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שלח  לחבר
We hereby declare  
 
 
Proposed draft of the Declaration of Independence
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May 9 1948
Proposed draft of the Declaration of Independence, 9 May 1948, edited by Zvi Berenson of the People's Administration's Legal Division, which served as a basis for the final version Israel State Archives
The final version of the Declaration of Independence was preceded by several drafts. The proposal shown here was prepared by attorney Zvi Berenson, who later served as a Supreme Court justice. According to Berenson's own account, he was given only 48 hours to draft this proposal in the week before the declaration of the state. Under these time constraints, he chose to aim for a concise version. On May 13, 1948, a later draft was presented to the People's Administration, which was to become the provisional Government. The final version was the work of David Ben-Gurion himself. The fact that a final decision had not been made regarding the actual name of the state meant that the writers were forced to leave a blank space in place of the name to be declared. Legal discussions, conducted within the People's Council immediately prior to the declaration, mainly addressed the legal framework that would bind the state that was about to be established. On the basis of these discussions, it was decided that a proclamation defining the fundamental principles underlying legislation in the new state would be read with the Declaration of Independence. One of the toughest disagreements that arose among members of the drafting committee was whether to mention the "God of Israel" and the "Torah of Israel" in the text of the founding declaration of the Jewish state. Representatives of the religious parties encountered opposition from members of the left-wing parties, who viewed the inclusion of such terms to be a form of religious coercion. It was finally decided to use the words "placing our trust in the 'Rock of Israel'" - a phrase which could conform to religious principles but avoid interpretation as religious coercion. At the time of the signing of the document, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Fishman prefaced his signature with the Hebrew letters bet, ayin, zayin, hey, yud, initials which stand for "with the help of God, blessed be He." There are those who view this as an explicit reference to the God of Israel in the Declaration.
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National State Archives, A 320/13
 
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