First printing of Israel's Declaration of Independence: a promise of "full social and political equality" for all citizens

[Declaration of the Independent State of Israel]. Iton Rishmi. [Official Gazette of Israel, no. 1].

Tel Aviv, HaPo'el HaTza'ir printing press, for the Provisional Government (Hachrazah Al Hakamat Medinat Yisrael), 14. V. 1948.

Small folio (208 x 333 mm). 3, (1) pp. on a bifolium.


First printing of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. This was the first publication rescinding the 1937 White Paper that had restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine. With the names of all of the signing members of the Provisional Government, headed by David Ben-Gurion, printed on p. 2, this document heralded the end of British involvement in Palestine, and the start of unrestricted immigration into the new Jewish state. It publishes for the very first time the full declaration as read out by Ben-Gurion at 4 pm on Friday, 14 May 1948, in the Tel-Aviv Museum (known today as Independence Hall). It announced that the National Council was to become the Provisional Government of Israel until a Constituent Assembly was formed on 1 October 1948. The address investigates the impetus towards the declaration, including the Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate and the harrowing events of WWII, and looks forward to full co-operation with the United Nations. The state of Israel, it says, "will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex".

This very rare first issue is printed on lighter paper than the subsequent issues were. A few very minor edge flaws, but an uncommonly well preserved specimen of an iconic publication, printed on the first day of the birth of Israel.

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