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 David Ben-Gurion

David Ben-Gurion‎, born David Grün; 16 October 1886 – 1 December 1973) was an Israeli statesman. He is the main founder and the first Prime Minister of Israel.

Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946. As head of the Jewish Agency, and later president of the Jewish Agency Executive, he became the de facto leader of the Jewish community in Palestine, and largely led its struggle for an independent Jewish state in Palestine. On 14 May 1948, he formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, and was the first to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence, which he had helped to write. Ben-Gurion led Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and united the various Jewish militias into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Subsequently, he became known as "Israel's founding father".

Following the war, Ben-Gurion served as Israel's first Prime Minister. As Prime Minister, he helped build the state institutions, presiding over various national projects aimed at the development of the country. He also oversaw the absorption of vast numbers of Jews from all over the world. A centerpiece of his foreign policy was improving relationships with the West Germans. He worked very well with Konrad Adenauer's government in Bonn and West Germany provided large sums (in the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany) in compensation for Germany's prosecution of the Holocaust against the Jews.

In 1954, he resigned and served as Minister of Defense, before returning to office in 1955. Under his leadership, Israel responded aggressively to Arab guerrilla attacks, and in 1956, invaded Egypt along with British and French forces after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal.

He stepped down from office in 1963, and retired from political life in 1970. He then moved to Sde Boker, a kibbutz in the Negev desert, where he lived until his death. Posthumously, Ben-Gurion was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th century.

"If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country... We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see the thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?"
David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
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updated Sat. March 16, 2024

Burma's first prime minister, U Nu, had a “soft spot for Israel” and was close with David Ben-Gurion, his Israeli counterpart. U Nu was the first ...
David Ben-Gurion, deeply knowledgeable about the Bible, encouraged building a robust civil society that applied biblical values to ...

They include David Ben-Gurion, the man who founded the left-wing party then known as Mapai (Workers Party of the Land of Israel) but who left ...
... serving under first FDR and then President Harry Truman, McDonald met many Jewish leaders – including David Ben-Gurion, the then-head ...
David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, always dreamed of making the "desert blossom." Ben-Gurion knew that to accomplish that, he'd ...
“Hashavim Bedim'a: Hayerida Bitekufat Hamandat Habriti” (“Returning in Tears: Emigration During the British Mandate Period”), by Meir ...

The first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, surrounded himself with authors and poets, and for our purposes, it makes no difference whether ...
One of Oz's first political writings came in the form of a letter to Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in 1954. Ben-Gurion had recently ...
The former home of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and the country's old defense headquarters was recently renovated to ...
Early in September, the Defense Ministry and army held a ceremony to mark the renovation of the former prime minister's residence at defense ...
That would give him a fifth term in office and a good chance of succeeding the Jewish state's founder, David Ben-Gurion, as the longest-serving ...
If re-elected, he could next year surpass the record set by Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion, who spent more than 13 years in office.
... over a scandal that later became known as the Lavon Affair, which pit David Ben-Gurion against former Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon.
Two weeks ago, I went to David Ben-Gurion's hut in Sde Boker. The taxi driver who took me was a tanned Likud supporter from Be'er Sheva.
In the early 1960s he opposed David Ben-Gurion's fierce grip on power, and in the '70s he was a spokesman for Peace Now. As an adult he ...
... than “a badge of honour”, putting him in the same company as Jeremiah, Abraham Lincoln and Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.
Eytan writes that David Ben-Gurion, the prime minister, had already approved the transfer of the residents “by force to other places,” but wanted ...

By Doug Seserman. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding father and first prime minister, famously said that “Israel's future lies in the Negev,” the ...
I need to add something important to the Gaza story (“No Freedom Fighters Here,” April 5). I was stationed in Gaza to the very last day in 1956. Egypt created this hellhole, and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion gave the order to leave because “Israel could not afford to include 250,000 Arabs educated to ...
David Ben-Gurion foresaw the future in 1959 when he told the Knesset plenary that the Soviet-American domination of the world was “transient” because China and India would replace the geopolitical duo. Noting that ancient Israel's foreign relations were first confined to the Fertile Crescent and then ...
David Ben-Gurion, who chaired the meeting, certainly hoped that by the end of the ongoing war with the Arabs, Israel would emerge with more territory than the UN had apportioned to the Jewish state in its partition resolution of November 1947, and was convinced that not defining the state's borders ...
David Ben-Gurion, who was to become Israel's first prime minister, reads the new nation's Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv, May 14, 1948. ... In a watershed moment in that debate, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sent a letter in 1950 to Jacob Blaustein, president of the American Jewish ...
The second honoree was a posthumous one: David Ben-Gurion, who, 70 years ago, helped to found the state of Israel en route to becoming its first prime minister. Ben-Gurion's grandson, Alon Ben-Gurion, accepted on behalf of his grandfather, who died in 1973. (In a rather remarkable coincidence, ...
The government, headed by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and with Levy Eshkol as finance minister, realized a crunch had come. “We spiraled into a chronic problem that would stay with Israel until the 2000s: the twin deficits in the balance of payments because of the surplus of imports over exports, ...
They even quote Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak to illustrate the importance of the army's compliance with the morality of warfare and the rules of international law — distinctions that were once understood but are now strongly disputed in ...
(March 14, 2018 / Embassy of Israel in Washington) The one generally known story about Albert Einstein and Israel is true. The 20th century's greatest scientific genius refused David Ben-Gurion's offer to become its second president. But this fact yields a false sense of Einstein's relationship with Zionism. Einstein was a ...
UNITED NATIONS — If one snapshot from his swing through Washington and New York this week captured the position in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel finds himself, it wasn't when he sat beside President Trump on Monday and saluted him as a modern-day Cyrus, Balfour and ...
Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister since founding father David Ben-Gurion, has already expended 13 of his political nine lives, as the veteran American peace negotiator Aaron David Miller likes to say. But Netanyahu now faces three different investigations and a recommendation by the ...
Seventy years ago, in 1948, Israel was declared an independent state by David Ben-Gurion. Across the globe in that same year, the Sagamore Hotel in Miami Beach opened its doors. On first thought, the two events may not seem connected. But this week, the Sagamore celebrates the intersecting ...
In March of 1948, a month and a half prior to declaring Israel's independence, the nation's founding father, David Ben-Gurion, sat down to answer a letter. It was written by a coalition of women's rights organizations, and it urged the aged leader to do everything in his power to appoint a woman to his future ...
Uri Lubrani, who served Israel's national security for 60 years, died on Monday morning at age 92. Born in Haifa in 1926, Lubrani studied at the Reali high school and joined the Palmach pre-state fighting force. He joined Israel's Foreign Ministry in the 1950s, starting as chief of staff to Foreign Minister ...
Its diplomatic-judicial dimension stands out. David Ben-Gurion wanted the declaration to help in obtaining international recognition for the fledgling state. With that in mind, the bulk of the text was devoted to specifying the legal and historical rights of the Jews to their state, from the Bible down to the United ...
Alon Ben-Gurion MPS '82, grandson of founding father and first prime minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion, visited the School of Hotel Administration — his old stomping grounds — to explore his grandfather's legacy and offer leadership advice to hotelies in attendance. “If I knew that you wouldn't be ...
The 1920s saw the rising popularity of an exclusionary and self-conscious notion of political identity, which suited the national narrative of David Ben-Gurion, a Jewish socialist leader, but reflected the situation of the Palestinians less well. Ben-Gurion claimed that Palestinian nationalism was the plaything ...
Yet that's where the journalist and historian Tom Segev found the most significant evidence yet unearthed about the intimate relationships of David Ben-Gurion. Among the collections documenting the lives and works of 750 Hebrew-language writers is the personal archive of the first and most serious of the ...
Meet the founding fathers of Israel, Israeli prime ministers and political enemies David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin. An exploration of their two opposing views and how they shaped Israel.
Join us in the gallery with Peter J. Haas, Abba Hillel Silver Professor Emeritus, for an in-depth look at the life of David Ben-Gurion, who was elected the first Prime Minister of Israel on January 25, 1949 – from his early days in ...
Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion believed that the Negev was one of the most promising areas in Israel—one that is now growing in popularity among young professionals families and retirees—and set a personal ...
If re-elected, he could next year surpass the record set by Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion, who spent more than 13 years in office. Police have recommended Netanyahu's indictment in three separate corruption ...


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