DAVAR (Heb. דָּבָר), Hebrew daily newspaper of the *Histadrut ha-Ovedim. First published in Tel Aviv in 1925 under the editorship of B. *Katzenelson, Davar was the first daily of the entire Israel Labor Movement (although other periodicals by various Labor parties had appeared since 1907). As an organ for workers, the paper concerned itself with all the problems of the yishuv, Zionism, international Socialism, world politics, and the relations of the Histadrut with the Jewish and general Labor movement, devoting much space as well to Labor movement activities in the villages and the cities. In all public disputes in Israel and within the Histadrut itself, Davar officially took the stand of the Histadrut majority. Among its main contributors were B. Katzenelson, Z. Rubashov (later Z. *Shazar, the third president of the State of Israel), Moshe *Beilinson, David Zakay (d. 1978), Eliezer *Steinman (from 1935), and, for many years, N. *Alterman, with his column in verse "Tur ha-Shevi'i." After Katzenelson's death (1944), Davar had the following editors in chief: Zalman Shazar (who had actually fulfilled this function even previously), Haim *Shurer (from 1952), Yehudah Gotthelf (from 1966) and Ḥannah Zemer (from 1970).
Davar published many different supplements. These included a weekly English supplement, Davar: Palestine Labour Weekly, edited by Moshe Shertok (later *Sharett), 1929–31, and a German supplement, Davar (1931), at the beginning of the aliyah from Germany, under the editorship of Moshe Calvary. In 1931 publication of a children's supplement also began; it appeared in its later format as the weekly Davar li-Yladim. Others included Ha-Meshek ha-Shittufi (since 1932), on economic affairs; Devar ha-Po'elet (its editor from 1934–1966, Rachel Katzenelson-Shazar); evening newspapers, which appeared at various periods; and vocalized supplements (1935 and after). Vocalized columns within the body of the paper gave rise to Hegeh (1940–47), a vocalized Hebrew daily, the first of its kind in Ereẓ Israel. Its language was generally simple, translations being supplied for any difficult words. It was revived under the name Omer in 1951. In 1946 Devar ha-Shavu'a, an illustrated supplement, began appearing. In 1984 Davar began to publish the satirical newspaper Davar Aḥer, which gained much popularity. Davar also maintained the publishing house Am Oved, which, from its founding in 1927 until 1970, published nearly 200 books in all fields. In addition, from 1943 to 1956 Davar published an annual which dealt with literary and social problems and also included information on the events of the previous year.
The newspaper's downward slide began in the 1980s. With the loss of power of both the Labor Party and the Histadrut, many readers lost interest in Davar and the newspaper faced a severe financial crisis. In 1995 the newspaper appeared in a new format under the title Davar Rishon, with Ron Ben-Ishai as editor in chief, but ceased publication in 1996.
G. Kressel, Toledot ha-Ittonut ha-Ivrit be-Ereẓ-Yisrael (1964), index; Davar, Me'assef bi-Melot 25 Shanim (1950); G. Kressel, in: Davar, Tav Shin Yod Bet (1951), 403–11; idem, in: Davar, Tav Shin Tet Zayn (1955), 421–36; 40 Shanah Davar: 1925–1965 (1965).
[Getzel Kressel /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]