David Ben-Gurion was a prominent leader of the Zionist movement. He migrated to Palestine in 1906, when it was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was tolerant of groups of various religions, including the Jewish people. During his early years, Ben-Gurion was a farm hand in Palestine, where he was often hungry and sick with malaria.
David Ben-Gurion was born in Plonsk, Russian Poland, and grew up in a Zionist family. He emigrated to Palestine in 1906 and worked as a laborer and watchman. Later, he took leadership positions in the socialist Zionist party Poalei Tzion.
In the early 1920s, Palestine was experiencing political instability. Thousands of Jews had emigrated to Europe and the United States. As the Zionist movement became more influential, there was a growing tension between Jews and Arabs. The Arabs were battling for statehood while the Jews were seeking total control of the area. Ben-Gurion recognized that there was a legitimate quarrel between the two groups, and predicted that this would continue.
Ben-Gurion also wrote several books, including Israel: A Personal History. This book was translated into English by Uzy Nystar and Nechemia Meyers. A more recent biography of Ben-Gurion, Zion and State, was written by Mitchell Cohen, B. Blackwell. Sternhell also translated David Maisel’s The Founding Myths of Israel.
The Balfour Declaration was issued by the British government on November 2, 1917, and David Ben-Gurion was one of the leaders of the Zionist movement at the time. This declaration promised a Jewish national home in Palestine. After the war, Ben-Gurion returned to the Middle East. He helped lead the Jewish population to Palestine and formed the Jewish State in the land. He also served as the first prime minister and defense minister of the new nation.
In August 1957, Ben-Gurion attended an Ideological Conference in Jerusalem, and he envisioned two waves of migration into Israel. The first one would be a movement of population, and he believed that this would be negotiated by the government. He expressed hope that half of the Jewish population of Russia would migrate to Israel. He had more modest expectations for the second wave of immigration, from the United States. Ben-Gurion also pointed out that members of the Zionist Organization are no different from other Jews.
David Ben-Gurion was a moderate, not a radical, leader of Israel. A Jewish nationalist, he was driven by a commitment to establishing a Jewish state. He made it clear in his declaration of independence that Jews would enjoy equal rights and freedoms. He was not ethnocentric, but had a vision for a Jewish homeland that would encompass all people, regardless of ethnicity or background.
Ben-Gurion led the Jewish community in a successful struggle against the British mandate. As prime minister, he also supported the establishment of relations with West Germany. In 1956, he led the country during the Sinai campaign, in which Israeli forces temporarily secured the Sinai peninsula. After this campaign, he was re-elected as prime minister.
The birth of the state of Israel is an important milestone in Jewish history. Ben-Gurion saw the new state as an extension of the ancient Jewish homeland. The Roman legions had expelled the Hebrews from Palestine 2,000 years ago. Ben-Gurion announced that the Jews had returned to their homeland. However, his government faced several challenges, including absorbing the massive immigration from around the world and building a unified public education system.
Ben-Gurion was not always popular in his own country. He resigned from his position as Prime Minister in June 1963 for personal reasons. His decision was partly due to a bitter internal debate in the government. Rivals in the Mapai party had turned against him in the wake of the Lavon Affair, which involved Israeli-inspired sabotage of British, American, and Egyptian properties.
In his speech to the Knesset committee, David Ben-Gurion stated his opposition to judicial review. Although judicial review was not yet common in Israel, it was still a controversial issue at the time. Ben-Gurion argued for parliamentary process and popular authority and rejected the idea of judicial review.
As prime minister, Ben-Gurion reorganized the underground armies in Palestine to form a national army. Under his leadership, the army became a symbol of the maturing Israeli nation and was able to repel Arab armies. The Arab leaders were unwilling to enter formal peace negotiations with Israel.
Ben-Gurion opposed the return of Arab refugee families, claiming they would be a threat to Israeli security. The government, however, rejected this claim. They instead believed that the Arabs would eventually accept resettlement. This idea was rejected by the British government.
Although Israel has consistently opposed the return of Arab refugees, it is difficult to argue that the Arabs were unaware that they could return home. They believed that, if the war was over, they would be repatriated. This was true, whether the war had ended through a cease-fire, armistice, or peace agreement. This practice had been common during Middle Eastern wars for many centuries.
Israeli sources have repeatedly quoted statements by the Arab Higher Committee. They claim these statements encouraged the Arabs to flee, and that Israel was in danger of being overrun by an Arab military force. They also say that Israel must not allow these people to return. Yet the Palestinians did not flee because they thought they could leave and come back at their leisure. In fact, the opposite is true: the Arabs left for a reason: they thought the Arabs would be able to defeat the Zionists.
After the 1948 war, Israel’s economy was extremely poor. But after 1952, it began receiving substantial international aid. This came in the form of grants from Jewish charities, revenue from bonds, and U.S. government aid. In 1953, Ben-Gurion also secured economic aid from West Germany, which many Jews saw as reparation for the Holocaust. But this decision led to violent protests, led by Menachem Begin’s Herut Party.
Ben-Gurion’s comment on the return of Arab refugees suggests that he had assumed that the Palestinians had effectively expelled themselves. However, the Israeli government’s official position is that the Palestinians have the right to return home and that they can do so in peace with Israel. This is a prerequisite for establishing a future of security for both people.
Ben-Gurion’s decision to reject the return of Arab refugees was a response to the Arab Exodus’ negative impact on the Jewish population. The situation triggered an internal conflict between the Jewish and Arab communities. Both sides had a stake in the outcome.
The Mapai was one of the main parties in Israel. It was formed in 1930, when it merged the HaPoel HaTzair and Ahdut HaAvoda parties. At that time, Mapai was the largest and strongest party in the country. It also controlled national institutions like Zionist Congresses and the Histadrut labor federation. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Mapai occupied a central position in the Knesset and had four prime ministers.
Ben-Gurion had the honor of being one of the founding members of the Mapai party. As prime minister, he led the party for its first thirty years. However, after his resignation in 1963, the party split and he formed a new party, Rafi. This party won ten seats in the Knesset. He was in favor of returning all of the occupied territories to Israel, except for Jerusalem. However, he had a hard time negotiating with his fellow Mapai members.
The Mapai had support from the Histadrut and the collective settlement movement. After the establishment of the state, however, the agricultural forces had to give way to the urban population. As a result, the younger generation of Mapai demanded greater pragmatism while the veteran members favored socialist ideology. The Mapai’s security policy was pragmatic compared to its sister parties in Europe, which was a good thing for Mapai since Israel faced a unique set of security problems. Moreover, the pragmatic stance also made it easier to form coalitions with right-wing parties.
In 1948, Peres became an active member of the socialist youth group Hanoar Haoved, and studied at Ben-Shemen agricultural school, which operated autonomously. He also joined the armed underground Haganah, which helped defend the youth village from Arab attacks. This political activism attracted the attention of Mapai labor party leaders, including David Ben-Gurion.
David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party grew and he became the Prime Minister of Israel. He supported the establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany, and also led the country during the 1956 Sinai campaign, where Israeli forces temporarily occupied the Sinai peninsula.
A Brief Look at Ben Affleck Benjamin Affleck is a well-known American actor and director.