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David Ben-Gurion ( ; he, דָּוִד בֶּן-גּוּרִיּוֹן ; born David Grün; 16 October 1886 – 1 December 1973) was the primary national founder of the
State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is ...
and the first Prime Minister of Israel. Adopting the name of Ben-Gurion in 1909, he rose to become the preeminent leader of the Jewish community in British-ruled
Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine ( ar, فلسطين '; he, פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א"י) ', where "E.Y." indicates ''Ērētz Yīśrā'ēl'', the Land of Israel) was a geopolitical entity established between 1920 and 1948 in the Palestine (region ...
from 1935 until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, which he led until 1963 with a short break in 1954–55. Ben-Gurion's passion for
Zionism was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet ''Der Judenstaat ''Der Judenstaat'' ( German, literally ''The Jews' State'', commonly rendered as ''The Jewish State'') is a pamphlet written by Theodor Herzl and publishe ...
, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and executive head of the
World Zionist Organization The World Zionist Organization ( he, הַהִסְתַּדְּרוּת הַצִּיּוֹנִית הָעוֹלָמִית; ''HaHistadrut HaTzionit Ha'Olamit''), or WZO, is a non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, uprigh ...

World Zionist Organization
in 1946. As head of the
Jewish Agency (HaSochnut HaYehudit L'Eretz Yisra'el) , native_name_lang = HE , founded = , headquarters = Jerusalem , coordinates = , tax_id = 23-7254561 , status = 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, ...
from 1935, and later president of the Jewish Agency Executive, he was the ''de facto'' leader of the Jewish community in Palestine, and largely led its struggle for an independent Jewish state in Mandatory Palestine. On 14 May 1948, he formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
, and was the first to sign the
Israeli Declaration of Independence The Israeli Declaration of Independence,Hebrew language, Hebrew: הכרזת העצמאות, ''Hakhrazat HaAtzma'ut''/מגילת העצמאות ''Megilat HaAtzma'ut''Arabic language, Arabic: وثيقة إعلان قيام دولة إسرائيل, ...
, which he had helped to write. Ben-Gurion led Israel during the
1948 Arab–Israeli War The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war, 1947–49 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli ...
, and united the various Jewish militias into the
Israel Defense Forces The Israel Defense Forces (IDF; he, צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל ; ), commonly referred to by the Hebrew-language acronym ''Tzahal'' (), are the combined military forces of the Israel, State of Israel, consisting of t ...
(IDF). Subsequently, he became known as "Israel's
founding father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are typically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, (i.e. ...
". Following the war, Ben-Gurion served as Israel's first prime minister and
minister of defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces in sovereign states. The role of a defence minister varies considerably from country to country; in so ...
. As prime minister, he helped build the state institutions, presiding over 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 ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Poli ...
was improving relationships with the West Germans. He worked with
Konrad Adenauer Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer (; 5 January 1876 – 19 April 1967) was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. ...

Konrad Adenauer
's government in Bonn, and
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification through the accession of East Germany on 3 October 19 ...
provided large sums (in the
Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany The Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany ( German: ''Luxemburger Abkommen'' "Luxembourg Agreement" or ''Wiedergutmachungsabkommen'' "'' Wiedergutmachung'' Agreement", Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwes ...
) in compensation for
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
's confiscation of Jewish property during
the Holocaust The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify wi ...
. In 1954 he resigned as prime minister and minister of defense but remained a member of the
Knesset The Knesset ( he, הַכְּנֶסֶת ; "gathering" or "assembly") is the unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber ...

Knesset
. He returned as minister of defense in 1955 after the
Lavon Affair Pinhas Lavon The Lavon affair was a failed Israeli covert operation A covert operation is a military operation intended to conceal the identity of (or allow plausible denial by) the operation. Covert operations should not be confused with clan ...
and the resignation of
Pinhas Lavon Pinhas Lavon ( he, פנחס לבון, 12 July 1904 – 24 January 1976) was an Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, ...

Pinhas Lavon
. Later that year he became prime minister again, following the 1955 elections. 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 The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an mean, average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which hei ...
during the
Suez Crisis The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression ( ar, العدوان الثلاثي, Al-ʿUdwān aṯ-Ṯulāṯiyy) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,Also known as the Suez War or 1956 War ...
. He stepped down from office in 1963, and retired from political life in 1970. He then moved to
Sde Boker Sde Boker ( he, שְׂדֵה בּוֹקֵר, lit. ''Herding Field'') is a kibbutz A kibbutz ( he, קִבּוּץ / , lit. "gathering, clustering"; plural: kibbutzim / ) is a Intentional community, collective community in Israel that was tra ...
, a
kibbutz A kibbutz ( he, קִבּוּץ / , lit. "gathering, clustering"; plural: kibbutzim / ) is a Intentional community, collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. The first kibbutz, established in 1909, was Degani ...

kibbutz
in the
Negev The Negev or Negeb (; he, הַנֶּגֶב; ar, ٱلنَّقَب ') is a desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand dunes in th ...

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.


Early life


Childhood and education

David Ben-Gurion was born in Płońsk in
Congress Poland Congress Poland or Russian Poland, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland, was a polity created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna as a semi-autonomous Poland, Polish State (polity), state and successor to Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw. It was est ...
– then part of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
. His father, Avigdor Grün, was a ''Pokantny Doradca'' (literally corner advocate) navigating his clients through the often corrupt Imperial legal system. Following the publication of
Theodore Herzl Theodor Herzl (; ; he, תֵּאוֹדוֹר הֶרְצְל, ; hu, Herzl Tivadar; 2 May 1860 – 3 July 1904) or Hebrew name given at his brit milah Binyamin Ze'ev, was an Austro-Hungarian Jewish journalist, playwright, political activist, and ...

Theodore Herzl
's ''
Der Judenstaat ''Der Judenstaat'' ( German, literally ''The Jews' State'', commonly rendered as ''The Jewish State'') is a pamphlet written by Theodor Herzl and published in February 1896 in Leipzig and Vienna en, Viennese , iso_code ...
'' in 1896 Avigdor co-founded a
Zionist was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet ''Der Judenstaat ''Der Judenstaat'' ( German, literally ''The Jews' State'', commonly rendered as ''The Jewish State'') is a pamphlet written by Theodor Herzl and publishe ...
group called ''Beni Zion'' - Children of Zion. In 1900 it had a membership of 200. David was the youngest of three boys with an older and younger sister. His mother, Scheindel (Broitman), died of
blood poisoning Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction ...
following a
stillbirth Stillbirth is typically defined as fetal A fetus or foetus (; plural fetuses, feti, foetuses, or foeti) is the unborn offspring of an animal that develops from an embryo An embryo is the early stage of development of a multicellular or ...
in 1897. It was her eleventh pregnancy. Two years later his father remarried. Ben-Gurion's birth certificate, found in Poland in 2003, indicated that he had a twin brother who died shortly after birth. Between the ages of 5 and 13 Ben Gurion attended 5 different
heders
heders
as well as compulsory
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
classes. Two of the heder were 'modern' and taught in
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
rather than
Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic languages, Germanic family of languages (the others being the ...

Yiddish
. His father could not afford to enrol Ben-Gurion in Płońsk's
Beth midrash A ''beth midrash'' ( he, בית מדרש, or ''beis medrash'', ''beit midrash'', pl. ''batei midrash'' "House of Learning") is hall dedicated for Torah study, often translated as a "study hall." It is distinct from a synagogue (''beth knesset'' ...
so Ben Gurion's formal education ended after his
Bar Mitzvah Bar mitzvah ( he, בַּר מִצְוָה) is a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by inter ...
. At the age of 14 he and two friends formed a youth club, ''Ezra'', promoting Hebrew studies and emigration to the Holy Land. The group ran Hebrew classes for local youth and in 1903 collected funds for the victims of the
Kishinev pogrom The Kishinev pogrom was an anti-Jewish riot that took place in Kishinev (modern Chișinău, Moldova), then the capital of the Bessarabia Governorate in the Russian Empire, on . A second pogrom erupted in the city in October 1905. In the pogrom ...
. One biographer writes that ''Ezra'' had 150 members within a year.Teveth (1987) p.14 A different source estimates the group never had more than 'several dozen' members. In 1904 Ben Gurion moved to
Warsaw Warsaw, * la, Varsovia (Polish language, Polish: ''Warszawa'' ), officially the Capital City of Warsaw, is the capital and List of cities and towns in Poland, largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula, River Vistula in e ...

Warsaw
where he hoped to enrol in the Warsaw Mechanical-Technical School founded by
Hipolit Wawelberg
Hipolit Wawelberg
. He did not have sufficient qualifications to matriculate and took work teaching Hebrew in a Warsaw heder. Inspired by
Tolstoy Count Lev Nikolayevich TolstoyTolstoy pronounced his first name as , which corresponds to the Romanisation ''Lyov''. () (; Russian: ,In Tolstoy's day, his name was written as in pre-reformed Russian tr. , ; ), usually referred to in Engl ...

Tolstoy
he had become a vegetarian. He became involved in Zionist politics and in October 1905 he joined the clandestine Social-Democratic Jewish Workers' Party – ''
Poalei Zion Poale Zion (also spelled Poalei Tziyon or Poaley Syjon, meaning "Workers of Zion") was a movement of Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how econo ...
''. Two months later he was the delegate from Płońsk at a local conference. While in Warsaw the
Russian Revolution of 1905 The Russian Revolution of 1905,. also known as the First Russian Revolution,. was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire, some of which was directed at the government. It included worker st ...
broke out and he was in the city during the clamp down that followed; he was arrested twice, the second time he was held for two weeks and only released with the help of his father. In December 1905 he returned to Płońsk as a full-time Poalei Zion operative. There he worked to oppose the anti-Zionist Bund who were trying to establish a base. He also organised a strike over working conditions amongst garment workers. He carried a gun and was known to use intimidatory tactics whilst raising funds from wealthy Jews. Ben-Gurion discussed his hometown in his memoirs, saying:
"For many of us, anti-Semitic feeling had little to do with our dedication o Zionism I personally never suffered anti-Semitic persecution. Płońsk was remarkably free of it ... Nevertheless, and I think this very significant, it was Płońsk that sent the highest proportion of Jews to Eretz Israel from any town in Poland of comparable size. We emigrated not for negative reasons of escape but for the positive purpose of rebuilding a homeland ... Life in Płońsk was peaceful enough. There were three main communities: Russians, Jews and Poles. ... The number of Jews and Poles in the city were roughly equal, about five thousand each. The Jews, however, formed a compact, centralized group occupying the innermost districts whilst the Poles were more scattered, living in outlying areas and shading off into the peasantry. Consequently, when a gang of Jewish boys met a Polish gang the latter would almost inevitably represent a single suburb and thus be poorer in fighting potential than the Jews who even if their numbers were initially fewer could quickly call on reinforcements from the entire quarter. Far from being afraid of them, they were rather afraid of us. In general, however, relations were amicable, though distant."
In Autumn of 1906 he left Poland to go to
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
. He travelled with his sweetheart Rachel Nelkin and her mother, as well as his comrade from ''Ezra''. His voyage was funded by his father.


Ottoman Empire and Constantinople

Immediately on landing in
Jaffa Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo ( he, יָפוֹ, ) and in Arabic Yafa ( ar, يَافَا) and also called Japho or Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ – ''Tel Aviv-Yafo'' ...

Jaffa
, 7 September 1906, Ben Gurion set off, on foot, in a group of fourteen, to
Petah Tikva Petah Tikva ( he, פֶּתַח תִּקְוָה, , "Opening of Hope"), also known as ''Em HaMoshavot'' ("Mother of the ''Moshava, Moshavot''"), is a city in the Central District (Israel), Central District of Israel, east of Tel Aviv. It was founde ...

Petah Tikva
. It was the largest of the 13 Jewish agricultural settlements and consisted of 80 households with a population of nearly 1500; of these around 200 were
Second Aliyah The Second Aliyah ( he, העלייה השנייה, ''HaAliyah HaShniya'') was an important and highly influential aliyah Aliyah (, ; he, עֲלִיָּה ''aliyah'', "ascent") is the immigration of Jews from the Jewish diaspora, diaspora to t ...
pioneers like Ben Gurion. He found work as a day labourer, waiting each morning hoping to be chosen by an overseer. Jewish workers found it difficult competing with local villagers who were more skilled and prepared to work for less. Ben Gurion was shocked at the number of Arabs employed. In November he caught
malaria Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or condition. A sign fo ...

malaria
and the doctor advised he return to Europe. By the time he left Petah Tikva in summer of 1907 he had worked an average 10 days a month which frequently left him with no money for food. He wrote long letters in Hebrew to his father and friends. They rarely revealed how difficult life was. Others who had come from Płońsk were writing about tuberculosis, cholera and people dying of hunger. On his disembarkation at Jaffa Ben Gurion had been spotted by Israel Shochat who had arrived two years previously and had established a group of around 25 Poale Zion followers. Shochat made a point of inspecting new arrivals looking for recruits. A month after his arrival at Petah Tikva Shochat invited Ben Gurion to attend the founding conference of the ''Jewish Social Democratic Workers' Party in the Land of Israel'' in Jaffa. The conference, 4–6 October 1906, was attended by 60 or so people. Shochat engineered the elections so that Ben Gurion was elected onto the 5-man Central Committee and the 10-man Manifesto Committee. He also arranged that Ben Gurion was chosen as chairman of the sessions. These Ben Gurion conducted in Hebrew, forbidding the translation of his address into Russian or Yiddish. The conference was divided: a large faction - ''Rostovians'' - wanted to create a single Arab-Jewish proletariat. This Shochat and Ben Gurion opposed. The conference delegated the Manifesto Committee the task of deciding the new party's objectives. They produced ''The
Ramleh Ramla ( he, רַמְלָה, ''Ramla''; ar, الرملة, ''ar-Ramlah''), also Ramle, Ramlah, Remle and historically sometimes Rama, is a city in Central District (Israel), central Israel. The city is predominantly Jewish with a significant Arab ...

Ramleh
Program'' which was approved by a second smaller 15-man conference held in Jaffa the following January 1907. The program stated "the party aspires to political independence of the Jewish People in this country." All activities were to be conducted in Hebrew; there should be segregation of the Jewish and the Arab economies; and a Jewish trade union was to be established. Three members of the Central Committee resigned and Ben Gurion and Shochat continued meeting weekly in Jaffa or
Ben Shemen Ben Shemen ( he, בֶּן שֶׁמֶן, ''lit.'' very fruitful) is a moshav A moshav ( he, מוֹשָׁב, plural ', lit. ''settlement, village'') is a type of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, ...

Ben Shemen
where Shochat was working. Ben Gurion walked to the meetings from Petah Tikva until he moved to Jaffa where he gave occasional Hebrew lessons. His political activity resulted in the establishment of three small trade unions amongst some tailors, carpenters and shoemakers. He set up the ''Jaffa Professional Trade Union Alliance'' with 75 members. He and Shochat also brokered a settlement to a strike at the Rishon Le Zion winery where six workers had been sacked. After three months the two man Central Committee was dissolved, partly because, at that time, Ben Gurion was less militant than Shochat and the Rostovians. Ben Gurion returned to Petah Tikva. During this time Ben Gurion sent a letter to ''Yiddish Kemfer'' (The Jewish Fighter), a Yiddish newspaper in
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...

New York
. It was an appeal for funds and was the first time something written by Ben Gurion was published. The arrival of
Yitzhak Ben Zvi Yitzhak Ben-Zvi ( he, יִצְחָק בֶּן־צְבִי‎ ''Yitshak Ben-Tsvi''; 24 November 188423 April 1963) was a historian, Labor Zionism, Labor Zionist leader and the longest-serving President of Israel. Biography Born in Poltava in the ...
in April 1907 revitalised the local Poale Zion. Eighty followers attended a conference in May at which Ben Zvi was elected onto a two-man
Central Committee Central committee is the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to a board of directors, of both ruling and nonruling parties of former and existing Socialist State, socialist states. In such party org ...
and all Ben Gurion's policies were reversed: Yiddish, not Hebrew, was the language to be used; the future lay with a united Jewish and Arab
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of p ...

proletariat
. Further disappointment came when Ben Zvi and Shochat were elected as representatives to go to the
World Zionist Congress 200px, The Second Zionist Congress, held in Basel, Switzerland">Basel.html" ;"title="Second Zionist Congress, held in Basel">Second Zionist Congress, held in Basel, Switzerland (1898) The Zionist Congress was established in 1897 by Theodor Herzl a ...
. Ben Gurion came last of five candidates. He was not aware that at the next gathering, on Ben Zvi's return, a secret para-military group was set up -
Bar-Giora , dates = 1907-1909 , country = Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ota, دولت عليه عثمانيه ', literally "The Sublime Ottoman State"; Modern Turkish: ' or '; french: Empire otto ...
- under Shochat's leadership. Distancing himself from Poale Zion activism Ben Gurion, who had been a day-labourer at
Kfar Saba Kfar Saba ( he, כְּפַר סָבָא), officially Kefar Sava, is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclope ...
, moved to
Rishon Lezion Rishon LeZion ( he, רִאשׁוֹן לְצִיּוֹן , ''lit.'' First to Zion) is a city in Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of ...
where he remained for two months. He made detailed plans with which he tried to entice his father to come and be a farmer. In October 1907, on 's suggestion, Ben-Gurion moved to
Sejera Ilaniya ( he, אִילָנִיָּה) is a moshav A moshav ( he, מוֹשָׁב, plural ', lit. ''settlement, village'') is a type of Israeli town or settlement, in particular a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms ...

Sejera
. An agricultural training farm had been established at Sejera in the 1880 and since then a number of family-owned farms, moshavah, had been established forming a community of around 200 Jews. It was one of the most remote colonies in the foothills of north-eastern
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, ha-galil; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galil ...

Galilee
. It took the two young men three days to walk there. Coincidently at the same time Bar Giora, now with about 20 members and calling themselves 'the collective' but still led by Shochat, took on the operating of the training farm. Ben Gurion found work in the farm but, excluded from 'the collective', he later became a labourer for one of the moshav families. One of the first acts of 'the collective' was organising sacking of the farm's
circassianCircassian may refer to: * Pertaining to Circassia, a formerly independent country located in present-day European Russia ** Circassian coast, on the Black Sea * Circassians, also known as Adyghe people ** Circassian beauties, an idealized image of ...
nightwatchman. As a result, shots were fired at the farms every night for several months. Guns were brought and the workforce armed. Ben Gurion took turns patrolling the farm at night. In the autumn of 1908 Ben Gurion returned to Plonsk to be conscripted into the
army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...
and avoid his father facing a heavy fine. He immediately deserted and returned to Sejera, traveling, via Germany, with forged papers. On 12 April 1909 two Jews from Sejera were killed in clashes with local Arabs following the death of a villager from
Kfar Kanna Kafr Kanna ( ar, كفر كنا, ''Kafr Kanā''; he, כַּפְר כַּנָּא) is an Arab citizens of Israel, Arab town, in Galilee, part of the Northern District (Israel), Northern District of Israel. It is associated with the New Testament vi ...
, shot in an attempted robbery. There is little conformation of Ben Gurion's accounts of his part in this event. Later that summer Ben Gurion moved to
Zichron Yaakov Zikhron Ya'akov ( he, זִכְרוֹן יַעֲקֹב, ''lit.'' "Jacob's Memorial"; often shortened to just ''Zikhron'') is a local council (Israel), town in Israel, south of Haifa, and part of the Haifa District. It is located at the southern en ...
. From where the following spring he was invited, by Ben Zvi, to join the staff of Paole Zion's new Hebrew periodical, Ha'ahdut (The Unity), which was being established in Jerusalem. They needed his fluency in Hebrew for translating and proof reading.Teveth 1987 p.72 It was the end of his career as a farm labourer. The first three editions came out monthly with an initial run of 1000 copies. It then became a weekly with a print run of 450 copies. He contributed 15 articles over the first year, using various pen names, eventually settling for Ben Gurion. The of
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
names was common amongst those who remained during the
Second Aliyah The Second Aliyah ( he, העלייה השנייה, ''HaAliyah HaShniya'') was an important and highly influential aliyah Aliyah (, ; he, עֲלִיָּה ''aliyah'', "ascent") is the immigration of Jews from the Jewish diaspora, diaspora to t ...
. He chose Ben Gurion after the historic
Joseph ben Gurion Joseph ben Gurion was according to Josephus one of the chief leaders of the First Jewish–Roman War, which erupted in the year 66 in Roman Judea. Along with Ananus ben Ananus,Ben Zion, S. ''A Roadmap to the Heavens: An Anthropological Study of He ...
. In the spring of 1911, faced with the collapse of the Second Aliyah, Poale Zion's leadership decided the future lay in "Ottomanisation". Ben Zvi, Manya and Israel Shochat announced their intention to move to
Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes ...
. Ben Zvi and Shochat planned to study law; Ben Gurion was to join them but first needed to learn
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
, spending eight months in
Salonika Thessaloniki (; el, Θεσσαλονίκη, ), also known as Thessalonica (), Saloniki or Salonica () is the second-largest city in Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in So ...
, at that time the most advanced Jewish community in the area. Whilst studying he had to conceal that he was Ashkanazi due to local
Sephardic Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews, ''Sephardim'',, Modern Hebrew: ''Sefaraddim'', Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or sefarditas), pt, Judeus sefarditas or His ...
prejudices. Ben Zvi obtained a forged secondary school certificate so Ben Gurion could join him in
Istanbul University Istanbul University ( tr, İstanbul Üniversitesi) is a prominent Turkish university located in Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code ...

Istanbul University
. Ben Gurion was entirely dependent on funding from his father, while Ben Zvi found work teaching. Struggling with ill health Ben Gurion spent some time in hospital.


Ben-Gurion in America 1915–1918

Ben-Gurion was at sea, returning from Istanbul, when the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...

First World War
broke out. He was not amongst the thousands of foreign nationals deported in December 1914. He was based in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
where he and Ben Zvi recruited forty Jews into a Jewish militia to assist the Ottoman Army. Despite his pro-Ottoman declarations he was deported to Egypt in March 1915. From there he made his way to the United States, arriving in May. For the next 4 months Ben-Gurion and Ben Zvi embarked on a speaking tour planned to visit
Poale Zion Poale Zion (also spelled Poalei Tziyon or Poaley Syjon, meaning "Workers of Zion") was a movement of Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how econo ...
groups in 35 cities in an attempt to raise a pioneer army, Hechalutz, of 10,000 men to fight on the Ottoman side. The tour was a disappointment. Audiences were small; Poale Zion had fewer than 3,000 members, mostly in the New York area. Ben-Gurion was hospitalised with
diphtheria Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacteria, bacterium ''Corynebacterium diphtheriae''. Most infections are asymptomatic or have a mild Course (medicine), clinical course, but in some outbreaks more than 10% of those diagnosed with the di ...

diphtheria
for two weeks and only spoke on 5 occasions and was poorly received. Ben Zvi spoke to 14 groups as well as an event in New York City and succeeded in recruiting 44 volunteers for Hechalutz; Ben-Gurion recruited 19. Ben-Gurion embarked on a second tour in December, speaking at 19 meetings, mostly in small towns with larger events in
Minneapolis Minneapolis () is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. With a population of 429,954 as of 2020 United States census, 2020, it is the most populous city in the state and the 46th most populous in the nation. The county seat of Hennepin County, ...

Minneapolis
and
Galveston Galveston ( ) is a Gulf Coast of the United States, coastal resort town, resort city and port off the Southeast Texas coast on Galveston Island and Pelican Island (Texas), Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas. The community of , with a popu ...
. Due to the lack of awareness of Poale Zion's activities in Palestine it was decided to republish ''Yizkor'' in
Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic languages, Germanic family of languages (the others being the ...

Yiddish
. The
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
original was published in
Jaffa Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo ( he, יָפוֹ, ) and in Arabic Yafa ( ar, يَافَا) and also called Japho or Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ – ''Tel Aviv-Yafo'' ...

Jaffa
in 1911; it consisted of eulogies to
Zionist was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet ''Der Judenstaat ''Der Judenstaat'' ( German, literally ''The Jews' State'', commonly rendered as ''The Jewish State'') is a pamphlet written by Theodor Herzl and publishe ...
martyrs and included an account by Ben-Gurion of his Petah Tikva and Sejera experiences. The first edition appeared in February 1916 and was an immediate success; all 3,500 copies were sold. A second edition of 16,000 was published in August.
Martin Buber Martin Buber ( he, מרטין בובר; german: Martin Buber; yi, מארטין בובער; February 8, 1878 – June 13, 1965) was an Austrian Jewish and Israeli philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy ...

Martin Buber
wrote the introduction to the 1918 German edition. The follow-up was conceived as an anthology of work from Poale Zion leaders; in fact Ben-Gurion took over as editor, writing the introduction and two thirds of the text. He suspended all his Paole Zion activities and spent most of the next 18 months in
New York Public Library The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a public library A public library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for hous ...

New York Public Library
. Ben Zvi, originally designated as co-editor, contributed a section on Jewish history in which he expounded the theory that the
fellahin Fellah ( ar, فلاح ; feminine ; plural ''fellaheen'' or ''fellahin'', , ) is a farmer A farmer (also called an agriculturer) is a person engaged in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and ...

fellahin
currently living in the area were descendants of pre- Roman conquest Jews. ''Eretz Israel - Past and Present'' was published in April 1918. It cost $2 and was 500 pages long, over twice the length of ''Yizkor''. It was an immediate success, selling 7,000 copies in 4 months; second and third editions were printed. Total sales of 25,000 copies made a profit of $20,000 for Poale Zion. It made David Ben-Gurion the most prominent Poale Zion leader in America. In May 1918 Ben-Gurion joined the newly formed
Jewish Legion The Jewish Legion (1917–1921) is an unofficial name used to refer to five battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also kn ...
of the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
. He volunteered for the 38th Battalion,
Royal Fusiliers The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) was a line infantry Line infantry was the type of infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from c ...
, one of the four which constituted the Jewish Legion. His unit fought against the Ottomans as part of
Chaytor's Force Chaytor's Force (13 August – 31 October 1918) named after its commander, Major General Edward Chaytor, was a composite division Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics), the inverse of multiplication *Division a ...
during the Palestine Campaign, though he remained in a
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
hospital with dysentery. In 1918, after a period of guarding prisoners of war in the Egyptian desert, his battalion was transferred to Sarafand. On 13 December 1918 he was demoted from corporal to private, fined 3 days' pay and transferred to the lowest company in the battalion. He had been 5 days absent without leave visiting friends in
Jaffa Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo ( he, יָפוֹ, ) and in Arabic Yafa ( ar, يَافَا) and also called Japho or Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ – ''Tel Aviv-Yafo'' ...

Jaffa
. He was demobilised in early 1919.


Marriage and family

One of Ben Grunion's companions when he made the
Aliyah Aliyah (, ; he, עֲלִיָּה ''aliyah'', "ascent") is the immigration of Jews from the Jewish diaspora, diaspora to the Land of Israel historically, which today includes the modern State of Israel. Also defined as "the act of going up"—th ...
was Rachel Nelkin. Her step-father, Reb Simcha Isaac, was the leading Zionist in Płońsk, and they met three years previously at one of his meetings. It was expected that their relationship would continue when they landed in Jaffa but he shut her out after she was fired on her first day labouring - manuring the citrus groves of Petah Tikva. Whilst in New York City in 1915, he met Russian-born Paula Munweis and they married in 1917. In November 1919, after an 18-month separation, Paula and their daughter Geula joined Ben Gurion in
Jaffa Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo ( he, יָפוֹ, ) and in Arabic Yafa ( ar, يَافَا) and also called Japho or Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ – ''Tel Aviv-Yafo'' ...

Jaffa
. It was the first time he met his one-year-old daughter. The couple had three children: a son, Amos, and two daughters, Geula Ben-Eliezer and Renana Leshem. Already pregnant with their first child, Amos married Mary Callow, an
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
gentile Gentile () is a word that usually means "someone who is not a Jews, Jew". Other groups claiming affiliation with Israelites, groups that claim Israelite heritage sometimes use the term ''gentile'' to describe outsiders, notably Mormons. More ...

gentile
, and although Reform rabbi
Joachim Prinz Joachim Prinz (May 10, 1902 – September 30, 1988) was a German people, German-American people, American rabbi who was outspoken against Nazism and became a Zionist leader. As a young rabbi in Berlin, he was forced to confront the rise of Nazi ...
converted her to Judaism soon after, neither the Palestine rabbinate nor her mother-in-law Paula Ben-Gurion considered her a real Jew until she underwent an Orthodox conversion many years later. Amos became Deputy Inspector-General of the
Israel Police The Israel Police ( he, משטרת ישראל, ''Mišteret Yisra'el''; ar, شرطة إسرائيل, ''Shurtat Isrāʼīl'') is the civilian police force of Israel. As with most other police forces in the world, its duties include crime fighting ...
, and also the director-general of a textile factory. He and Mary had six granddaughters from their two daughters and a son, Alon, who married a
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
gentile. Geula had two sons and a daughter, and Renana, who worked as a microbiologist at the Israel Institute for Biological Research, had a son.


Zionist leadership between 1919–1948

After the death of theorist
Ber Borochov Dov Ber Borochov (russian: Дов-Бер Борохов; 3 July 1881 – 17 December 1917) was a Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as ...

Ber Borochov
, the left-wing and centrist of Poalei Zion split in February 1919 with Ben-Gurion and his friend
Berl Katznelson Berl Katznelson ( he, ברל כצנלסון, 25 January 1887 – 12 August 1944) was one of the intellectual founders of Labor Zionism Labor Zionism or socialist Zionism ( he, צִיּוֹנוּת סוֹצְיָאלִיסְטִית, Romanizat ...
leading the centrist faction of the
Labor Zionist Labor Zionism or socialist Zionism ( he, צִיּוֹנוּת סוֹצְיָאלִיסְטִית, Romanization of Hebrew, translit. ''Tziyonut sotzyalistit''; he, תְּנוּעָת הָעַבוֹדָה Romanization of Hebrew, translit. ''Tnu'at ...
movement. The moderate Poalei Zion formed
Ahdut HaAvoda Ahdut HaAvoda ( he, אַחְדוּת הַעֲבוֹדָה, lit. ''Labour Unity'') was the name used by a series of political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elect ...
with Ben-Gurion as leader in March 1919. In 1920 he assisted in the formation of the
Histadrut Histadrut, or the General Organization of Workers in Israel, originally ( he, ההסתדרות הכללית של העובדים בארץ ישראל, ''HaHistadrut HaKlalit shel HaOvdim B'Eretz Yisrael''), is Israel's national trade union center ...
, the Zionist Labor Federation in Palestine, and served as its General Secretary from 1921 until 1935. At Ahdut HaAvoda's 3rd Congress, held in 1924 at
Ein Harod Ein Harod ( he, עֵין חֲרוֹד) was a kibbutz in northern Israel near Mount Gilboa. Founded in 1921, it became the center of Mandatory Palestine's kibbutz movement, hosting the headquarters of the largest kibbutz organisation, HaKibbutz HaMe ...

Ein Harod
, Shlomo Kaplansky, a veteran leader from
Poalei Zion Poale Zion (also spelled Poalei Tziyon or Poaley Syjon, meaning "Workers of Zion") was a movement of Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how econo ...

Poalei Zion
, proposed that the party should support the British Mandatory authorities' plans for setting up an elected legislative council in Palestine. He argued that a Parliament, even with an Arab majority, was the way forward. Ben-Gurion, already emerging as the leader of the
Yishuv Yishuv ( he, ישוב, literally "settlement"), Ha-Yishuv ( he, הישוב, ''the Yishuv''), or Ha-Yishuv Ha-Ivri ( he, הישוב העברי, ''the Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of ...
, succeeded in getting Kaplansky's ideas rejected. In 1930,
Hapoel Hatzair Hapoel Hatzair ( he, הפועל הצעיר, "The Young Worker") was a Zionist was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet ''Der Judenstaat ''Der Judenstaat'' ( German, literally ''The Jews' State'', commonly render ...
(founded by A. D. Gordon in 1905) and
Ahdut HaAvoda Ahdut HaAvoda ( he, אַחְדוּת הַעֲבוֹדָה, lit. ''Labour Unity'') was the name used by a series of political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elect ...
joined forces to create
Mapai Mapai ( he, מַפָּא"י, an acronym for , ''Mifleget Poalei Eretz Yisrael'', lit. "Workers' Party of the Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Sout ...
, the more moderate Zionist labor party (it was still a left-wing organization, but not as far-left as other factions) under Ben-Gurion's leadership. In the 1940s the left-wing of Mapai broke away to form
Mapam Mapam ( he, מַפָּ״ם, an acronym for , ) was a Left-wing politics, left-wing List of political parties in Israel, political party in Israel. The party is one of the ancestors of the modern-day Meretz party. History Mapam was formed by a ...
. Labor Zionism became the dominant tendency in the
World Zionist Organization The World Zionist Organization ( he, הַהִסְתַּדְּרוּת הַצִּיּוֹנִית הָעוֹלָמִית; ''HaHistadrut HaTzionit Ha'Olamit''), or WZO, is a non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, uprigh ...

World Zionist Organization
and in 1935 Ben-Gurion became chairman of the executive committee of the
Jewish Agency (HaSochnut HaYehudit L'Eretz Yisra'el) , native_name_lang = HE , founded = , headquarters = Jerusalem , coordinates = , tax_id = 23-7254561 , status = 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, ...
, a role he kept until the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. During the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, Ben-Gurion instigated a policy of restraint (" Havlagah") in which the
Haganah Haganah ( he, הַהֲגָנָה, lit. ''The Defence'') was the main Zionist was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet ''Der Judenstaat ''Der Judenstaat'' ( German, literally ''The Jews' State'', commonly r ...
and other Jewish groups did not retaliate for Arab attacks against Jewish civilians, concentrating only on self-defense. In 1937, the
Peel Commission The Peel Commission, formally known as the Palestine Royal Commission, was a British Royal Commission A royal commission is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue in some monarchies. They have been held in the United King ...
recommended partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab areas and Ben-Gurion supported this policy. This led to conflict with
Ze'ev Jabotinsky Ze'ev Jabotinsky, (; he, זְאֵב זַ׳בּוֹטִינְסְקִי, ''Ze'ev Zhabotinski''; yi, וואלף זשאַבאָטינסקי, ''Wolf Zhabotinski''; born Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky, russian: Влади́мир Евге́нь ...
who opposed partition and as a result Jabotinsky's supporters split with the Haganah and abandoned Havlagah. The house where he lived from 1931 on, and for part of each year after 1953, is now a
historic house museum A historic house museum is a house that has been transformed into a museum. Historic furnishings may be displayed in a way that reflects their original placement and usage in a home. Historic house museums are held to a variety of standards, inclu ...
in Tel Aviv, the " Ben-Gurion House". In 1946, Ben-Gurion and North Vietnam's Politburo chairman
Ho Chi Minh (; , ; : ; 19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969), born , also known as , , , Người cha dân tộc or simply ('Uncle', ), was a Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeas ...

Ho Chi Minh
became very friendly when they stayed at the same hotel in Paris. Ho Chi Minh offered Ben-Gurion a Jewish home-in-exile in Vietnam. Ben-Gurion declined, telling Ho Chi Minh: "I am certain we shall be able to establish a Jewish Government in Palestine."


Views and opinions


Decisiveness and pragmatism

In ''Ben-Gurion: A Political Life'' by
Shimon Peres Shimon Peres (; he, שמעון פרס ; born Szymon Perski; 2 August 1923 – 28 September 2016) was an Israeli politician who served as the ninth In music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, ...

Shimon Peres
and David Landau, Peres recalls his first meeting with Ben-Gurion as a young activist in the No'ar Ha'Oved youth movement. Ben-Gurion gave him a lift, and out of the blue told him why he preferred Lenin to Trotsky: "Lenin was Trotsky’s inferior in terms of intellect", but Lenin, unlike Trotsky, "was decisive". When confronted with a dilemma, Trotsky would do what Ben-Gurion despised about the old-style diaspora Jews: he manoeuvred; as opposed to Lenin, who would cut the
Gordian knot The Gordian Knot is a legend A legend is a genre of folklore that consists of a narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, biography, news report, ...
, accepting losses while focusing on the essentials. In Peres' opinion, the essence of Ben-Gurion's life work were "the decisions he made at critical junctures in Israel’s history", and none was as important as the acceptance of the 1947 partition plan, a painful compromise which gave the emerging Jewish state little more than a fighting chance, but which, according to Peres, enabled the establishment of the State of Israel.


Attitude towards Arabs

Ben-Gurion published two volumes setting out his views on relations between Zionists and the Arab world: ''We and Our Neighbors'', published in 1931, and ''My Talks with Arab Leaders'' published in 1967. Ben-Gurion believed in the equal rights of Arabs who remained in and would become citizens of Israel. He was quoted as saying, "We must start working in Jaffa. Jaffa must employ Arab workers. And there is a question of their wages. I believe that they should receive the same wage as a Jewish worker. An Arab has also the right to be elected president of the state, should he be elected by all." Ben-Gurion recognized the strong attachment of
Palestinian Arabs The Palestinian people ( ar, الشعب الفلسطيني, ''ash-sha‘b al-Filasṭīnī''), also referred to as Palestinians ( ar, الفلسطينيون, links=no, ''al-Filasṭīniyyūn''; he, פָלַסְטִינִים) or Palestinian A ...
to the land and in an address to the United Nations on 2 October 1947, he doubted the likelihood of peace:
This is our native land; it is not as birds of passage that we return to it. But it is situated in an area engulfed by Arabic-speaking people, mainly followers of Islam. Now, if ever, we must do more than make peace with them; we must achieve collaboration and alliance on equal terms. Remember what Arab delegations from Palestine and its neighbors say in the General Assembly and in other places: talk of Arab-Jewish amity sound fantastic, for the Arabs do not wish it, they will not sit at the same table with us, they want to treat us as they do the Jews of Bagdad, Cairo, and Damascus.
Nahum Goldmann Nahum Goldmann ( he, נחום גולדמן) (July 10, 1895 – August 29, 1982) was a leading Zionist and the founder and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress. Biography Nahum Goldmann was born in Vishnevo, Russian Empire, a shtetl i ...

Nahum Goldmann
criticized Ben-Gurion for what he viewed as a confrontational approach to the Arab world. Goldmann wrote, "Ben-Gurion is the man principally responsible for the anti-Arab policy, because it was he who molded the thinking of generations of Israelis."Nahum Goldmann, ''The Jewish Paradox'' A Personal Memoir, translated by Steve Cox, 1978, , pp. 98, 99, 100 Simha Flapan quoted Ben-Gurion as stating in 1938: "I believe in our power, in our power which will grow, and if it will grow agreement will come..." In 1909, Ben-Gurion attempted to learn Arabic but gave up. He later became fluent in
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
. The only other languages he was able to use when in discussions with Arab leaders were English, and to a lesser extent, French.


Attitude towards the British

The British 1939 White paper stipulated that Jewish immigration to Palestine was to be limited to 15,000 a year for the first five years, and would subsequently be contingent on Arab consent. Restrictions were also placed on the rights of Jews to buy land from Arabs. After this Ben-Gurion changed his policy towards the British, stating: "Peace in Palestine is not the best situation for thwarting the policy of the White Paper". Ben-Gurion believed a peaceful solution with the Arabs had no chance and soon began preparing the
Yishuv Yishuv ( he, ישוב, literally "settlement"), Ha-Yishuv ( he, הישוב, ''the Yishuv''), or Ha-Yishuv Ha-Ivri ( he, הישוב העברי, ''the Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of ...
for war. According to Teveth "through his campaign to mobilize the Yishuv in support of the British war effort, he strove to build the nucleus of a 'Hebrew Army', and his success in this endeavor later brought victory to Zionism in the struggle to establish a Jewish state." During the Second World War, Ben-Gurion encouraged the
Jewish population , the world's "core" Jews, Jewish population, those identifying as Jews above all else, is 15.7 million (or 0.2 % of the 7.89 billion humans). The "connected" Jewish population, including those who say they are partly Jewish or that have Jewi ...
to volunteer for the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
. He famously told Jews to "support the British as if there is no White Paper and oppose the White Paper as if there is no war". About 10% of the Jewish population of Palestine volunteered for the British Armed Forces, including many women. At the same time Ben-Gurion assisted the illegal immigration of thousands of European Jewish refugees to Palestine during a period when the British placed heavy restrictions on Jewish immigration. In 1944, the
Irgun Irgun • Etzel , image = Irgun.png , image_size = 200px , caption = Irgun emblem. The map shows both Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine ( ar, فلسطين '; he, פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א"י) ', where "E.Y." indicates ' ...

Irgun
and
Lehi Lehi (; he, לח"י – לוחמי חרות ישראל ''Lohamei Herut Israel – Lehi'', "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel – Lehi"), often known pejoratively as the Stern Gang,"This group was known to its friends as LEHI and to its enemies ...
, two Jewish right-wing armed groups, declared a rebellion against British rule and began attacking British administrative and police targets. Ben-Gurion and other mainstream Zionist leaders opposed armed action against the British, and after Lehi assassinated , the British Minister of State in the Middle East, decided to stop it by force. While Lehi was convinced to suspend operations, the Irgun refused and as a result, the
Haganah Haganah ( he, הַהֲגָנָה, lit. ''The Defence'') was the main Zionist was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet ''Der Judenstaat ''Der Judenstaat'' ( German, literally ''The Jews' State'', commonly r ...
began supplying intelligence to the British enabling them to arrest Irgun members, and abducting and often torturing Irgun members, handing some over to the British while keeping others detained in secret Haganah prisons. This campaign, which was called the
Saison Saison (French language, French, "season," ) is a pale ale that is highly carbonated, fruity, spicy, and often bottle conditioned. It was historically brewed with low alcohol levels, but modern productions of the style have moderate to high lev ...
or "Hunting Season", left the Irgun unable to continue operations as they struggled to survive. Irgun leader Menachem Begin ordered his fighters not to retaliate so as to prevent a civil war. The Saison became increasingly controversial in the Yishuv, including within the ranks of the Haganah, and it was aborted at the end of March 1945.: ''Anonymous Soldiers'' (2015) Bell, Bowyer J.: ''Terror out of Zion'' (1976) At the end of World War II, the Zionist leadership in Palestine had expected a British decision to establish a Jewish state. However, it became clear that the British had no intention of immediately establishing a Jewish state and that limits on Jewish immigration would remain for the time being. As a result, with Ben-Gurion's approval the Haganah entered into a secret alliance with the Irgun and Lehi called the Jewish Resistance Movement in October 1945 and participated in attacks against the British. In June 1946, the British launched
Operation Agatha Operation Agatha (Saturday, June 29, 1946), sometimes called Black Sabbath ( he, השבת השחור) or Black Saturday because it began on the Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are m ...
, a large police and military operation throughout Palestine, searching for arms and arresting Jewish leaders and Haganah members in order to stop the attacks and find documentary evidence of the alliance the British suspected existed between the Haganah, Irgun, and Lehi. The British had intended to detain Ben-Gurion during the operation but he was visiting
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
at the time. The British stored the documents they had captured from the Jewish Agency headquarters in the
King David Hotel The King David Hotel ( he, מלון המלך דוד , ar, فندق الملك داود) is a 5-star hotel in Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic nam ...

King David Hotel
, which was being used as a military and administrative headquarters. Ben-Gurion agreed to the Irgun's plan to bomb the King David Hotel in order to destroy incriminating documents that Ben-Gurion feared would prove that the Haganah had been participating in the violent insurrection against the British in cooperation with the Irgun and Lehi with the approval of himself and other Jewish Agency officials. However, Ben-Gurion asked that the operation be delayed, but the Irgun refused. The Irgun carried out the
King David Hotel bombing The King David Hotel bombing was a terrorist attack carried out on Monday, July 22, 1946, by the militant right-wing Zionist underground organization the Irgun on the British administrative headquarters for Palestine, which was housed in the s ...
in July 1946, killing 91 people. Ben-Gurion publicly condemned the bombing. In the aftermath of the bombing, Ben-Gurion ordered that the Jewish Resistance Movement be dissolved. From then on, the Irgun and Lehi continued to regularly attack the British, but the Haganah rarely did so, and while Ben-Gurion along with other mainstream Zionist leaders publicly condemned the Irgun and Lehi attacks, in practice the Haganah under their direction rarely cooperated with the British in attempting to suppress the insurgency. Due to the Jewish insurgency, bad publicity over the restriction of Jewish immigrants to Palestine, non-acceptance of a partitioned state (as suggested by the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
) amongst Arab leaders, and the cost of keeping 100,000 troops in Palestine the British Government referred the matter to the United Nations. In September 1947, the British decided to terminate the Mandate. In November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution approving the
United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was a proposal by the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop f ...
. While the Jewish Agency under Ben-Gurion accepted, the Arabs rejected the plan and the 1947–1948 civil war in Mandatory Palestine broke out. Ben-Gurion's strategy was for the Haganah to hold on to every position with no retreat or surrender and then launch an offensive when British forces had evacuated to such an extent that there would be no more danger of British intervention. This strategy was successful, and by May 1948 Jewish forces were winning the civil war. On 14 May 1948, a few hours before the British Mandate officially terminated, Ben-Gurion declared Israeli independence in a ceremony in Tel Aviv. A few hours later, the State of Israel officially came into being when the British Mandate terminated on 15 May. The
1948 Arab–Israeli War The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war, 1947–49 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli ...
began immediately afterwards as numerous Arab nations then invaded Israel.


Attitude towards conquering West Bank

After the ten-day campaign during the
1948 war Events January * January 1 ** The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is inaugurated. ** The Constitution of the Italian Republic goes into effect. ** The Constitution of New Jersey (later subject to amendment) goes into effect. ...
, the Israelis were militarily superior to their enemies and the Cabinet subsequently considered where and when to attack next.Benny Morris (2008), pp. 315–316. On 24 September, an incursion made by the Palestinian irregulars in the Latrun sector (killing 23 Israeli soldiers) precipitated the debate. On 26 September, Ben-Gurion put his argument to the Cabinet to attack Latrun again and conquer the whole or a large part of West Bank.Benny Morris (2008), pp. 317.Benny Morris (2008), p. 318. The motion was rejected by a vote of seven to five after discussions. Ben-Gurion qualified the cabinet's decision as ("a source of lament for generations") considering Israel may have lost forever the Old City of Jerusalem.Benny Morris (2008), pp. 315. There is a controversy around these events. According to Uri Bar-Joseph, Ben-Gurion placed a plan that called for a limited action aimed at the conquest of Latrun, and not for an all-out offensive. According to David Tal, in the cabinet meeting, Ben-Gurion reacted to what he had been just told by a delegation from Jerusalem. He points out that this view that Ben-Gurion had planned to conquer the West Bank is unsubstantiated in both Ben-Gurion's diary and in the Cabinet protocol. The topic came back at the end of the 1948 war, when General Yigal Allon also proposed the conquest of the West Bank up to the Jordan River as the natural, defensible border of the state. This time, Ben-Gurion refused although he was aware that the IDF was militarily strong enough to carry out the conquest. He feared the reaction of Western powers and wanted to maintain good relations with the United States and not to provoke the British. Moreover, in his opinion the results of the war were already satisfactory and Israeli leaders had to focus on the building of a nation. According to Benny Morris, "Ben-Gurion got cold feet during the war. (...). If had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country -the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion rather than a partial one- he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations."


Religious parties and status quo

In order to prevent the coalescence of the religious right, the Histadrut agreed to a vague "status quo" agreement with Mizrahi in 1935. Ben-Gurion was aware that world Jewry could and would only feel comfortable to throw their support behind the nascent state, if it was shrouded with religious mystique. That would include an orthodox tacit acquiescence to the entity. Therefore, in September 1947 Ben-Gurion decided to reach a formal status quo agreement with the Orthodox
Agudat Yisrael Agudat Yisrael ( he, אֲגוּדָּת יִשְׂרָאֵל, lit., ''Union of Israel'', also transliterated ''Agudath Israel'', or, in Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a High German languages, ...
party. He sent a letter to Agudat Yisrael stating that while being committed to establishing a non-
theocratic Theocracy is a form of government in which one or more deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and ...

theocratic
state with freedom of religion, he promised that the
Shabbat Shabbat (, , or ; he, שַׁבָּת, Šabat, , ) or the Sabbath, also called Shabbos ( yi, שבת) by , is 's day of rest on the seventh day of the —i.e., . On this day, religious remember the biblical stories describing the and the redem ...

Shabbat
would be Israel's official day of rest, that in state-provided kitchens there would be access to
kosher ''Kashrut'' (also ''kashruth'' or ''kashrus'', ) is a set of dietary laws Some people do not eat various specific foods and beverages in conformity with various religious, cultural, legal or other societal prohibitions. Many of these prohibitio ...
food, that every effort would be made to provide a single jurisdiction for Jewish family affairs, and that each sector would be granted autonomy in the sphere of education, provided minimum standards regarding the curriculum be observed. To a large extent this agreement provided the framework for religious affairs in Israel till the present day, and is often used as a benchmark regarding the arrangement of religious affairs in Israel.


Religious belief

Ben-Gurion described himself as an
irreligious Irreligion or nonreligion is the absence or rejection of religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precise ...
person who developed
atheism Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psy ...

atheism
in his youth and who demonstrated no great sympathy for the elements of traditional Judaism, though he quoted the Bible extensively in his speeches and writings. Modern Orthodox philosopher
Yeshayahu Leibowitz Yeshayahu Leibowitz ( he, ישעיהו ליבוביץ; 29 January 1903 – 18 August 1994) was an Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת י ...

Yeshayahu Leibowitz
considered Ben-Gurion "to have hated Judaism more than any other man he had met". He was proud of the fact that he had only set foot in a synagogue once in Israel, worked on
Yom Kippur Yom Kippur (; he, יוֹם כִּיפּוּר, Yōm Kīpūr, , ; plural , ) is the holiest day of the year in Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semi ...
and ate
pork Pork is the for the of the (''Sus scrofa domesticus''). It is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, with evidence of pig dating back to 5000 BC. Pork is eaten both freshly cooked and preserved; extends the of pork products. , , , ...

pork
. In later time, Ben-Gurion refused to define himself as "secular", and he regarded himself a believer in God. In a 1970 interview, he described himself as a
pantheist Pantheism is the belief that reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only Object of the mind, imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status o ...

pantheist
, and stated that "I don't know if there's an afterlife. I think there is." During an interview with the leftist weekly ''Hotam'' two years before his death, he revealed, "I too have a deep faith in the Almighty. I believe in one God, the omnipotent Creator. My consciousness is aware of the existence of material and spirit ... utI cannot understand how order reigns in nature, in the world and universe – unless there exists a superior force. This supreme Creator is beyond my comprehension . . . but it directs everything." In a letter to the writer Eliezer Steinman, he wrote "Today, more than ever, the 'religious' tend to relegate Judaism to observing dietary laws and preserving the Sabbath. This is considered religious reform. I prefer the Fifteenth Psalm, lovely are the psalms of Israel. The Shulchan Aruch is a product of our nation's life in the Exile. It was produced in the Exile, in conditions of Exile. A nation in the process of fulfilling its every task, physically and spiritually ... must compose a 'New Shulchan'--and our nation's intellectuals are required, in my opinion, to fulfill their responsibility in this."


Military leadership

During the
1948 Arab–Israeli War The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war, 1947–49 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli ...
Ben-Gurion oversaw the nascent state's military operations. During the first weeks of Israel's independence, he ordered all militias to be replaced by one national army, the
Israel Defense Forces The Israel Defense Forces (IDF; he, צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל ; ), commonly referred to by the Hebrew-language acronym ''Tzahal'' (), are the combined military forces of the Israel, State of Israel, consisting of t ...
(IDF). To that end, Ben-Gurion used a firm hand during the
Altalena Affair The Altalena Affair was a violent confrontation that took place in June 1948 by the newly created Israel Defense Forces against the Irgun (also known as IZL), one of the Jewish paramilitary groups that were in the process of merging to form the I ...
, a ship carrying arms purchased by the
Irgun Irgun • Etzel , image = Irgun.png , image_size = 200px , caption = Irgun emblem. The map shows both Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine ( ar, فلسطين '; he, פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א"י) ', where "E.Y." indicates ' ...

Irgun
led by Menachem Begin. He insisted that all weapons be handed over to the IDF. When fighting broke out on the Tel Aviv beach he ordered it be taken by force and to shell the ship. Sixteen Irgun fighters and three IDF soldiers were killed in this battle. Following the policy of a unified military force, he also ordered that the
Palmach The Palmach (Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and thei ...

Palmach
headquarters be disbanded and its units be integrated with the rest of the IDF, to the chagrin of many of its members. By absorbing the Irgun force into Israel's IDF, the Israelis eliminated competition and the central government controlled all military forces within the country. His attempts to reduce the number of
Mapam Mapam ( he, מַפָּ״ם, an acronym for , ) was a Left-wing politics, left-wing List of political parties in Israel, political party in Israel. The party is one of the ancestors of the modern-day Meretz party. History Mapam was formed by a ...
members in the senior ranks led to the "Generals' Revolt" in June 1948. As head of the
Jewish Agency The Jewish Agency for Israel ( he, הסוכנות היהודית לארץ ישראל, translit=HaSochnut HaYehudit L'Eretz Yisra'el) is the largest Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish peop ...
from 1935, Ben-Gurion was de facto leader of the Jewish population even before the state was declared. In this position, Ben-Gurion played a major role in the
1948 Arab–Israeli War The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war, 1947–49 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli ...
When the IDF archives and others were opened in the late 1980s, scholars started to reconsider the events and the role of Ben-Gurion.


Founding of Israel

On 14 May 1948, on the last day of the British Mandate, Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the State of Israel. In the Israeli declaration of independence, he stated that the new nation would "uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion, race". In his War Diaries in February 1948, Ben-Gurion wrote: "The war shall give us the land. The concepts of 'ours' and 'not ours' are peace concepts only, and they lose their meaning during war."Mêrôn Benveniśtî, ''Sacred landscape: the buried history of the Holy Land since 1948'', p. 120 Also later he confirmed this by stating that, "In the Negev we shall not buy the land. We shall conquer it. You forget that we are at war." The Arabs, meanwhile, also vied with Israel over the control of territory by means of war, while the Jordanian ''
Arab Legion The Arab Legion was the regular army of Emirate of Transjordan, Transjordan and then Jordan in the early part of the 20th century. Creation In October 1920, after taking over the Transjordan region, the United Kingdom formed a unit of 150 men c ...
'' had decided to concentrate its forces in
Bethlehem Bethlehem (; ar, بيت لحم , "House of Meat"; he, בֵּית לֶחֶם ', , "House of Bread"; ; la, Bethleem; initially named after Canaanite fertility god Lehem) is a city in the central West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضف ...

Bethlehem
and in
Hebron Hebron ( ar, الخليل أو الخليل الرحمن ; he, חֶבְרוֹן ) is a State of Palestine, Palestinian. city in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judaean Mountains, it lies Above mean sea level, above ...

Hebron
in order to save that district for its Arab inhabitants, and to prevent territorial gains for Israel. Israeli historian
Benny Morris Benny Morris ( he, בני מוריס; born 8 December 1948) is an Israeli historian. He was a professor of history in the Middle East Studies department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the city of Beersheba Beersheba (; he, בְּ ...
has written of the massacres of Palestinian Arabs in 1948, and has stated that Ben-Gurion "covered up for the officers who did the massacres." After leading Israel during the
1948 Arab–Israeli War The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war, 1947–49 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli ...
, Ben-Gurion was elected
Prime Minister of Israel The Prime Minister of Israel ( he, רֹאשׁ הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה, Rosh HaMemshala, Head of the Government, Hebrew acronym: he2, רה״מ; ar, رئيس الحكومة, ''Ra'īs al-Ḥukūma'') is the head of government The head ...
when his Mapai (Labour) party won the largest number of
Knesset The Knesset ( he, הַכְּנֶסֶת ; "gathering" or "assembly") is the unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber ...

Knesset
seats in the first national election, held on 14 February 1949. He remained in that post until 1963, except for a period of nearly two years between 1954 and 1955. As prime minister, he oversaw the establishment of the state's institutions. He presided over various national projects aimed at the rapid development of the country and its population:
Operation Magic Carpet Operation Magic Carpet was the post-World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority ...
, the airlift of Jews from Arab countries, the construction of the
National Water Carrier 250px, Israel.html"_;"title="Lake_Kinneret,_Israel">Lake_Kinneret,_Israel_ image:National_Water_Carrier_of_Israel_-en.svg.html" ;"title="Israel_.html" ;"title="Israel.html" ;"title="Lake Kinneret, Lake_Kinneret,_Israel_">Israel.html"_;"title="La ...

National Water Carrier
, rural development projects and the establishment of new towns and cities. In particular, he called for pioneering settlement in outlying areas, especially in the
Negev The Negev or Negeb (; he, הַנֶּגֶב; ar, ٱلنَّقَب ') is a desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand dunes in th ...

Negev
. Ben-Gurion saw the struggle to make the Negev desert bloom as an area where the Jewish people could make a major contribution to humanity as a whole. He believed that the sparsely populated and barren Negev desert offered a great opportunity for the Jews to settle in Palestine with minimal obstruction of the Arab population, and set a personal example by settling in kibbutz
Sde Boker Sde Boker ( he, שְׂדֵה בּוֹקֵר, lit. ''Herding Field'') is a kibbutz A kibbutz ( he, קִבּוּץ / , lit. "gathering, clustering"; plural: kibbutzim / ) is a Intentional community, collective community in Israel that was tra ...
at the center of the Negev. During this period,
Palestinian fedayeen Palestinian fedayeen (from the Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffre ...
repeatedly infiltrated into Israel from Arab territory. In 1953, after a handful of unsuccessful retaliatory actions, Ben-Gurion charged
Ariel Sharon Ariel Sharon (; , ', also known by his diminutive A diminutive is a root word A root (or root word) is the core of a word that is irreducible into more meaningful elements. In morphology, a root is a morphologically simple unit which can ...

Ariel Sharon
, then security chief of the northern region, with setting up a new commando unit designed to respond to fedayeen infiltrations. Ben-Gurion told Sharon, "The Palestinians must learn that they will pay a high price for Israeli lives." Sharon formed
Unit 101 Commando Unit 101 ( he, יחידה 101) was a special forces Special forces and special operations forces (SOF) are military units trained to conduct special operations. NATO has defined special operations as "military activities conducted b ...
, a small commando unit answerable directly to the IDF General Staff tasked with retaliating for fedayeen raids. During its five months of existence, the unit launched repeated raids against military targets and villages used as bases by the fedayeen. These attacks became known as the
reprisal operations Reprisal operations ( he, פעולות התגמול, ') were raids carried out by the Israel Defense Forces The Israel Defense Forces (IDF; he, צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל ; ), commonly referred to by the Hebrew ...
. In 1953, Ben-Gurion announced his intention to withdraw from government and was replaced by
Moshe Sharett Moshe Sharett ( he, משה שרת, born Moshe Chertok (Hebrew: )‎ 15 October 1894 – 7 July 1965) was a Russian-born Israeli politician from the party Mapai. He was Israel's second List of Prime Ministers of Israel, prime minister (1954 ...
, who was elected the second Prime Minister of Israel in January 1954. However, Ben-Gurion temporarily served as acting prime minister when Sharett visited the United States in 1955. During Ben-Gurion's tenure as acting prime minister, the IDF carried out
Operation Olive Leaves Operation Olive Leaves ( he, מבצע עלי זית, ''Mivtza ʿAlei Zayit'') also known as Operation Kinneret (the Hebrew name for the Sea of Galilee) was an Israeli reprisal operation undertaken on December 10–11, 1955, against fortified Syrian ...
, a successful attack on fortified Syrian emplacements near the northeastern shores of the
Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic Judaeo-Aramaic languages represent a group of Hebrew-influenced Aramaic and Neo-Aramaic languages The Neo-Aramaic or Modern Aramaic languages are varieties of Aramaic ...

Sea of Galilee
. The operation was a response to Syrian attacks on Israeli fishermen. Ben-Gurion had ordered the operation without consulting the Israeli cabinet and seeking a vote on the matter, and Sharett would later bitterly complain that Ben-Gurion had exceeded his authority. Ben-Gurion returned to government in 1955. He assumed the post of defense minister and was soon re-elected prime minister. When he returned to government, Israeli forces began responding more aggressively to Egyptian-sponsored Palestinian guerrilla attacks from Gaza, which was under Egyptian rule. Egypt's President
Gamal Abdel Nasser Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, ( ɡəˈmɑːl æbdɛl ˈnɑːsər; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East Th ...

Gamal Abdel Nasser
signed the Egyptian-Czech arms deal and purchased a large amount of modern arms. The Israelis responded by arming themselves with help from France. Nasser blocked the passage of Israeli ships through the
Straits of Tiran The Straits of Tiran ( ar, مضيق تيران ') are the narrow sea passages between the Sinai and Arabian The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Isl ...

Straits of Tiran
and the Suez Canal. In July 1956, the United States and Britain withdrew their offer to fund the Aswan High Dam project on the Nile and a week later, Nasser ordered the nationalization of the French and British-controlled Suez Canal. In late 1956, the bellicosity of Arab statements prompted Israel to remove the threat of the concentrated Egyptian forces in the Sinai, and Israel invaded the Egyptian Sinai peninsula. Other Israeli aims were elimination of the fedayeen incursions into Israel that made life unbearable for its southern population, and opening the blockaded
Straits of Tiran The Straits of Tiran ( ar, مضيق تيران ') are the narrow sea passages between the Sinai and Arabian The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Isl ...

Straits of Tiran
for Israeli ships. Israel occupied much of the peninsula within a few days. As agreed beforehand, within a couple of days, Britain and France invaded too, aiming at regaining Western control of the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an mean, average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which hei ...
and removing the Egyptian president Nasser. The United States pressure forced the British and French to back down and Israel to withdraw from Sinai in return for free Israeli navigation through the Red Sea. The United Nations responded by establishing its first peacekeeping force, (). It was stationed between Egypt and Israel and for the next decade it maintained peace and stopped the fedayeen incursions into Israel. In 1959, Ben-Gurion learned from West German officials of reports that the notorious
Nazi war criminal The following is a list of people who were formally indicted for committing war crimes on behalf of the Axis powers during World War II, including those who were acquitted or never received judgment. It does not include people who may have committ ...
,
Adolf Eichmann Otto Adolf Eichmann ( ,"Eichmann"
''
, was likely living in hiding in Argentina. In response, Ben-Gurion ordered the Israel foreign intelligence service, the
Mossad Mossad (), ; ar, الموساد, ', ; lit. ''The Institute''), short for ' ( he, המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים, meaning "Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations" is the national intelligence agency ...

Mossad
, to capture the international fugitive alive for trial in Israel. In 1960, the mission was accomplished and Eichmann was tried and convicted in an internationally publicized trial for various offenses including
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Art ...
, and was subsequently executed in 1962. Ben-Gurion is said to have been "nearly obsessed" with Israel's obtaining
nuclear weapon A nuclear weapon (also known as an atom bomb, atomic bomb, nuclear bomb or nuclear warhead, and colloquially as an A-bomb or nuke) is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reaction In nuclear physics Nucl ...
s, feeling that a nuclear arsenal was the only way to counter the Arabs' superiority in numbers, space, and financial resources, and that it was the only sure guarantee of Israel's survival and the prevention of another
Holocaust The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural syst ...

Holocaust
. During his final months as premier Ben-Gurion was engaged in a, now declassified, diplomatic standoff with the United States. Ben-Gurion stepped down as prime minister on 16 June 1963, According to historian Yechiam Weitz, when he unexpectedly resigned:
He was asked to reconsider his decision by the cabinet. The country, however, seemed to have anticipated his move and, unlike the response to his resignation in 1953, no serious efforts were made to dissuade him from resigning.... is reasons includehis political isolation, suspicion of colleagues and rivals, apparent inability to interact with the full spectrum of reality, and belief that his life's work was disintegrating. His resignation was not an act of farewell but another act of his personal struggle and possibly an indication of his mental state.
Ben-Gurion chose
Levi Eshkol Levi Eshkol ( he, לֵוִי אֶשְׁכּוֹל; , born Levi Yitzhak Shkolnik ( he, לוי יצחק שקולניק)‎ 25 October 1895 – 26 February 1969) was an Israeli statesman who served as the third Prime Minister of Israel I ...

Levi Eshkol
as his successor. A year later a bitter rivalry developed between the two on the issue of the
Lavon Affair Pinhas Lavon The Lavon affair was a failed Israeli covert operation A covert operation is a military operation intended to conceal the identity of (or allow plausible denial by) the operation. Covert operations should not be confused with clan ...
, a failed 1954 Israeli covert operation in Egypt. Ben-Gurion had insisted that the operation be properly investigated, while Eshkol refused. Ben-Gurion subsequently broke with Mapai in June 1965 and formed a new party, Rafi, while Mapai merged with
Ahdut HaAvoda Ahdut HaAvoda ( he, אַחְדוּת הַעֲבוֹדָה, lit. ''Labour Unity'') was the name used by a series of political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elect ...
to form
Alignment Alignment may refer to: Archaeology * Alignment (archaeology), a co-linear arrangement of features or structures with external landmarks * Stone alignment, a linear arrangement of upright, parallel megalithic standing stones Biology * Structura ...
, with Eshkol as its head. Alignment defeated Rafi in the November 1965
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...
, establishing Eshkol as the country's leader.


Later political career

In May 1967,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
began massing forces in the
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, ), is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other ...

Sinai Peninsula
after expelling UN peacekeepers and closed the
Straits of Tiran The Straits of Tiran ( ar, مضيق تيران ') are the narrow sea passages between the Sinai and Arabian The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Isl ...

Straits of Tiran
to Israeli shipping. This, together with the actions of other Arab states, caused Israel to begin preparing for war. The situation lasted until the outbreak of the
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
on 5 June. In Jerusalem, there were calls for a
national unity government#REDIRECT National unity government {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
or an emergency government. During this period, Ben-Gurion met with his old rival
Menachem Begin Menachem Begin ( ''Menaḥem Begin'' (); pl, Menachem Begin (Polish documents, 1931–1937); ''Menakhem Volfovich Begin''; 16 August 1913 – 9 March 1992) was an Israeli politician, founder of Likud and the List of Prime Ministers of Israel, ...

Menachem Begin
in Sde Boker. Begin asked Ben-Gurion to join Eshkol's national unity government. Although Eshkol's
Mapai Mapai ( he, מַפָּא"י, an acronym for , ''Mifleget Poalei Eretz Yisrael'', lit. "Workers' Party of the Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Sout ...
party initially opposed the widening of its government, it eventually changed its mind. On 23 May, IDF
Chief of Staff The title chief of staff (or head of staff) identifies the leader of a complex organization such as the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for w ...
Yitzhak Rabin Yitzhak Rabin (; he, יִצְחָק רַבִּין, ; 1 March 1922 – 4 November 1995) was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77, and from 1992 until h ...

Yitzhak Rabin
met with Ben-Gurion to ask for reassurance. Ben-Gurion, however, accused Rabin of putting Israel in mortal danger by mobilizing the reserves and openly preparing for war with an Arab coalition. Ben-Gurion told Rabin that at the very least, he should have obtained the support of a foreign power, as he had done during the Suez Crisis. Rabin was shaken by the meeting and took to bed for 36 hours. After the Israeli government decided to go to war, planning a preemptive strike to destroy the Egyptian Air Force followed by a ground offensive, Defense Minister
Moshe Dayan Moshe Dayan ( he, משה דיין; 20 May 1915 – 16 October 1981) was an Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), ...

Moshe Dayan
told Ben-Gurion of the impending attack on the night of 4–5 June. Ben-Gurion subsequently wrote in his diary that he was troubled by Israel's impending offensive. On 5 June, the
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
began with
Operation Focus Operation Focus ( he, מבצע מוקד, ''Mivtza Moked'') was the opening airstrike by Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָ ...
, an Israeli air attack that decimated the Egyptian air force. Israel then captured the Sinai Peninsula and
Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip (;The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p.761 "Gaza Strip /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the control of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, on the SE Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza.. ...
from Egypt, the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west a ...
, including
East Jerusalem East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (, ; , ) is the sector of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/ ...

East Jerusalem
from Jordan, and the
Golan Heights The Golan Heights ( ar, هَضْبَةُ الْجَوْلَانِ, Haḍbatu l-Jawlān or , he, רמת הגולן, ), or simply the Golan, is a region in the Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region ...
from Syria in a series of campaigns. Following the war, Ben-Gurion was in favour of returning all the captured territories apart from East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and
Mount Hebron Mount Hebron, or the Hebron hills ( ar, جبل الخليل, he, הר חברון) are a mountain ridge, geographic region, and geologic formation, comprising the bulk of the central Judean Mountains in the West Bank. Geography The highest peak ...
as part of a peace agreement. On 11 June, Ben-Gurion met with a small group of supporters in his home. During the meeting, Defense Minister
Moshe Dayan Moshe Dayan ( he, משה דיין; 20 May 1915 – 16 October 1981) was an Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), ...

Moshe Dayan
proposed autonomy for the West Bank, the transfer of Gazan refugees to Jordan, and a united Jerusalem serving as Israel's capital. Ben-Gurion agreed with him, but foresaw problems in transferring Palestinian refugees from Gaza to Jordan, and recommended that Israel insist on direct talks with Egypt, favoring withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace and free navigation through the Straits of Tiran. The following day, he met with Jerusalem mayor
Teddy Kollek Theodor "Teddy" Kollek ( he, טדי קולק; 27 May 1911 – 2 January 2007) was an Israeli politician who served as the mayor of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس (combining the Biblical and comm ...
in his Knesset office. Despite occupying a lower executive position, Ben-Gurion treated Kollek like a subordinate.Shalom, Zaki: ''Ben-Gurion's political struggles, 1963–1967'' Following the Six-Day War, Ben-Gurion criticized what he saw as the government's apathy towards the construction and development of the city. To ensure that a united Jerusalem remained in Israeli hands, he advocated a massive Jewish settlement program for the Old City and the hills surrounding the city, as well as the establishment of large industries in the Jerusalem area to attract Jewish migrants. He argued that no Arabs would have to be evicted in the process. Ben-Gurion also urged extensive Jewish settlement in Hebron. In 1968, when Rafi merged with Mapai to form the
Alignment Alignment may refer to: Archaeology * Alignment (archaeology), a co-linear arrangement of features or structures with external landmarks * Stone alignment, a linear arrangement of upright, parallel megalithic standing stones Biology * Structura ...
, Ben-Gurion refused to reconcile with his old party. He favoured electoral reforms in which a constituency-based system would replace what he saw as a chaotic proportional representation method. He formed another new party, the
National List The National List ( he, רשימה ממלכתית, ''Reshima Mamlakhtit''), sometimes translated as the State List, was a List of political parties, political party in Israel. Despite being founded by David Ben-Gurion, one of the fathers of the I ...
, which won four seats in the 1969 election.


Final years and death

Ben-Gurion retired from politics in 1970 and spent his last years living in a modest home on the kibbutz, working on an 11-volume history of Israel's early years. In 1971, he visited Israeli positions along the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an mean, average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which hei ...
during the
War of Attrition The War of Attrition ( ar, حرب الاستنزاف, Ḥarb al-Istinzāf; he, מלחמת ההתשה, Milhemet haHatashah) involved fighting between Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْر ...
. On 18 November 1973, shortly after the
Yom Kippur War The Yom Kippur War, also known as the Ramadan War, the October War, the 1973 Arab–Israeli War or the Fourth Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 6 to 25 October 1973 between Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵ ...
, Ben-Gurion suffered a
cerebral hemorrhage Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), also known as cerebral bleed, intraparenchymal bleed, and hemorrhagic stroke, or haemorrhagic stroke, is a sudden bleeding into the tissues of the brain, into its ventricles, or into both. It is one kind of bleed ...
, and was taken to
Sheba Medical Center Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer ( he, המרכז הרפואי ע"ש חיים שיבא – תל השומר), also Tel HaShomer Hospital, is the largest hospital in Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائ ...
in
Tel HaShomer Tel HaShomer ( he, תֵּל הַשּׁוֹמֵר, ''lit.'' Hill of the Guardsman) or Kiryat Krinitzi is a neighborhood in Ramat Gan Ramat Gan ( he, or ) is a city in the Tel Aviv District of Israel, located east of the municipality of Tel Aviv ...

Tel HaShomer
,
Ramat Gan Ramat Gan ( he, or ) is a city in the Tel Aviv District of Israel, located east of the municipality of Tel Aviv and part of the Gush Dan, Tel Aviv metropolitan area. It is home to one of the world's major diamond exchanges, and many high-tech in ...
. His condition began deteriorating on 23 November and he died a few weeks later. His body lay in state in the Knesset compound before being flown by helicopter to Sde Boker. Sirens sounded across the country to mark his death. He was buried alongside his wife Paula at
Midreshet Ben-Gurion Midreshet Ben-Gurion ( he, מִדְרֶשֶׁת בֶּן גּוּרְיוֹן), also known as Midreshet Sde Boker, is an educational center and boarding school in southern Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ...
.


Awards

* In 1949, Ben-Gurion was awarded the
Solomon Bublick AwardThe Solomon Bublick Award (Solomon Bublick Public Service Award or Solomon Bublick Prize) is an award made by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to a person who has made an important contribution to the advancement and development of the State of Isr ...
of the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( he, הַאוּנִיבֶרְסִיטָה הַעִבְרִית בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם, abbreviated HUJI) is a public university, public research university based in Jerusalem, Israel. It is the second-o ...

Hebrew University of Jerusalem
, in recognition of his contributions to the State of Israel. * In both 1951 and 1971, he was awarded the
Bialik Prize The Bialik Prize is an annual literary award given by the municipality of Tel Aviv Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ – ''Tel Aviv-Yafo'' ; ar, تَلّ أَبِيب - يَافَا – ''Tall ʾAbīb - Yāfā''), of ...
for Jewish thought.


Commemoration

*Israel's largest airport,
Ben Gurion International Airport Ben Gurion Airport ( he, נמל התעופה בן-גוריון; ar, مطار بن غوريون الدولي) , commonly known by its Hebrew acronym as ''Natbag'' (), is the main international airport of Israel and the busiest one in the countr ...
, is named in his honor. *One of Israel's major universities,
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), ( he, אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב, ''Universitat Ben-Guriyon baNegev'') is a public research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a who ...

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
, located in
Beersheva Beersheba (; he, בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע ' , ar, بئر السبع, lit. ''Well of the Oath'') is the largest city in the Negev The Negev or Negeb (; he, הַנֶּגֶב; ar, ٱلنَّقَب ') is a desert upright=1.5, alt=see ...
, is named after him. *Numerous streets, as well as schools, throughout Israel have been named after him. *An Israeli modification of the British
Centurion Tank The Centurion was the primary British army main battle tank of the post-World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved W ...
was named after Ben-Gurion * Ben-Gurion's Hut in Kibbutz
Sde Boker Sde Boker ( he, שְׂדֵה בּוֹקֵר, lit. ''Herding Field'') is a kibbutz A kibbutz ( he, קִבּוּץ / , lit. "gathering, clustering"; plural: kibbutzim / ) is a Intentional community, collective community in Israel that was tra ...
which is now a visitors' center. *A desert research center,
Midreshet Ben-Gurion Midreshet Ben-Gurion ( he, מִדְרֶשֶׁת בֶּן גּוּרְיוֹן), also known as Midreshet Sde Boker, is an educational center and boarding school in southern Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ...
, near his "hut" in Kibbutz
Sde Boker Sde Boker ( he, שְׂדֵה בּוֹקֵר, lit. ''Herding Field'') is a kibbutz A kibbutz ( he, קִבּוּץ / , lit. "gathering, clustering"; plural: kibbutzim / ) is a Intentional community, collective community in Israel that was tra ...
has been named in his honor. Ben-Gurion's grave is in the research center. *An
English Heritage English Heritage (officially the English Heritage Trust) is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses. The charity states that ...
blue plaque, unveiled in 1986, marks where Ben-Gurion lived in London at 75 Warrington Crescent,
Maida Vale Maida Vale ( ) is an affluent residential district consisting of the northern part of Paddington Paddington is an within the , in . First a medieval parish then a , it was integrated with Westminster and in 1965. Three important landmarks ...
, W9. *In the
7th arrondissement of Paris 7 (seven) is the natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those numbers used for counting (as in "there are ''six'' coins on the table") and total order, ordering (as in "this is the ''third'' largest city in the country"). I ...
, part of a riverside promenade of the
Seine ) , mouth_location = Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''lati ...

Seine
is named after him. *His portrait appears on both the 500 lirot and the 50 (old) sheqalim notes issued by the Bank of Israel. File:Grave of David Ben Gurion and Paula Munweis in Sde Boker.jpg, Graves of Paula and David Ben-Gurion,
Midreshet Ben-Gurion Midreshet Ben-Gurion ( he, מִדְרֶשֶׁת בֶּן גּוּרְיוֹן), also known as Midreshet Sde Boker, is an educational center and boarding school in southern Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ...
File:BGsculptureS.jpg, Sculpture of David Ben-Gurion at
Ben Gurion Airport Ben Gurion Airport ( he, נמל התעופה בן-גוריון; ar, مطار بن غوريون الدولي) , commonly known by its Hebrew acronym as ''Natbag'' (), is the main international airport of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְ ...
, named in his honor File:Esplanade Ben Gourion.JPG, Esplanade Ben Gourion, Paris, near the Seine, in front of the Musée du Quai Branly File:David Ben Gurion birth place.jpg, David Ben-Gurion Square—site of the house where Ben-Gurion was born, Płońsk, Wspólna Street. File:Płońsk - tzw. Bengurionówka, Plac 15 Sierpnia 21, 21A (ziel).JPG, House at town square in Płońsk, Poland, where David Ben-Gurion grew up File:DAVID BEN-GURION 1886-1973 First Prime-Minister of Israel lived here.jpg,
English Heritage English Heritage (officially the English Heritage Trust) is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses. The charity states that ...
blue plaque where Ben-Gurion lived in London


See also

* List of Bialik Prize recipients *
Jewish Agency for Israel The Jewish Agency for Israel ( he, הסוכנות היהודית לארץ ישראל, translit=HaSochnut HaYehudit L'Eretz Yisra'el) is the largest Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish peop ...
*
Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany The Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany ( German: ''Luxemburger Abkommen'' "Luxembourg Agreement" or ''Wiedergutmachungsabkommen'' "'' Wiedergutmachung'' Agreement", Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwes ...


References


Further reading

* Aronson, Shlomo. "Leadership, preventive war and territorial expansion: David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol." ''Israel Affairs'' 18.4 (2012): 526–545. * Aronson, Shlomo. "David Ben-Gurion and the British Constitutional Model." ''Israel Studies'' 3.2 (1998): 193–214
online
* Aronson, Shlomo. "David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol and the Struggle over Dimona: A Prologue to the Six-Day War and its (Un) Anticipated Results." ''Israel Affairs'' 15.2 (2009): 114–134. * . *Cohen, Mitchell. "Zion and State: Nation, Class and the Shaping of Modern Israel" (Columbia University Press, 1987) * Eldar, Eran. "David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir: from partnership to enmity." ''Israel Affairs'' 26.2 (2020): 174–182
online
* Friling, Tuvia, and Ora Cummings. ''Arrows in the Dark: David Ben-Gurion, the Yishuv Leadership, and Rescue Attempts during the Holocaust'' (2 vol. University of Wisconsin Press, 2005). * Gal, Allon. ''David Ben-Gurion and the American Alignment for a Jewish State'' (Indiana UP, 1991). * Getzoff, Joseph F. "Zionist frontiers: David Ben-Gurion, labor Zionism, and transnational circulations of settler development." ''Settler Colonial Studies'' 10.1 (2020): 74–93. * Kedar, Nir. ''David Ben-Gurion and the Foundation of Israeli Democracy'' (Indiana UP, 2021). * Oren, Michael B. "Ambivalent Adversaries: David Ben-Gurion and Israel vs. the United Nations and Dag Hammarskjold, 1956-57." ''Journal of Contemporary History'' 27.1 (1992): 89–127. * Pappe, Ilan. "Moshe Sharett, David Ben‐Gurion and the 'Palestinian option,' 1948–1956." ''Studies in Zionism'' 7.1 (1986): 77–96. * Peres, Shimon. ''Ben-Gurion'' (Schocken Pub., 2011) . * Reynold, Nick. ''The War of the Zionist Giants: David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann'' (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). * Rosenberg-Friedman, Lilach. "David Ben-Gurion and the ‘Demographic Threat’: His Dualistic Approach to Natalism, 1936–63." ''Middle Eastern Studies'' 51.5 (2015): 742-766. * Sachar, Howard Morley. ''A history of Israel: From the rise of Zionism to our time'' (Knopf, 2007). * St. John, Robert William. ''Builder of Israel; the story of Ben-Gurion'', (Doubleday, 1961
online
* Segev, Tom. ''A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion'' (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) Finalist for 2019 National Jewish Book Award . ** Shatz, Adam, "We Are Conquerors" (review of
Tom Segev Tom Segev ( he, תום שגב; born March 1, 1945) is an Israeli historian, author and journalist. He is associated with Israel's New Historians, a group challenging many of the country's traditional narratives. Biography Segev was born in Jerus ...

Tom Segev
, ''A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion'', Head of Zeus, 2019, 804 pp., ), ''
London Review of Books The ''London Review of Books'' (''LRB'') is a British literary magazine A literary magazine is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial pu ...
'', vol. 41, no. 20 (24 October 2019), pp. 37–38, 40–42. "Segev's biography... shows how central exclusionary nationalism, war and racism were to Ben-Gurion's vision of the Jewish homeland in Palestine, and how contemptuous he was not only of the Arabs but of Jewish life outside Zion. Liberal Jews may look at the state that Ben-Gurion built, and ask if the cost has been worth it." (p. 42 of Shatz's review.) * * * * Shapira, Anita. ''Ben-Gurion'' (Yale UP, 2014). * Shiff, Ofer. "Abba Hillel Silver and David Ben‐Gurion: A Diaspora Leader Challenges the Revered Status of the ‘Founding Father’" ''Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism'' 10.3 (2010): 391-412. * Weitz, Yechiam. "The Founding Father and the General: David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan." ''Middle Eastern Studies'' 47.6 (2011): 845–861. * Witzthum, David. "David Ben-Gurion and Konrad Adenauer: Building a Bridge across the Abyss." ''Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs'' 13.2 (2019): 223–237. * Zweig, Ronald W. ''David Ben-Gurion: Politics and Leadership in Israel'' (Routledge, 2013).


Historiography

* Keren, Michael. "Biography and Historiography: The Case of David Ben-Gurion." ''Biography'' (2000): 332–351
online


External links

*
Special Report David Ben-Gurion
BBC News

Jewish Agency for Israel
David Ben-Gurion's Personal Correspondence and Historical Documents
Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Annotated bibliography for David Ben-Gurion from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues

March 2011 Ben-Gurion and Tewfik Toubi finally meet (28 October 1966)

David Ben-Gurion personal manuscripts
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Ben-Gurion, David 1886 births 1973 deaths Burials in Israel General Secretaries of Histadrut Heads of the Jewish Agency for Israel Emigrants from the Russian Empire to the Ottoman Empire Jews of the Russian Empire Leaders of political parties in Israel Israeli political writers Darülfünun alumni Jewish Agency for Israel Ashkenazi Jews in Mandatory Palestine Ashkenazi Jews in Ottoman Palestine Jewish Israeli politicians Jewish socialists Jewish writers Mapai politicians Members of the Assembly of Representatives (Mandatory Palestine) Members of the 1st Knesset (1949–1951) Members of the 2nd Knesset (1951–1955) Members of the 3rd Knesset (1955–1959) Members of the 4th Knesset (1959–1961) Members of the 5th Knesset (1961–1965) Members of the 6th Knesset (1965–1969) Members of the 7th Knesset (1969–1974) Ministers of Defense of Israel Ministers of Education of Israel Ministers of Justice of Israel National List politicians People from Płońsk County Prime Ministers of Israel Poale Zion politicians Polish Ashkenazi Jews Jewish atheists Rafi (political party) politicians Signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence Writers on Zionism Mandatory Palestine people of World War II Solomon Bublick Award recipients Istanbul University Faculty of Law alumni Deaths by intracerebral hemorrhage Neurological disease deaths in Israel Ministers of Transport of Israel