Israeli War

The declaration was signed in a context of civil war between the Arab and Jewish populations of the Mandate that had started the day after the partition vote at the UN six months earlier. Neighbouring Arab states and the Arab League were opposed to the vote and had declared they would intervene to prevent its implementation. In acablegram on 15 May 1948 to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States claimed that “the Arab states find themselves compelled to intervene in order to restore law and order and to check further bloodshed”.[16]

Over the next few days after the declaration, armies of Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, andSyria engaged Israeli troops inside the area of what had just ceased to be Mandatory Palestine, threatening officially and militarily to occupy the whole of the former Mandate territorycitation required: 14 December 2013, thereby starting the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. A truce began on 11 June, but fighting resumed on 8 July and stopped again on 18 July, before restarting in mid-October and finally ending on 24 July 1949 with the signing of the armistice agreement with Syria. By then Israel had retained its independence and increased its land area by almost 50% compared to the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

Following the declaration, Moetzet HaAm became the Provisional State Council, which acted as the legislative body for the new state until the first elections in January 1949.

Many of the signatories would play a prominent role in Israeli politics following independence; Moshe Sharett and Golda Meir both served as Prime Minister, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi became the country’s second president in 1952, and several others served as ministers.David Remez was the first signatory to pass away, dying in May 1951, while Meir Vilner, the youngest signatory at just 29, was the longest living, serving in the Knesset until 1990 and dying in June 2003. Eliyahu Berligne, the oldest signatory at 82, died in 1959.

Eleven minutes after midnight, the United States de facto recognised the State of Israel,[17][18] followed by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi‘s Iran (which had voted against the UN partition plan), Guatemala, Iceland, NicaraguaRomania, and Uruguay. The Soviet Unionwas the first nation to fully recognize Israel de jure on 17 May 1948, followed by PolandCzechoslovakiaYugoslavia, Ireland, and South Africa.[citation needed] The United States extended official recognition after the first Israeli election, as Truman had promised,[19] on 31 January 1949.[20] Israel became a member of the United Nations on 11 May 1949.[21]

In the three years following the 1948 Palestine war, about 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel, residing mainly along the borders and in former Arab lands.[22] Around 136,000 were some of the 250,000 displaced Jews of World War II.[23] And from the 1948 Arab–Israeli War until the early 1970s, 800,000–1,000,000 Jews left, fled, or were expelled from their homes in Arab countries; 260,000 of them reached Israel between 1948 and 1951; and 600,000 by 1972.[24][25][26]

At the same time, a large number of Arabs left, fled or were expelled from, what became Israel. In the Report of the Technical Committee on Refugees (Submitted to the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine in Lausanne on 7 September 1949)- (A/1367/Rev.1), in paragraph 15,[27] the estimate of the statistical expert, which the Committee believed to be as accurate as circumstances permitted, indicated that the refugees from Israel- controlled territory amounted to approximately 711,000.

Status in Israeli law[edit]

Independence Hall as it appears today

The declaration stated that the State of Israel would ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex, and guaranteed freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. However, the Knessetmaintains that the declaration is neither a law nor an ordinary legal document.[28] TheSupreme Court has ruled that the guarantees were merely guiding principles, and that the declaration is not a constitutional law making a practical ruling on the upholding or nullification of various ordinances and statutes. Whenever an explicit statutory measure of the Knesset leaves no room for doubt, it is honored even if inconsistent with the principles in the Declaration of Independence.[29]

In 1994 the Knesset amended two basic lawsHuman Dignity and Liberty and Freedom of Occupation, introducing (among other changes) a statement saying “the fundamental human rights in Israel will be honored (…) in the spirit of the principles included in the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel.”

The scroll[edit]

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Although Ben-Gurion had told the audience that he was reading from the scroll of independence, he was actually reading from handwritten notes because only the bottom part of the scroll had been finished by artist and calligrapher Otte Wallish by the time of the declaration (he did not complete the entire document until June).[14] The scroll, which is bound together in three parts, is generally kept in the country’s National Archives, though it is currently on display at the Israel Museum.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Zionists Proclaim New State of Israel; Truman Recognizes it and Hopes for Peace New York Times, 15 May 1948
  2. Jump up^ Communication dated 11 May 1948 from J. Fletcher-Cooke of the United Kingdom delegation to the United Nations Commission on Palestine to Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, Principal Secretary to the Commission: Retrieved 7 December 2013
  3. Jump up to:a b Then known as the Zionist Organization.
  4. Jump up^ Brenner, Michael; Frisch, Shelley (April 2003). Zionism: A Brief History. Markus Wiener Publishers. p. 184.
  5. Jump up^ “Zionist Leaders: David Ben-Gurion 1886–1973”. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  6. Jump up^ Israel Ministry of Foreign Affirs:Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel: 14 May 1948
  7. Jump up^ Yapp, M.E. (1987). The Making of the Modern Near East 1792–1923. Harlow, England: Longman. p. 290. ISBN 0-582-49380-3.
  8. Jump up^ UNITED NATIONS General Assembly: A/RES/181(II): 29 November 1947: Resolution 181 (II): Future government of Palestine: Retrieved 26 April 2012
  9. Jump up to:a b c d e The State of Israel Declares Independence Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  10. Jump up to:a b Harris, J. (1998) The Israeli Declaration of Independence The Journal of the Society for Textual Reasoning, Vol. 7
  11. Jump up^ Gilbert, M. (1998) Israel: A History, London: Doubleday. p. 187. ISBN 0-385-40401-8
  12. Jump up^ “Why not Judea? Zion? State of the Hebrews?”. Haaretz. 7 May 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2012.Why not Judea? Zion? State of the Hebrews?Haaretz, 7 May 2008
  13. Jump up to:a b c d e f g One Day that Shook the world The Jerusalem Post, 30 April 1998, by Elli Wohlgelernter
  14. Jump up to:a b Wallish and the Declaration of Independence The Jerusalem Post, 1998 (republished on Eretz Israel Forever)
  15. Jump up^ For this reason we congregatedIton Tel Aviv, 23 April 2004
  16. Jump up^ PDF copy of Cablegram from the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States of the 15 May 1948: Retrieved 13 December 2013
  17. Jump up^ United states de facto Regnition of State of Israel: 14 May 1948: Retrieved 14 December 2013
  18. Jump up^ Israel and the Legacy of Harry S. Truman Truman State University
  19. Jump up^ Press Release, 31 January 1949. Official File, Truman Papers Truman Library
  20. Jump up^ The Recognition of the State of Israel: Introduction Truman Library
  21. Jump up^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 273.
  22. Jump up^ Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, chap. VI.
  23. Jump up^ Displaced Persons Retrieved 29 October 2007 from the US Holocaust Museum.
  24. Jump up^ Schwartz, Adi (4 January 2008). “All I Wanted was Justice”Haaretz.
  25. Jump up^ Malka Hillel Shulewitz, The Forgotten Millions: The Modern Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands, Continuum 2001, pp. 139 and 155.
  26. Jump up^ Ada Aharoni “The Forced Migration of Jews from Arab Countries”, Historical Society of Jews from Egypt website. Accessed 1 February 2009.
  27. Jump up^ [1] Report of the Technical Committee on Refugees (Submitted to the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine in Lausanne on 7 September 1949)- (A/1367/Rev.1)]
  28. Jump up^ The Proclamation of IndependenceKnesset website
  29. Jump up^ The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

External links[edit]

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

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An Unfair Advantage All Startups Have Against Big Companies

Standard
English: Diagram of the typical financing cycl...

English: Diagram of the typical financing cycle for a startup company. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Unfair Advantage All Startups Have Against Big Companies

It’s not innovation or company culture or a desire to win.  Those are important but successful big companies have at least some of those things too.  It’s nimbleness (aka – agility).  Startups have a “turning radius” measured in inches whereas really big companies can barely turn around in a football stadium.  Tucked away in this glaring contrast is a unfair advantage for the startups.  Let’s explore further.

Quickly Get Down a Path

The best startups get down a directionally-correct path as quickly as possible.  What does “directionally-correct” mean?  It means that in the general direction of the ideal destination.  I previously wrote a blog post titled “Why Use a GPS When a Compass Will Do?”  It described the differences in needed precision for various things associated with your business and suggested to use the right tool for the job.  To continue with the compass analogy, let’s Book cover - Lean Startupsay true North is the ideal destination.  In this case, directionally-correct might mean anything in the range of Northwest to Northeast.  That’s a 90 degree range on the compass.  The significance of this is you only need to do enough research and validated learning (in the context of the Lean Startup Methodology – order book here) to start on a course plus or minus 45 degrees of a true Northward direction.  Spending extra research time might gain you additional precision but it might not.  For example, you might get lucky and figure out the ideal destination is actually between North-Northwest and North-Northeast, which is a narrower 45 degree range on the compass.  But most importantly, you’ve delayed your start and would be ignoring your unfair advantage of being nimble and we’ll see how that comes into play next.

Adjust Course as Needed

So you’ve set off on a course generally in the Northward direction.  Now you’re going to use all of your sensory inputs (think continued validated learning) to figure out when, where and how to adjust course.  Your inherent nimbleness will allow you to communicate the needed change to others in your company and together implement the directional change.  In the real world, these changes could relate to the product (form, fit, function), the Unfair Advantagemarket (target segment refinement), the business model (pricing) or some other aspect of your overall original business plan.  What’s important is that you don’t wait around to get everything perfect before moving down a directionally-correct path.  Instead, you use your unfair advantage of nimbleness to adjust course as needed.  But realize this unfair advantage only works against big company competitors.  Your startup and early stage competitors will probably be using their nimbleness too, so you better get good at it.

A Moving Target

If there were such a thing as an ideal destination, it wouldn’t stay in the same place forever.  Markets regularly change for a variety of reasons, resulting in a moving target.  So the double benefit of quickly getting down a directionally-correct path and using your nimbleness advantage is that you will also be able to adjust course when the target moves.  And the truth is that a course adjustment due to precision refinement on the original ideal destination versus due to a moving target have precisely the same effect.  With amazing agility, the astute startup is able to remain on the optimal path.  And the more disruptive your chosen market is, the more often the ideal destination will move.  This can be ideal for a startup.

The Big Company’s Burden

Most people intuitively understand that big companies can’t move or adapt at the speed of a startup.  But the extent to which big companies struggle with levels of precision and concepts like course adjustments are way underestimated by most startups.  It is true that big companies have seemingly unlimited resources of human capital, brand recognition, global reach and war chests full of money.  But those really only come into play when the big company understands where the ideal destination is and can get all of their human resources pointed in that direction.  To do this they spend weeks or months analyzing as much data as possible.  Then they spend weeks or months arguing in internal debate.  Eventually, they set off on a course.  By that time, the astute startup is not only already well down the directionally-correct path but has probably already adjusted course multiple times and headed towards true North.

What about the dreaded moving target?  Whereas the startup uses their sensory inputs to realize the target moved and simply performs another course adjustment, the big company is so politically bought into their original analysis and decision that they continue on the original path.  They may or may not have even detected that the target moved.  But it doesn’t matter because a recommended course adjustment in a big company is often viewed as having set on the wrong course to begin with.  This results in finger pointing and the “blame game”.  And they also know that a course adjustment will require additional weeks/months of analysis, weeks/months of debate and weeks/months getting the employees pointed in the new direction.  So instead, the big company remains on the original course or just makes minor tweaks that won’t have much internal impact but also don’t really change the course by more than a few degrees (using the compass analogy).

I have worked for three Fortune 500 companies throughout my career and have seen this play out numerous times.  So even if I’m exaggerating a little to make a point, it’s not by much.

Bottom Line

Many startups struggle to identify an unfair advantage.  If you’re in a fairly disruptive and changing market with big competitors, I’ve just given you one.  Now see if you can find additional ones that relate to other aspects of your business model.

An Unfair Advantage All Startups Have Against Big Companies

Standard

An Unfair Advantage All Startups Have Against Big Companies

By Stephen Darori in Zion

It’s not innovation or company culture or a desire to win.  Those are important but successful big companies have at least some of those things too.  It’s nimbleness (aka – agility).  Startups have a “turning radius” measured in inches whereas really big companies can barely turn around in a football stadium.  Tucked away in this glaring contrast is a unfair advantage for the startups.  Let’s explore further.

Quickly Get Down a Path

The best startups get down a directionally-correct path as quickly as possible.  What does “directionally-correct” mean?  It means that in the general direction of the ideal destination.  I previously wrote a blog post titled “Why Use a GPS When a Compass Will Do?”  It described the differences in needed precision for various things associated with your business and suggested to use the right tool for the job.  To continue with the compass analogy, let’s Book cover - Lean Startupsay true North is the ideal destination.  In this case, directionally-correct might mean anything in the range of Northwest to Northeast.  That’s a 90 degree range on the compass.  The significance of this is you only need to do enough research and validated learning (in the context of the Lean Startup Methodology – order book here) to start on a course plus or minus 45 degrees of a true Northward direction.  Spending extra research time might gain you additional precision but it might not.  For example, you might get lucky and figure out the ideal destination is actually between North-Northwest and North-Northeast, which is a narrower 45 degree range on the compass.  But most importantly, you’ve delayed your start and would be ignoring your unfair advantage of being nimble and we’ll see how that comes into play next.

Adjust Course as Needed

So you’ve set off on a course generally in the Northward direction.  Now you’re going to use all of your sensory inputs (think continued validated learning) to figure out when, where and how to adjust course.  Your inherent nimbleness will allow you to communicate the needed change to others in your company and together implement the directional change.  In the real world, these changes could relate to the product (form, fit, function), the Unfair Advantagemarket (target segment refinement), the business model (pricing) or some other aspect of your overall original business plan.  What’s important is that you don’t wait around to get everything perfect before moving down a directionally-correct path.  Instead, you use your unfair advantage of nimbleness to adjust course as needed.  But realize this unfair advantage only works against big company competitors.  Your startup and early stage competitors will probably be using their nimbleness too, so you better get good at it.

A Moving Target

If there were such a thing as an ideal destination, it wouldn’t stay in the same place forever.  Markets regularly change for a variety of reasons, resulting in a moving target.  So the double benefit of quickly getting down a directionally-correct path and using your nimbleness advantage is that you will also be able to adjust course when the target moves.  And the truth is that a course adjustment due to precision refinement on the original ideal destination versus due to a moving target have precisely the same effect.  With amazing agility, the astute startup is able to remain on the optimal path.  And the more disruptive your chosen market is, the more often the ideal destination will move.  This can be ideal for a startup.

The Big Company’s Burden

Most people intuitively understand that big companies can’t move or adapt at the speed of a startup.  But the extent to which big companies struggle with levels of precision and concepts like course adjustments are way underestimated by most startups.  It is true that big companies have seemingly unlimited resources of human capital, brand recognition, global reach and war chests full of money.  But those really only come into play when the big company understands where the ideal destination is and can get all of their human resources pointed in that direction.  To do this they spend weeks or months analyzing as much data as possible.  Then they spend weeks or months arguing in internal debate.  Eventually, they set off on a course.  By that time, the astute startup is not only already well down the directionally-correct path but has probably already adjusted course multiple times and headed towards true North.

What about the dreaded moving target?  Whereas the startup uses their sensory inputs to realize the target moved and simply performs another course adjustment, the big company is so politically bought into their original analysis and decision that they continue on the original path.  They may or may not have even detected that the target moved.  But it doesn’t matter because a recommended course adjustment in a big company is often viewed as having set on the wrong course to begin with.  This results in finger pointing and the “blame game”.  And they also know that a course adjustment will require additional weeks/months of analysis, weeks/months of debate and weeks/months getting the employees pointed in the new direction.  So instead, the big company remains on the original course or just makes minor tweaks that won’t have much internal impact but also don’t really change the course by more than a few degrees (using the compass analogy).

I have worked for three Fortune 500 companies throughout my career and have seen this play out numerous times.  So even if I’m exaggerating a little to make a point, it’s not by much.

Bottom Line

Many startups struggle to identify an unfair advantage.  If you’re in a fairly disruptive and changing market with big competitors, I’ve just given you one.  Now see if you can find additional ones that relate to other aspects of your business model.

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