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Knesset Proclaims Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital; Mapam and Herut Abstain from Voting

January 25, 1950
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A proclamation declaring that Jerusalem became the capital of Israel with the establishment of the Jewish state was adopted last night in the parliament by a vote of 61-2. The opposition votes were cast by Communist deputies, while the Mapam and Herut representatives abstained.

Earlier, the parliament voted down an amendment by the Herut which would have extended the scope of the proclamation to the entire city of Jerusalem, rather than the new city as intended by the government. Menahem Beigin, Herut leader, asserted that the government’s proclamation actually meant acceptance of Jordan rule of the Old City, and demanded that government spokesmen reveal the extent and content of the current secret negotiations between Israel and Jordan.

In its final form, the proclamation welcomes the return of the parliament to Jerusalem and asks the government to speed up the construction of the government seat in Jerusalem. Another Herut amendment, demanding the immediate transfer of the President’s Office and the Foreign Ministry which are temporarily scheduled to remain in Tel Aviv, was defeated. The proclamation, as adopted, reads in part:

“Whereas with establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem once more becomes the capital; Whereas practical difficulties which caused the Knesset and government institutions to be temporarily housed elsewhere have now for the most part been removed and the government is carrying out the transfer of its institutions to Jerusalem; The Knesset expresses the wish that construction of the seat of the government and Knesset in Jerusalem proceed speedily on the site allotted by the government for this purpose.”


Henry Morgenthan, Jr., general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, was attacked in the parliament last night and called “an American agent and spy” by Communist deputies. The demonstration was checked by a call for order by Speaker Jozef Sprinzak.

The Communist deputies announced today that they intend to submit a written question in the Knesset asking why “a representative of international capitalism, undoubtedly engaging in espionage,” was received by the Israel Government. Although the Speaker of the Knesset objects to the introduction of this query, he is unable to prevent it under Knesset regulations. Leaders of the Mapai, General Zionists, and the Religious Bloc today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that they will vote for rejection of the query.

Meanwhile, Mr. Morgenthau was today presented with an emblem of one of the first Israel fighter squadrons by Col. Aharon Remez, Commander of the Israel Air Force. Brig. Yigal Yadin, Chief of Staff of the Israel Army, later gave a recepttion for Mr. Morgenthan at a military base where the general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal was introduced to top-ranking officers of all branches of the Israel fighting forces.

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