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A Political Life

Written by Shimon PeresAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Shimon Peres and David LandauAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by David Landau


List Price: $15.99


On Sale: October 25, 2011
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-0-307-90689-2
Published by : Schocken Knopf
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Part of the Jewish Encounter series

Israel’s current president gives us a dramatic and revelatory biography of Israel’s founding father and first prime minister.
Shimon Peres was in his early twenties when he first met David Ben-Gurion. Although the state that Ben-Gurion would lead through war and peace had not yet declared its precarious independence, the “Old Man,” as he was called even then, was already a mythic figure. Peres, who came of age in the cabinets of Ben-Gurion, is uniquely placed to evoke this figure of stirring contradictions—a prophetic visionary and a canny pragmatist who early grasped the necessity of compromise for national survival. Ben-Gurion supported the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, though it meant surrendering a two-thousand-year-old dream of Jewish settlement in the entire land of Israel. He granted the Orthodox their first exemptions from military service despite his own deep secular commitments, and he reached out to Germany in the aftermath of the Holocaust, knowing that Israel would need as many strong alliances as possible within the European community.
A protégé of Ben-Gurion and himself a legendary figure on the international political stage, Shimon Peres brings to his account of Ben-Gurion’s life and towering achievements the profound insight of a statesman who shares Ben-Gurion’s dream of a modern, democratic Jewish nation-state that lives in peace and security alongside its Arab neighbors. In Ben-Gurion, Peres sees a neglected model of leadership that Israel and the world desperately need in the twenty-first century.


Voyage of Destiny

David Ben-Gurion was a mythic figure, the founding father of Israel and a  modern-day prophet, but he was also a real man who stormed through history on human legs. It was my great privilege to know him and work with him for many years. This book is not a memoir of my time with Ben-Gurion, but it is inevi­tably shaped by my time with him. Since his death in 1973, I have thought a great deal about the sort of leader he was: visionary and pragmatic, steeped in Jewish history and yet forward looking and unsentimental. He is our Washington and our Jefferson, and yet in some sense our Lincoln too, for the War of Independence in 1948 brought with it a danger of civil war. He seems to me now to be an emblem not only of the energy that created the State of Israel but also of the sort of leadership that the country so desperately needs if it is to find its way to peace and security. Not all of his assump­tions have been borne out by events. But his historic decision to accept the partition of the Land of Israel in order to secure the State of Israel as a Jewish and a democratic state shines forth today as a beacon of statesmanship and sagacity.
In order to understand Ben-Gurion, it is necessary to return to the shtetl in Poland where he was born and which stamped him deeply with Jewish feeling, Jewish history, and Zionist fervor. But the place to begin this book is with a boat ride I took from Pales­tine to Basel in 1946 to attend the first Zionist Congress after the Holocaust. Moshe Dayan and I were among the delegates from the Mapai political party in Eretz Yisrael, though we were much younger than all the others. I represented our youth movement, Ha’noar Ha’oved.
We set out from Haifa on a Polish ship. I found myself sharing a cabin with Mapai veterans Levi Eshkol and Pinhas Lavon. They were old hands at this sort of seafaring, and they insisted that we draw lots for the best bunk, the one right under the porthole. As bad luck would have it, I won. I immediately offered the  bunk- with-a-view to Eshkol. He kindly but firmly refused. “No,” he said. “You won it fair and square. It’s yours.” I was all of twenty- three years old and until recently had been used to sleeping on a camp bed in a tent in our fledgling kibbutz, Alumot. When our first child, Zviya, was born a few months earlier, my wife and I graduated to a hut with solid walls. Eshkol, then  fifty-one, was a senior and respected official in the  Mapai-dominated Yishuv, the  pre-state Jewish community in Palestine. At the time of our voyage, he also served as  secretary- general of the powerful Tel Aviv Labor Council and as a ranking officer in the Haganah, the Yishuv’s clandestine defense force. Ben-Gurion regarded him as a trusted lieutenant.
I was still weakly remonstrating when Lavon chimed in, “Well, if Eshkol won’t take it, then, um, I suppose . . .” Lavon was forty-two. As a young man in Polish Galicia, he had founded the pioneering Zionist youth movement Gordonia. He had served as co-secretary- general of Mapai and was widely seen as one of the party’s brightest hopes. Eshkol turned on him with all his bass-voiced vehemence. What kind of Gordonian values were these? What kind of socialist was he if he blithely proposed to rob me of what was mine by right? And on and on. I listened, silent and aghast, to these luminaries of our movement berating each other in the name of our most hallowed principles.
Although still formally a kibbutznik like Eshkol, Lavon was a bit of a dandy. He always left the cabin elegantly and fashionably turned out. I grew ever more aghast as the voyage wore on. I owned two pairs of trousers: khaki work trousers for weekdays and flannels for Shabbat. Interestingly enough, considering what was to happen among us all later, it was Lavon who got me the job as director-general of the ministry of defense in 1953. As a cabinet minister without portfolio in Ben-Gurion’s government, Lavon had occasion to fill in for Ben-Gurion at the defense ministry. (In addition to being prime minister, Ben-Gurion was also defense minister.) I was at the time acting director-general. Lavon said he wanted to give me the permanent appointment.
“I want to appoint Shimon,” he told Ben-Gurion.
“Appoint him what?”
“Appoint him director-general.”
“But he is director-general.”
“No, he’s only acting director-general.”
Ben-Gurion called me into his office. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked. 
The Basel Congress of 1946 was the scene of high drama, great rhetoric, and fateful decisions. But for me the most memorable moment was when  Ben-Gurion’s wife, Paula, flustered and fuming, strode into the basement of the convention hall where Mapai was holding its caucus. She marched over to Arieh Bahir of Kibbutz Afikim, a loyal  Ben-Gurionist, and said in Yiddish, “Arieh, er is meshugge gevoren!” (Arieh, he’s gone mad!)
“Where is he?” Arieh asked.
“In the hotel,” Paula said.
Bahir turned to me. “Come on, let’s go,” he said.
We made our way over to the Drei Könige Hotel, which was where Herzl stayed during the First Zionist Congress in 1897 and where that famous picture of him looking pensively out over the Rhine was taken. We climbed the stairs to Ben-Gurion’s room and knocked on the door. No answer. Bahir turned the knob and walked in. I followed gingerly behind.
“Shalom, Ben-Gurion!” Arieh said.
Ben-Gurion didn’t bother to turn round. He was packing his suitcase, determined to turn his back on Basel. Eventually he asked, “Are you coming with me?”
“Yes,” replied Bahir without hesitation. “But where are you going?”
“I am going to create a new Zionist movement,” Ben-Gurion said. “Nothing will come of this congress. The leaders are para­lyzed by fear and inertia.”
I had incredible chutzpah.  Ben-Gurion hardly knew me, but I said, “Yes, we’ll go with you. But I’ve got a request: Speak to the delegation this evening.” He agreed, and we went back with him to that tension-filled basement.
That congress in Basel was in many ways the defining moment for Zionism and for  Ben-Gurion. Our picture of the Shoah, as the Holocaust was called in Hebrew, was complete by then, in all its ghastly details. During World War II the information available had always been only partial and sporadic. We did not have a full pic­ture, in real time, of the magnitude of the disaster that had be­fallen the Jewish people.
Soon after the war ended, Ben-Gurion had gone to visit the camps—both the Nazi death camps and the displaced-persons camps, where the survivors were being held by the Allied armies. As chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, he was escorted personally by General Dwight Eisen­hower, the supreme allied commander. Eisenhower made a very deep impression on him. All his life, and whatever the tensions that arose between them, Ben-Gurion never stopped praising him. He would on many occasions recall (as Barack Obama did in his speech at Buchenwald in 2009) how Eisenhower had forced the local Germans to visit the liberated camps and see for them­selves the piles of corpses and the skeletal survivors. In his speech Obama quoted Eisenhower as saying at the time that he was concerned that humanity would forget what had been done in these places, and he was determined to never let that happen. Ben-Gurion was hugely impressed and moved by this act of Eisenhower’s, both for its humanitarian quality and for its his­toric significance.
Ben-Gurion returned to Jerusalem shocked to his core, both by what he had seen in the camps and by a more thorough under­standing of how the reaction of the rest of the world had contrib­uted to the fate of Europe’s Jews. Not only had the Allies failed to save them; not only had they failed to bomb the death camps or the railway lines; but British warships had kept the gates of Pales­tine shut to any Jews who managed to escape from the European hell. His conclusion was stark and unequivocal: We must have our independent state at once.
That was the underlying issue of conflict at the congress: le’altar, to establish a state immediately, as  Ben-Gurion demanded; or to wait, as Chaim Weizmann, the venerable president of the World Zionist Organization, advocated. To Ben-Gurion, the Bilt­more Program had meant partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. He was absolutely as clear as day about that. And now le’altar meant put this into effect immediately. But there lay the problem: Both the right and the left opposed parti­tion. Today it is almost incomprehensible, but at that time Yit­zhak Tabenkin, the leader of the left-wing Siah Bet, opposed the immediate establishment of an independent Jewish state on a por­tion of the British Mandate. He preferred an international man­date over the whole land. He thought the most important thing was to preserve shleimut haaretz (the integrity of Eretz Yisrael), even if we weren’t independent. In the meantime, he reasoned, we would bring in immigrants, build new settlements, and con­tinue creating facts on the ground until a state came into being somehow, in the undefined future.  Ben-Gurion replied that with­out a state we would not be able to open the gates of Palestine to immigrants, including the Holocaust survivors clamoring to get in.
Tabenkin’s ideological orientation was to the “world of tomor­row”—meaning universal socialism, as preached by the Soviet Union. That’s also hard to comprehend now. He once assured me that Lenin was the greatest statesman of the twentieth century. In some of the kibbutzim of the Hakibbutz Hameuchad confedera­tion, there were pictures of Stalin hanging on the walls, as there were in some of the kibbutzim of Hashomer Hatzair, the Mapam­affiliated pioneering movement. Mapam’s leader, Meir Ya’ari, pre­ferred a binational, Jewish-Arab state to partition. Moshe Sneh, who was nominally a General Zionist and whom Ben-Gurion had installed as the commander of the Haganah, was also inclining toward Communism by this time. Sneh’s analysis was that Russia would win the Cold War and would ultimately therefore control the Middle East. The only one who got it right was David Ben-Gurion. He had said early on during World War II, better a state on part of the land than the whole land and no state.
But the opposition to Ben-Gurion wasn’t only from the political parties on the left and from the Revisionist and religious parties on the right. It also came from within his own party. The so-called Gush, the tough Mapai machine politicians, were with Ben-Gurion, including people like Shraga Netzer and his wife, Dvora. But many people in Mapai supported Weizmann, who still looked to Great Britain, despite everything, to support the Zionist cause. Eshkol, as usual, was in the middle. Golda Meir was initially against parti­tion. It was she who had chaired that crucial session in that Basel basement. She ran it with an iron hand. But in the end she sided with Ben-Gurion. By dawn the party was with him.
The third and crowning phase of Ben-Gurion’s remarkable ca­reer of Jewish leadership was at hand. For thirteen years, from 1922 to 1935, as secretary-general of the Histadrut, he had built up and led the Labor Zionist camp in the Yishuv. For the next thirteen years, as chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, he had led the fight for immigration and independence, both at home and on the world stage. Now he was about to embark on thirteen extraordi­nary years of constructing and consolidating the Jewish state, in war and in peace.

Shimon Peres|David Landau

About Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres - Ben-Gurion

Photo © Jossef Avi-Yair Engel

Shimon Peres has been president of the State of Israel since 2007. In 1947, at David Ben-Gurion’s request, he was recruited by the Haganah, and he was appointed head of naval services in 1948. Over a long and distinguished political career, he has held numerous cabinet-level positions, including foreign minister and defense minister, and served two terms as prime minister. One of the architects of the Oslo Accords, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.
David Landau was editor in chief of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz from 2004 to 2008. Before joining Haaretz in 1997, Landau was the diplomatic correspondent and managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. He is the author of Piety and Power: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism and worked with Shimon Peres on his memoir, Battling for Peace. He currently writes for The Economist.

About David Landau

David Landau - Ben-Gurion

Photo © Alex Levac

David Landau, OBE, immigrated to Israel from the United Kingdom as a young man. His career in journalism began in 1970 at The Jerusalem Post, and he joined Haaretz in 1993 as news editor. He founded Haaretz’s English edition and was its editor from 1997 to 2004, and was editor in chief of Haaretz’s Hebrew edition until 2008. He is the longtime Israel correspondent for The Economist. Landau collaborated with Israel’s president Shimon Peres on Peres’s memoir, Battling for Peace, and he published, with President Peres, Ben-Gurion: A Political Life. He is also the author of Piety and Power, an account of the increasingly significant role the ultra-orthodox (haredi) play in Israel, the United States, and Europe. Landau graduated with a degree in law from University College London and studied in leading yeshivas in Israel. He is married with children and grandchildren and lives in Jerusalem.


“In revisiting the career of his mentor, Shimon Peres presents a uniquely human portrait of David Ben-Gurion—a master strategist with a long view of history and an abiding vision for Israel’s future. Peres brings his nation’s founding father to life with the energy, candor, and wisdom he’s become known for in his six decades of public service.”
—William Jefferson Clinton

“Shimon Peres is a man of awesome accomplishment (a Nobel Peace Prize-winner, by the way), but his most important accomplishment is how he has come to personify the ethic that David Ben-Gurion represents. His book is well worth your time. It was mine.”
—Richard Cohen, The Washington Post

“An urbane account of Israel’s first and longest-serving prime minister by someone who, though nearly 40 years younger, worked closely with him for two decades.  It is admiring of Ben-Gurion . . . but it never lapses into hero worship or loses its grip on the historical realities amid which its story is set. Peres’s personal reminiscences of Ben-Gurion and his entourage are delightful.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Invaluable . . . Even readers tired of ideological food fights about Israel—of liberals calling conservatives who defend the country fascists, and of conservatives calling liberals who criticize it anti-Semites—will find something to like in this unusual primer on the birth of a nation and its most important midwife.”
 —Justin Moyer, The Washington Post

“Shimon Peres, the president (and former prime minister) of Israel, provides an intriguing and intimate political biography of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and Peres’s erstwhile mentor.  Readers will enjoy Peres’s analysis of his relationship with Ben-Gurion and will find his humility appealing.  And his emotional admissions elevate this book above a standard biography.”
Publishers Weekly
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide


David Ben-Gurion was Israel’s founding father—a Zionist leader who fought for the establishment of the state, and its first prime minister. Shimon Peres, a Ben-Gurion protégé who went on to serve as Israel’s prime minister and (currently) president, offers personal and political insights into this towering figure in modern Jewish history: how he grew up, how his politics developed, and how he defied all odds to create a unified Jewish state.


Early Years
Ben-Gurion was born in Plonsk, Poland, in 1886. He was just 11 years old when the First Zionist Congress was held, but the nascent movement to build a Jewish state had a profound impact on him. He was just 14 when he founded his own Zionist group, and he made aliyah at 19.

1. How were Ben-Gurion’s political views shaped by the time and place where he was raised?

2. European Jews at the time were faced with distinct options for improving their situation. One that Peres describes is assimilation vs. Zionism – blending into European culture or emphasizing Jewish uniqueness. It’s clear that Ben-Gurion chose the latter. But why did he choose it?

3. In addition to Poland and Palestine, Ben-Gurion lived in Constantinople, Salonika, New York, London, and elsewhere, and spent time in Canada, Egypt, the Soviet Union, and much of Europe. How did his first-hand view of Diaspora life influence his Zionism? How did his early travels abroad affect his later foreign policy?

Ben-Gurion founded, organized, and led a number of Zionist groups – in Palestine and internationally. Whether he was organizing labor or encouraging aliyah, he simultaneously strove to take bold and clearly defined stands but also to build bridges to other groups with differing agendas.

1. While other Zionist leaders, from Herzl to Jabotinsky, viewed their movement in relation to other nationalist movements sweeping Europe, Ben-Gurion saw the movement as unique. Peres writes about Ben-Gurion’s “insistence on the return of the Jewish people to the sources of Jewishness…to be as we were before the Diaspora spoiled us.” What impact does this distinction have on the political goals Ben-Gurion held most dear?

2. “A Zionism of mere words is pointless,” Ben-Gurion said. He was a man of action, Peres notes, echoing him by adding: “Words are not policy.” Neither man denied the power of words, as tools of persuasion. What are the limitations of words, as compared to deeds, from a political perspective?

3. Ben-Gurion “was a man of one idea, to create a state,” Peres writes. “Everything else was secondary.” He often lived apart from his family while his children were young; his daughter recalls growing up “as though we had no father.” Was this distance necessary, or helpful to Ben-Gurion in achieving his goals? Is there a relationship between achievement in public life, and shortcomings in private life?

The Holocaust
During the Holocaust, Ben-Gurion found himself in a difficult position. He had been fighting against the British for years, yet now aligned himself with the British colonial powers against the Nazis.

1. David Landau questions Ben-Gurion’s actions during the Holocaust, insisting that: “He could have raised the Heavens. Shouted.  …But instead of channeling this strength into getting the U.S. government and the Allies to rescue Jews, he focused solely on Zionist diplomacy.” Do you agree with this outlook?  Should Ben-Gurion have adjusted his position to raise more awareness of the Nazi destruction of European Jewry?

2. “What could he have done?” Peres asks, regarding Ben-Gurion’s options during the Holocaust. What do you think he might have done? Could his actions have changed the outcome for the Jews of Europe? For the Jewish state?

3. Years after the Holocaust ended, Menachem Begin threatened civil war over the issue of German reparations, when Ben-Gurion agreed to accept more than $700 million in goods and services, in compensation for Jewish property stolen by the Nazis. On a pragmatic level, Israel certainly needed the money. But on a moral level, Ben-Gurion suggested that there was a “new Germany,” and it was moral for that Germany to support the Jewish state, and moral for Israel to accept that support. Do you agree?

The partition of Palestine into two states – one Jewish, one Arab – was not something Ben-Gurion advocated. But nonetheless, when the partition plan was officially introduced, he supported it, despite opposition from other Zionist leaders.
1. Peres says Ben-Gurion saw the partition as “a tragic decision, but as an indispensable decision…And he did not shrink from deciding.” Why was it tragic? Why was it indispensable?

2. Peres cites three reasons for Ben-Gurion’s decision to accept partition: the plight of Holocaust refugees living in displaced-persons camps; his sense that the British would leave the region regardless of the acceptance or rejection of the plan; and his conviction that the Arab states would attack, leaving the Jews unable to purchase arms and raise a formal army to defend themselves unless they had a recognized state. Do you agree with his reasoning?

3. Ben-Gurion was willing to accept partition, but he faced opposition from the left and from the right, both of which opposed partition. What were their reasons for opposing the plan? How real was the danger of civil war, or armed resistance from within?

Declaring independence was not the end of Ben-Gurion’s fight, but merely the beginning. Faced with resistance from other Jewish groups, and armed invasion from neighboring Arab states, he had to find a way to maintain unity in the new state, and strive to find agreements with the Arabs.

1. In the middle of the War of Independence, a ship called the Altalena approached the shores of Israel, loaded with arms. It had been purchased by Etzel, also known as the Irgun, a right-wing fighting force under Menachem Begin’s control that had recently been folded into the Israel Defense Forces. Begin announced that the arms would go specifically to Etzel units, raising the specter of a “private army” within the new IDF. “There are not going to be two states, and there are not going to be two armies,” Ben-Gurion declared, making a decision to fire on the ship; 19 men were killed in the attack. Was the attack necessary? What might have gone differently if Ben-Gurion had simply let the ship land, and let the arms be distributed to Etzel units?

2. Peace seemed entirely possible in the years immediately following independence, Peres writes. But Jordan’s King Abdullah, who had been meeting with Israeli emissaries to conclude a peace treaty, was assassinated in 1951, and a pro-peace Lebanese statesman was also assassinated. Egypt’s monarchy was teetering, soon to fall. By 1952, the prospects for peace had completely changed for the worse. How might Israel’s position in the region have been different if even one or two of her neighbors had finalized peace agreements during that brief period? What might Israel’s boundaries have been? How might the Palestinians’ situation have been different?

3. Ben-Gurion made compromises and formed unlikely coalitions to secure independence. As the Palestinians strive for statehood today, are there lessons they might glean from Ben-Gurion’s approach?

Politics and Religion
Ben-Gurion took religion seriously, but did not set out to establish a religious government for the new state of Israel. Nonetheless, the urgency of coalition-building demanded that he create alliances with other parties whose views of religion did not necessarily match his own.

1. “Judaism was not a clerical establishment or hierarchical church” to Ben-Gurion, writes Peres. Yet despite his dislike for the rabbinate, Ben-Gurion took his faith seriously; Peres even says he “lived the Bible.” How would Ben-Gurion’s views on religion be categorized today – in Israel, or in the Diaspora?

2. Ben-Gurion formed political coalitions with religious parties, and in the early days of independence, crafted what is now the “status quo” arrangement governing issues of state and religion. One of the most controversial parts of this arrangement is the exemption from military service for full-time yeshiva students. At the time, this covered just a few hundred people; today it covers more than 55,000 would-be soldiers. Why did Ben-Gurion make this arrangement? Would it have been possible for him to do otherwise? Do you think it should stand today? Would it be possible to change it?

3. While drafting Israel’s Constitution, Ben-Gurion maintained that, in Peres’s words, “the (Orthodox) Rabbinate should not run our lives. Therefore halacha should not be the law of the land.” Taking into account the recent controversy over the authority held by the Orthodox Rabbinate in Israel where lawfully legitimate conversions, marriages, and citizenship are concerned, what can we say Ben-Gurion achieved in respect to religious harmony within the State of Israel?

4. Even though Ben-Gurion didn’t want any national religious establishment, Peres writes, he “decided not to fight this ideological battle.” The reason, Peres argues, is that in order to lead a political coalition, he had to limit the number of contentious issues that might have driven the parties apart. “If he’d fought on all fronts simultaneously and with the same passion,” Peres writes, “he’d have united all of them against him.” Do you think this is an accurate depiction of the political pressures at the time – or now? What does this say about Ben-Gurion’s pragmatism? About the Israeli political system?

Ben-Gurion shepherded the state of Israel into existence, and many Israelis believe it could not have happened without him.

1. “I truly believe that without Ben-Gurion, the state of Israel would not have come into being,” writes Peres. Does he mean that Israel would not have come into existence when it did, in the shape it did? Or does he mean that Israel would never have existed in any form without Ben-Gurion? Do you agree? If Ben-Gurion hadn’t existed, would someone else have risen to the challenge? Who might it have been? What difference would it have made?

2. Peres compares Ben-Gurion to a range of other world leaders, from different eras: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill. Do these comparisons seem accurate to you? In what ways are they comparable?

3. Peres says that Ben-Gurion “never wrote a petek” – never used his influence to curry favors – not for friends, or political allies, or even his own family. Why was this so important to Ben-Gurion?

4. For decades, Ben-Gurion had philosophical differences with Chaim Weizmann, another Zionist leader who later became Israel’s first president. What was the nature of their differences? Considering the alliances Ben-Gurion managed to build politically and personally, why was this relationship so fraught with discord?

5. Ben-Gurion was controversial during his tenure, Peres says, but today there is a consensus across the political spectrum that he was a great leader. “The concept of leadership that we learned from him was not to be on top, but to be ahead,” says Peres. What does he mean by this? In what way was Ben-Gurion “ahead”?

Ben-Gurion left office, only to return in different roles for many more years.

1. Why did subsequent Israeli administrations need Ben-Gurion? What does it mean to become the living embodiment of a country that is nonetheless an evolving, multi-party democracy?

2. Today, we are accustomed to former political leaders remaining in public life in some way – leading foundations, serving as advisers or consultants, writing memoirs, traveling the world in honorary capacities. Ben-Gurion lived his final years in a humble home in the Negev Desert. Why did this particular location and lifestyle appeal to him?

3. Ben-Gurion relied on political compromises and multi-party coalitions to create and build the state of Israel. Now that the state is well-established, do those original compromises and coalitions still make sense? Does the model of leadership that served Ben-Gurion well in the early years of independence still apply today?

4. At Ben-Gurion’s funeral, in place of eulogies, the cantor referred to Ben-Gurion as “David Ben-Gurion, son of Avigdor, first prime minister of the State, who effected the redemption of the people of Israel in their land.” Do you think he would have agreed with that assessment? And if Ben-Gurion returned today, what would he think of the country he founded?

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