Provisional State Council  
May 14, 1948   February 14, 1949
  President of the Provisional State Council: Chaim Weizmann
  Chairman of the Provisional State Council: Joseph Shprinzak
  Members of the Provisional State Council
Roles of the Provisional State Council:
To serve as a legislative and executive branch of the governing system until a government is formed by the Constiuent Assembly, and to prepare the state for parliamentary elections.
Provisional Government
Festive sitting of the Provisional State Council
Festive sitting of the Provisional State Council

14.5.1948 David Ben Gurion read the Proclamation of Independence in the hall of the Tel Aviv Museum.
15.5.1948 The armies of the Arab countries invaded the State of Israel, marking the start of the third stage in the War of Independence.
19.5.1948 Prime Minister David Ben Gurion reported on the situation at the war fronts.
23.6.1948 A debate on the “Altalena” ship was held at the Council.
16.9.1948 The Provisional State Council held a discussion on the right to ask parliamentary questions and the procedures following unsatisfying answers to them.
7.11.1948 The Prime Minister ordered the dismantling of the Palmach headquarters.

The Provisional State Council officiated starting May 14th 1948, the day of the reading of Israel’s proclamation of independence, and until February 3rd 1949. It was meant to serve as both the legislative and executive authorities, until elections were held for the Constituent Assembly and the formation of a government. It consisted of 38 members, including the President of the Council, Dr. Chaim Weizmann. There were another 27 alternate members, appointed due to the War of Independence and the difficulty of its standing members to attend meetings in Tel Aviv. The war caused further delays with the planned elections for the Constituent Assembly, and a Provisional Government was formed with 13 of its members, headed by David Ben Gurion. Both authorities, the Provisional Council and Government, were established in the Proclamation of Independence.

War efforts prevented political and ideological differences from surfacing, but two issues sparked major debate among the members: The sinking of the “Altalena” ship by the IDF on June 22nd and the dissolving of the Palmach headquarters on November 7th. Both controversial subjects resulted from Ben Gurion’s demand that one centralized armed force remains under exclusive control of the State rather than diffuse forces under different political movements.

The Council, which was not an elected body, legislated ordinances and not laws. Its main ordinances included the Law and Administration Ordinance (its first legislation), the Defense Army of Israel Ordinance, establishing the IDF on the foundation of the Hagana; and the Currency Ordinance, establishing the Israeli lira as the official state currency. The Council also engaged in the approval of the state emblem, as well as the formation of its own regulations.

Video: Israel in Action

Video: Israel in Action

Chaim Weizmann votes in the 1949 elections
Chaim Weizmann votes in the 1949 elections
25.1.1949 Elections were held for the Constituent Assembly.
10.2.1949 The Provisional State Council confirmed the state emblem.

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