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This is evidenced by Shlomo Hillel, who served at the time as the emissary of the "Mossad LeAliyah" in Iraq, and would later become Speaker of the Knesset and a minister. When the huge scope of the expected Aliya from Iraq became clear, he came to Israel and met with two people: The Treasurer of the Jewish Agency Levi Eshkol, who later become the Finance Minister and Prime Minister, and with Ben-Gurion. Eshkol was worried. He asked Hillel if the estimate, that 60 thousand people would be arriving from Iraq, in the first wave, was correct. Hillel replied with demonstrable pride that possibly even more would arrive and Eshkol did not conceal his concerns: "Tell your good Jews in Iraq that we will be happy for all of them to come, but not to hurry. We do not have the absorption capacity at the moment. We don't even have tents. If they come, they will need to live in the street...".
Frightened by Eshkol's statements, Hillel arrived several days later at the office of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion in the National Institutions Building in Jerusalem. That day, Ben-Gurion participated in a meeting of the Agency Executive that debated the Aliya of the Iraqi Jews, and he said there – as he said to Hillel several hours later: "Tell the Jews to come as quickly as possible." His statement implying no numerical limit. In that same meeting, Eshkol said that the state's economic situation does not allow mass absorption and Ben-Gurion replied: "We must bring all the Jews from Iraq and all other diasporas that are willing or must make Aliya as quickly as possible – regardless of considerations of property and absorption capacity."
For three and a half years, the "expanding" approach was acceptable and 700 thousand people made Aliya, more than all the residents of Israel on the day of its establishment. At the end of 1951, the difficult economic situation and the danger of a collapse of the state's various systems, such as the healthcare system, led to the adoption of a "reducing" Aliya policy and even Ben-Gurion was forced to agree with it. The Coordination Committee of the Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency approved the "Selection" principle, which prioritized young Olim, with professional skills and pioneers that were willing to engage in settlement. It also required that all the candidates would be required to undergo a medical examination.
"These decisions were a death blow to the Aliya," wrote Yitzhak Rafael later on. And indeed, the mass Aliya had ceased, both because the large reserves had already been depleted and because of the new restrictions. Several "lean" years would pass before the Aliya resumed in large numbers, although not as large as before.
Ben-Gurion Wishes to Establish the "State of the Spirit (Humanities)"
In the Fifties, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sought to fulfill an old dream of his: "To give the people all that is good and important in human literature" – From the Greek classics to the writings of Einstein and to establish the "State of the Spirit" of the Jewish people in the newly created Israel. This initiative yielded about a hundred translated books that were published to date in a series of "exemplary books from the world's literature" and had also been "cooked up" in the rear wing of the National Institutions Building. It was in this place that the Prime Minister's office resided for

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