The article questions why the Central Zionist Archives (hereafter CZA), the institutional archive that served the two main pre-State infrastructures, the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, was not reorganized by the first government headed by David Ben-Gurion as the national archives of the State in 1948. In seeking an answer, we analyze the historical and theoretical components of archives overall, and particularly those of national and state archives in 19th and early 20th century Europe. We then consider examples of these with respect to the discourse surrounding the CZA in 1948 and the government resolution in 1949 to establish the Israel State Archives, notwithstanding the centrality and importance of the CZA. The reason we ultimately find for the marginalization of the CZA and the establishment of the Israel State Archives as a bureaucratic institution is Ben-Gurion's concept of Mamlachtiuyt (“Statism”) in the governance of the nascent State of Israel.
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- Central Zionist Archives
- Israel State Archives