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Ben-Gurion signed this remarkable letter during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and less than four months after the creation of the State of Israel. It was written in translated Hebrew and notified the family of Mordechai Fisher, a soldier in the Israeli Defense Force, of his death on Sept. 8, 1948. This is a historically significant artifact from the violent birth-pangs of a nation.
Manuscript letter signed "David Ben-Gurion" as Prime Minster of Israel in Hebrew in blue ink. 1 page, 5¼x6½ vellum. Written in Hebrew, translated. In full: "We are notifying with deep pain that Mordechai Fisher, z"1 fell at the time of fulfilling his duty on the day 4 Elul, 5708, (8.9.48) the battle on [unknown]. The government of Israel, the Israel Defense Force, and the Hebrew nation will carry forever the remembrance of Mordechai who fell in defending the birth and the campaign of its freedom and independence." This letter was written during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which was launched by four Arab nations against Israel almost immediately after Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. Approximately 21,000 Arab soldiers from Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon invaded Israel. The Jewish state was virtually alone in opposing the invaders, with the exception of about 4,000 international volunteers, also known as the Machal. Israel eventually managed to field an army of 115,000 troops against a total Arab force of about 50,000 - an impressive army, as Israel had only about 650,000 residents at the time. Israel managed to drive out the Arab invaders, signing armistices with Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Transjordan in 1949, but at a cost of 6,373 lives, or about 1% of its population. Ben-Gurion (1886-1973, born David Gruen in Plonsk, Poland, once part of the Russian Empire) became the Chairman of the Provisional State Council when the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. He held this post he held until May 17th, when Chaim Weizmann became Head of the Council and Ben-Gurion became Prime Minister. Ben-Gurion was Israeli Prime Minister from May 17, 1948 to December 7, 1953 and from November 2, 1955 to June 21, 1963. "Time" magazine called him "part Washington, part Moses...the architect of a new nation". Page has scored lines as writing guides. Lightly toned, stained and creased, otherwise in fine condition.

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Born: October 16, 1886 in Plonsk, Masovian, Poland
Died: December 1, 1973 in Tel HaShomer, Ramat Gan, Israel

Film Credits
2010 War of the Gods (Other), 2010 Nazi Hunters (Other), 2008 Weaponology (Other), 2006 Knowledge is for Acting Upon: The Manhattan Raid (Other), 2000 Operation Thunderbolt: Entebbe (Other), 2000 In Our Own Hands (Other), 1997 The Long Way Home (Other), 1996 Israel: Birth of a Nation (Other), 1973 Ben Gurion Remembers (in person), 1967 Strike Zion! (Other), 1959 Small World (in person)

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