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Who Owns Israel's History?

Posted On: Aug 14, 2019   |   Posted By: Tablet Magazine

Who Owns Israel's History?

Who owns the record of a nation's history? The Israeli Supreme Court recently attempted an answer to that question, in its decision on a case that began on the first day of Passover in April 1948, when 31-year-old Mordechai Beham burst into tears at the family dining table. Two days earlier he'd been tasked with drafting a declaration of independence for the imminent Jewish state, but he had no idea how to start.
As the end of the British Mandate on May 15 loomed, the Jewish leadership within the Palestine Mandate had a fateful decision to make: A declaration of independence would trigger a combined Arab invasion, bloodshed, and possible mass destruction. On the chance that the massive international pressure to wait would be resisted, Felix Rosenblueth was told to set up a future Ministry of Justice. He recruited two attorneys, Uri Yadin and Mordechai Beham. He told Beham to prepare the draft of Israel's Declaration of Independence on what was more or less their second day at work....

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