Monday, November 5, 2012

Cabinet Protocols, Second Week of July 1948: Don't We Need a Flag?

In the week that began on July 7, 1948, the cabinet held six meetings (two on the 7th). This was the week in which the 28-day ceasefire expired and hostilities resumed, even as Folk Bernadotte, the UN's mediator, continued to seek a resolution to end the war. Much of the discussion in the cabinet meetings were dedicated to these efforts. The meeting on July 7 was continued in the evening to deliberate that day's discussions. The stenograms of the meetings may be rich in information about how Israel's leadership ran the negotiations; the protocols, sadly, mostly reflect the fact of the deliberations but not their content.

Since the fighting was renewed, the cabinet talked about miltary matters, too. Yet in a week when the IDF conquered Lod (Lydda) and Ramleh, leading to the expulsion of some 50,000 local Arabs, the events found no echo in the cabinet protocols.

The protocols of that week do tell us that the cabinet adopted a proposal by the Minister of Justice to appoint seven justices to the High Court, which was not yet called the Supreme Court (Bet ha-Din ha-Elyon, not yet Beit ha-Mishpat ha-Elyon). There was lots of discussioon of procedural matters, such as which subcommittee of ministers would deal with which topics and how. There was a decision to operate the oil refinery in Haifa, and a second decision not to decide about employment of additional civil servants.

Most intriguing was the decision, made on July 11, that Israel's national flag would have a bue and white background with seven yellow Magen David stars, as recommended by a sub-committee. This decision seems to have been changed later on, if the flag I can see in front of our building is any indication.

1 comment:

  1. Still reflecting the influence of the original Herzl design, with 7 golden stars (representing the hours of the work-day) on a white field (