Did Israel’s Founders Declare a Secular State?

Going by the usual telling of the founding, religious and secular Jews clashed over whether Israel’s declaration should evoke God’s covenantal promise. How accurate is that account?

David Ben-Gurion signing the Israeli Declaration of Independence held by Moshe Sharett with Eliezer Kaplan looking on on May 14, 1948. National Photo Collection of Israel.

David Ben-Gurion signing the Israeli Declaration of Independence held by Moshe Sharett with Eliezer Kaplan looking on on May 14, 1948. National Photo Collection of Israel.

Observation
July 20 2021
About the author

Martin Kramer teaches Middle Eastern history and served as founding president at Shalem College in Jerusalem, and is the Walter P. Stern fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

This is the fourth installment in the historian Martin Kramer’s series on how Israel’s declaration of independence came about, and what the text reveals about the country it brought into being. Previous installments can be seen here.—The Editors

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: David Ben-Gurion, Israel & Zionism, Martin Kramer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence