Auction 86 - Part I - Rare & Important Items

Official Coalition Agreement – Formation of Israel's Fifth Government Headed by Moshe Sharett, 1954 – Hand Signed by Prime Minister Moshe Sharett and Government Ministers Golda Meir, Israel Rokach, Haim-Moshe Shapira, and Others – Concluded Between Mapai and the Religious Parties, with Agreements Establishing New Precedents in Relations between Religion and State

Opening: $500
Estimate: $1,000 - $2,000
Sold for: $750
Including buyer's premium
Coalition agreement enabling the formation of Israel's fifth government headed by Moshe Sharett. January 25, 1954. Hand signed by Prime Minister Moshe Sharett and government ministers Golda Meir, Israel Rokach, Haim-Moshe Shapira, and others. Hebrew.
Text of the coalition agreement (mimeographed typescript, with a single handwritten correction), providing the support of a majority of Knesset members to the government led by the State of Israel's second prime minister, Moshe Sharett. The arrangement was concluded one day prior to the establishment of the government, and included the following political parties: Mapai, General Zionists, HaPoel HaMizrachi, and Mizrachi.
There are three sections to the agreement: Moshe Sharett's commitment to the participating parties; a "protocol" clarifying the responsibilities of the constituent parties to the coalition; and a brief addendum. Most of the paragraphs relate to delineating the contours of relations between religion and state in Israel, specifically enacting laws relating to religious court judges and religious councils; determining conditions for the service of religious soldiers in the IDF and for paid work on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays; prohibiting the raising of pigs; and other matters. The signatures of the following appear beneath the texts of each of the three sections: Prime Minister Moshe Sharett, Labor Minister Golda Meir, Minister of Interior Israel Rokach, Minister of Religious Affairs Haim-Moshe Shapira, Minister of Postal Services Yosef Burg, Minister of Trade and Industry Peretz Bernstein, Meir Argov, Akiva Govrin, and others.
Israel's fifth government did not last long. Because of this, only one paragraph in the present agreement was actually enacted; it was the most important paragraph, leading to the enactment of the "Law of Religious Court Justices [Dayanim] 5715-1955," establishing the status and authority of the rabbinical courts. But even after the fall of this government, the political alliance between Mapai and the religious parties – based in large measure on the understandings drafted here – persisted for decades, and many of the paragraphs in the present agreement would become law under subsequent Mapai-led governments. These included the "Law of Local Authorities (Special Authorization) 5717-1956," the "Law Prohibiting the Raising of Pigs 5722-1962," the "Law of Religious Jewish Services (Integrated Version) 5731-1971," and a number of other laws, which till this day, remain at the heart of any discussion of relations between religion and state in the State of Israel.
Moshe Sharett's government was given its initiating parliamentary vote of confidence by the Knesset on January 26, 1954. It was a government that cowered under the giant shadow of the previous leader of the Yishuv and founder of the state, David Ben-Gurion; it was in power at a time when tensions were at their height between the two main protagonists making the headlines: David Ben-Gurion, the irrepressible advocate of a strident, activist, and aggressive approach, versus Moshe Sharett, who championed a moderate, pacifistic stance. Sharett incurred insoluble difficulties in advancing the cause of peace with Israel's neighbors, while Ben-Gurion – though having ostensibly abandoned public life in favor of the pastoral desert landscapes of Kibbutz Sde Boker – persisted in wielding immense influence on public opinion throughout Sharett's term in office. Among other issues, behind Sharett's back, the botched false flag operation known as the Lavon Affair was orchestrated on Egyptian soil. Sharett resigned in June, 1955, and Ben-Gurion returned to office shortly thereafter.
[4] ff., 28 cm. Good-fair condition. Fold lines. Creases. Minor stains. Tears to fold lines and to edges.
Autograph Letters – Notable Personalities