Israel declared it's sovereignty on May 14, 1948. One day later, armies from Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, Egypt, and Iraq invaded. With only 600, 000 people in the infant nation, the odds seemed overwhelming. Yet they not only survived, they triumphed, and by 1949 armistice negotiations began that would ensure the existence of the Jewish State. Sir Martin Gilbert, author of over sixty books and the host of A&E 's JERUSALEM, hosts this gripping account of Israel's difficult first years. Overflowing with rare footage, photographs, and interviews with participants in the War of Independence, this is the definitive document of one of the turning points in modern history. The extraordinary filming of Bernard Beecham, a British soldier, shows the reality of life in the fledgling nation, when all efforts were devoted toward winning the war. ISRAEL: BIRTH OF A NATION is the saga of a country won by courage and determination and of a people finally returned to the land from which they came.