A scene from the work in progress titled “101”. I’m not sure this scene will make the cut, and I already have a new draft without it, but it’s appropriate to the day.
INT. CESKE BUDEJOVICE MESS HALL – AFTERNOON
Czech officers and men, including the instructor Prokopec and base commander HLADEK, mingle in a small celebration. A cook ladles punch at one end of the hall.
A shortwave radio is set up on a table. The five students hold drinks but concentrate too hard on the radio to remember to sip. The Czechs partake freely.
BEN-GURION (V.O. RADIO)
…We yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to return to the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, with full and equal citizenship. We offer peace and unity to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all.
Our call goes out to the Jewish people all over the world to rally to our side and to stand by us in the great struggle for the dream of generations – the redemption of Israel.
With trust in Almighty God, we set our hand to this declaration in the city of Tel Aviv, on this Sabbath eve, the fifth of Iyar, Fifty-Seven-Oh-Eight, the fourteenth day of May, Nineteen-Forty-Eight.
The party lets out a celebratory roar. All five student pilots rejoice. Alon and Weizman hug tightly.
Israelis! We’re Israelis now!
Yes, Ezer. Israelis.
Czechs surround and congratulate the five.
Mezzel taff. That how you say it?
It’s not every day you get to hear a country born.
The British are pulling out. The Arabs are attacking. The Jews are fighting to hold on. Beyond the name, nothing changes.
For one man’s experience of the original day of independence, read Yehuda Avner’s account, recently published in the Jerusalem Post.