Cover Page of Ma’ariv, May 14, 1948
The headlines read as follows:
The Mandate is dead! Long live our country!
The last British High Commissioner has left Israeli land
The government of the State of Israel gains control
A message from the Haganah about the threat of invasion
A delegation of the Red Cross reaches Gush Etzion
The battles continue on the Jerusalem Road
Abdalla complains to Trigve Li
7 fell in the occupation of Arab Kfar Saba
Last consultations in Aman before the invasion
Awaiting Bevin's announcement to the legion
The “Haganah” took control of many buildings in Jerusalem
Donate your money to the Jewish State to fund the war and military supplies
Tonight the Jewish Police Commissioner begins his service
Mass subscription for national loans on the day of independence
This is a photo of the front page of the Ma'ariv newspaper, which appeared on the day of the declaration of the State of Israel, May 5, 1948. The main headline reads: “The Mandate is dead! Long live our country.”
Under the headlines, there are reports of the departure of the British commissioner, the establishment of the government of Israel, and the beginning of the tenure of the chief of the Hebrew police. However, while the main headlines are mostly positive, some of those lower down the page feature more serious news such as descriptions of the various battles of the War of Independence, including the road to Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Kfar Sava, and more. The reaction of the Arab countries is also described on this page.
The photo on the front cover is the image of the last high commissioner, Alan Cunningham; the caricature is the unmistakeable head of Ben-Gurion.
Ma’ariv was founded in 1948 under the name Yediot Ma’ariv, by a number of journalists and editors who had left Yediot Ahronot following a conflict with its publisher, Yehudah Mozes. The paper declared that it would be owned by its workers and independent of both wealthy backers and political parties. The establishment of Ma’ariv (the Hebrew word for evening) caused a rapid decline in the number of readers of Yediot Ahronot as the new publication started publishing as many as 30,000 copies a day. A court order forced the paper to change its name from Yediot Maariv (which suggested it was a successor to Yediot Aharonot) to Ma’ariv.
Jewish History teachers may choose to use this front page to discuss the various different events that occurred at the time of the declaration of the State of Israel: the end of the British Mandate and the departure of the high commissioner, the War of Independence, the defeat of Gush Etzion, the creation of the democratic infrastructure of Israel, and the reaction of the Arab nations to the declaration of Israel and others.
This newspaper could be used in a Politics or Media lessons to examine the beginnings of Israel and the important role of the media in spreading messages among the public.
What is this image?
This is the front cover of which newspaper?
What is significant about the date of the newspaper?
What is being announced in the newspaper?
Who are the two people who appear on the front cover?
Reading Between the Lines
Why did the editor include these two figures on the cover?
Copy the headlines from the newspaper page and sort them into groups.
Give each group of headlines a name.
What are the main issues from the headlines?
What does the headline “A delegation of the Red Cross reaches Gush Etzion” refer to?
What road is being referred to in the headline, “The battles continue on the Jerusalem Road”?
What battle was going on there?
What is special about the fact that a new police commissioner is starting?
The front page included petitions to the public to donate money to fund the war and to buy military supplies.
Why did the government need these contributions?
Try to imagine you were living at this time.
Considering the history of Israel and the Jewish people in the years before the declaration, how would you have felt on this day?
Do you know anyone who remembers this day? What was their reaction when they heard the news from Israel?
How is this day remembered today?
How did the War of Independence end?
Create a historical timeline of the War of Independence including the conflicts mentioned in the headlines on this front page. You can create this timeline on paper or use online timeline creating tools.
Write an editorial from the perspective of a Jewish newspaper in your country upon hearing the news from Israel in 1948. What kind of response will it be?