Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: The Day the Newspapers Stood as One

יום אחרון לשלטון זרים

The Day the Newspapers Stood as One

Hezi Amiur

For Jews living in the Land of Israel, there was never a morning as tense and emotional as Friday, May 14, 1948, the day the State of Israel was due to be declared. The War of Independence was in full swing, with fierce battles and heavy casualties; yet, the Hebrew newspapers from all sectors and parties were replete with celebratory headlines announcing the anticipated declaration. 

Such a dramatic day required an appropriate journalistic response also after the occasion. Thus, immediately following the ceremony declaring the new state, a special edition newspaper was published in honor of the event. Called “State Day,” it was initiated and produced collaboratively by all the major daily papers. 

Political reality was highly polarized, and most of the major newspapers were partisan platforms for arguments between the left and right, Marxist and religious parties, liberals and socialists. The declaration of the state united them all, but it is doubtful this collaborative edition would have been published had the groundwork not been laid in advance. Five weeks before the establishment of the state, in besieged Jerusalem, the major newspapers were compelled to join forces and publish a joint paper that they called Yediʼot Yerushalayim. This cooperation sowed the seeds for the collaborative publication of State Day.

State Day was entirely about chronicling history. Even the date on the masthead was festive: “Friday, the fifth of Iyyar 5708, May 14, 1948 — 4 pm — The Final Day of Foreign Rule.” The headline, “The Nation Proclaims the State of Israel,” appeared next to a portrait of Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl, followed by the text of the Declaration of Independence and the first pronouncements of the provisional government.

State Day was a rare display of national unity when even the newspapers’ competitive instincts yielded to the momentousness of the day.