Auction No. 113

Famous personalities, Art, Seforim, Letters from Rabbis and Rebbes

Apr 8, 2019

Auction No. 113

Opening $ 1,000
Estimate $ 3,000 - $ 5,000
Sold for $ 13,420
Including buyer's premium

Fascinating private-secret letter in which the then Prime Minister Ben-Gurion asks member of Knesset Esther Raziel Na'or to erase from the protocol "Everything you said about the atomic bomb," this due to the "severe damage such words in the Knesset might cause."

The efforts of the state of Israel to obtain nuclear bombs began already during the 1950s, after the leaders of Israel concluded that Israel must not rely only on a conventional army and due to the numeric advantage of the Arab states, Israel must develop nuclear weapons that will serve as a tiebreaker.

Israel has never admitted that it has nuclear weapons and its official policy is "Israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East, yet it will also not be the second one to do so".

This document reveals the Israeli government's efforts to conceal its nuclear policy.

The name of the addressee was covered by black ink; however the words "Raziel-Naor" are clearly distinguished. Esther Raziel-Naor was member of Knesset of the 'Cherut' party from the first Knesset to the seventh. She was the sister of the commander of the Irgun, David Raziel.

In an examination of the protocols of the Knesset plenum, the Knesset committee and the education committee (of which Raziel-Naor was a member in those days) words by her regarding nuclear weapons were not found; which shows that she most likely accepted the Prime Minister's request to erase her words from the protocol.

The content of the Hebrew letter:

To member of the Knesset XXXXX XXXX (Raziel Naor) Shalom,

On behalf of the uppermost interests of the State, I appeal to you with a recommendation that you erase from the protocol everything you said regarding the atomic bomb. And not only because the words are imprecise – but because of the severe damage such words in the Knesset might cause.

I think that there will be other opportunities for you to taunt me – and I will not resent it if you do so.



[1] leaf, official Prime Minister's stationery with a monogram of the emblem of the State of Israel on the upper part. 16x21 cm. Typewritten with Ben-Gurion's handwritten signature in blue ink. On the upper part of the letter, Ben-Gurion added in his handwriting the Hebrew words "Private, secret."

Very fine condition. Fold marks and aging stains. A few ink stains which smeared when the name of the addressee was concealed.

Historic Documents and Miscellaneous