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Israel to Vote Today in First National Elections; Campaign Reaches High Peak

January 25, 1949
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

All factories and business establishments in Israel will be closed tomorrow from 8 A.M. to midnight to permit all residents to go to the polls in the Jewish state’s first national elections. The government has proclaimed election day a national holiday.

Electioneering in Tel Aviv and other centers of Israel hit peak heights today during the last 24 hours before balloting. The government has forbidden all political rallies or electioneering tomorrow. Israel’s 21 parties poured out of their meeting halls and into the streets where stationary amplifiers and sound trucks vied with each other in blaring forth slogans and admonishments.

The main street of this city, like the central square of every town in the country, was the scene of numerous meetings with one party following another to the microphones according to a pre-arranged schedule. The crowds listened patiently and almost no disorder vas reported. Police and ambulances stationed in Mograbi Square, the traffic hub of Tel Aviv, stood “by with nothing to do. The major contenders in the propaganda fight are the Mapai end the freedom Movement, both of which have flooded Tel Aviv with posters.

Reports from Jerusalem stated that huge crowds gathered in Zion Square to hear political speakers, while police stood “by on emergency duty as loudspeakers sounded throughout the day and evening and pamphlets were showered down on the throng from the reef tops. Last-minute distribution of identify cards continued even as motor caravans filled with shouting men and women toured the city under police escort to urge the voters to cast their ballot3 for one or another of the parties. Walls, shopwindows and automobiles were plastered with political posters.


Addressing an election meeting, Premier David Ben Gurion stressed Israel’s peaceful intentions toward its neighbors and expressed the hope that the Jewish state could develop good relations with the surrounding Arab countries. He insisted that not one drop of blood will be shed” by the Jews to aid the creation of a Palestine 4rab state, adding that Israel will not interfere in Arab internal politics.

No final decision will be reached by the Israeli Cabinet on the Israeli-Egyptian negotiations on Rhodes prior to the elections, it was learned here today following a report on the parley by Moshe Shertok, Israeli Foreign Minister, to the Cabinet last night.

Speaking at a conference in Tel Aviv ye3terdey, Col. Moshe Dayan, Israeli military commander of Jerusalem, declared that Israel will never agree to the internationalization of the new city of Jerusalem. He added that negotiations on Jerusalem with the Arabs are difficult because the latter do not feel that they have lost the war. He insisted that the only way to secure Jerusalem for Israel was to link it with the re-ire of the territory of the Jewish state by establishing a chain of settlements.

Menachem Beigin, leader of the Freedom Party, asserted at ceremonies marking of a Heruth settlement–named “Ramat Reziel”–that “we can now replace a of fighting for a policy of colonization. We can change our policy since the of Israel is already firmly established,” he added.

Located near Jerusalem in the Judean hills, Ramat Raziel is manned chiefly arrived in Israel aboard the ill-fated S.S. Altalena. A number of French Chalutzim who Joined the disbanded Irgun Zvai Leumi when they arrived in Palestine are also among the settlers.

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