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BEN-GURION, David (1886-1973), Prime Minister, Israel. Autograph letter signed ("D. Ben-Gurion") to Rabbi Y. L. Fishman, n.p. [Israel], 23 March 1948. 1 page, 4to, on stationery of The Jewish Agency for Palestine. In Hebrew.

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BEN-GURION, David (1886-1973), Prime Minister, Israel. Autograph letter signed ("D. Ben-Gurion") to Rabbi Y. L. Fishman, n.p. [Israel], 23 March 1948. 1 page, 4to, on stationery of The Jewish Agency for Palestine. In Hebrew.

THE BIRTH OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL: PREPARING FOR THE FIRST ELECTIONS

A letter written just two months before the State of Israel was proclaimed to the world. As head of the Jewish Agency, the future President, Ben-Gurion, writes to Rabbi Fishman on preparations for the upcoming elections: "Please convey to the Executive the following - As I was deprived of the possibility of taking part in the meetings of the Executive, I ask to be allowed to appoint a member to be the head of Defence, so that I can transfer this work from myself as soon as possible. I wish to point out that because of the remarks that were heard in the discussion of our answers to the American announcement (I refer to the remarks of Golda Myerson and Kolotny), I am of the opinion that paragraph 'C' should be changed, by way of adding a demand for an immediate agreement that a temporary Government be formulated in accordance with the version that I gave to my Secretary Svi Marmion."

Ben-Gurion's letters during this crucial period are relatively rare. Only one letter of comparable date has been offered in many years (dated 12 May 1948, Christie's 9 June 1998, lot 161, $8,500). In 1922, the League of Nations entrusted to Britain the administration of Palestine and the reconstitution of a Jewish homeland, which was to be accomplished in 1947. The UN passed a resolution calling for the partition of the area into separate Jewish and Arab states. After bloody Arab-Israeli conflict following the British withdrawal, the republic of Israel was proclaimed in 1948, and Ben-Gurion was designated the first Prime Minister; a position he held for most of the next fifteen years.
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