Yigal Allon, the first native born prime minister of Israel, was a military commander, politician, and union leader. He was a member of Ahdut HaAvoda, Israel’s labor movement, and a leader of the military’s Palmach unit. In 1969, he served as acting prime minister of Israel.
Yigal Allon was an Israeli politician and military commander who served in the Palmach. He also served as a general in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). He served as the leader of the Ahdut HaAvoda party, which later became the Likud party. He also served as the acting prime minister of Israel for a short time in 1969. He was the first native-born prime minister in Israel.
Born Yigal Paicovitch in 1918, Allon was raised in a bleak village of Lower Galilee. At age 16, he was sent to the progressive Kadoorie Agricultural High School. However, he did not want to return home. After graduating from high school, Allon became a farmer and became a member of the Kibbutz Ginosar. He married Ruth, an agricultural worker, in 1939.
After his military service, Allon entered politics. In the Knesset, Allon was one of the architects of the Labor party. His efforts to merge Ahdut HaAvodah and Mapai were credited with the party’s creation. He also served as education minister, foreign minister, and Deputy Prime Minister. He participated in the Sinai Interim Agreement, which was signed in 1975.
Allon served as a lieutenant general in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. He led the Palmach in several major operations, including the Hebron Hills. After leaving the military, Allon entered politics and was elected to the Knesset in 1955. He held several ministerial posts and was active in many social issues. In his final years, he fought to keep the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.
This political biography by Udi Manor details Allon’s life from 1949 to 1980. The book explores Allon’s character and worldview. The author refutes Shapira’s claim that Allon was a “semilegal army” and a “military commander”.
After leaving the army in 1951, Yigal Allon entered politics. He was elected to the Knesset in 1954 and served as an MK until his death in 1980. During his political career, he held a number of senior posts, including Minister of Foreign Affairs and Education. He was also the Deputy Prime Minister between 1968 and 1977. In 1968, Allon was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, where he oversaw the country’s reconstruction and construction projects. In 1969, Allon served briefly as Acting Prime Minister. In 1980, his political career was ended abruptly by his death.
After leaving the military, Allon entered politics and served as a Knesset member representing Ahdut Ha’Avodah. He held key positions in Ben-Gurion’s, Levi Eshkol’s, and Golda Meir’s cabinets. He later served as acting prime minister, and his peace plan proposed returning the majority of West Bank territory to Jordan and keeping the military settlements along the Jordan River. However, Allon died of heart failure in Afula on February 29, 1980, and was buried in Kinosar.
Although Allon had a brilliant career, his political legacy is largely ignored. An earlier biography published in Hebrew only covered his military service and claimed his political years were not worthy of historical consideration. In contrast, the new biography Yigal Allon: A Neglected Political Legacy corrects this wrong-headed history and puts Allon’s life in context.
As an Israeli politician, Yigal Allon made great contributions to the nation-building process. Besides serving as Minister of Labor and Absorption from 1961 to 1968, he held senior positions in the Knesset and the Cabinet. In addition, he played a major role in promoting peace amongst Arab nations.
Born in Galilee to pioneer settlers, Yigal Allon joined the Labor Movement in his youth and became active in Kibbutz Ginosar. He married Ruth in 1934 and was active in Kibbutz Ginosar politics. He joined the Haganah and Palmach during the 1936-1939 Arab revolt, where he organized many key operations for the Jewish Resistance Movement. He led a squad during the Night of the Bridges and commanded an invasion of Galilee, Lod, Ramla, and Negev up to Eilat. He was a highly skilled strategist and a master of military deception.
As a member of the Labor Party, Allon served under Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, though he was his subordinate in Palmah. After being elected to the Knesset in 1977, Allon was named chairman of the World Labor Zionist Organization and promoted the creation of a Mediterranean-Dead Sea canal to generate electricity. He also served as Foreign Minister, Education Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister. He took part in the Sinai Interim Agreement in 1975, and served as Acting Prime Minister between Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol.
Allon served multiple positions in the Israeli government, and was the Minister of Labor from 1961 to 1967. He also served as Absorption Minister from 1968 to 1974. Later, he served as Minister of Education and Culture, and as the Chairman of the Knesset Subcommittee on Lebanon. He died of heart failure in Afula, Israel, on February 29, 1980. He was buried in Kinosar.
Before joining the Labor Movement, Allon was active in the labor movement in the Palestinian Territories. He served as a foreign minister, a deputy prime minister, and a minister for absorption. During his time as a cabinet member, he also dedicated significant attention to environmental issues.
During the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Allon served as a lieutenant-general and commanded forces in numerous major war operations. He left the military in 1950 and entered politics. He was one of the architects of the Labor Party. Allon served as Education Minister and Foreign Minister before becoming a Deputy Prime Minister. He was also a member of the Knesset. In 1955, Allon was elected to the Knesset and served there for a decade.
Allon was born in the Lower Galilee to pioneer settlers. As a youth, he became a member of the Haganah and served as a scout for British forces in Syria and Lebanon. He later joined the Palmach and helped to organize key Jewish resistance movement operations. His responsibilities included the organization of the nighttime attack on the village of al-Khisar in 1937 and the conquest of the Galilee, the Negev, and the coast up to Eilat. Allon had a knack for military deception and strategy, which he used to his advantage.
Ahdut ha-Avoda is a left-wing party that supports a Greater Israel. Leaders of this party, like Yigal Allon, were vocal supporters of Greater Israel in the wake of the Six-Day War. They advocated for the return of administered territories to Israel. For example, the city of Afula is located near the junction of the Jordan Valley and the Galilee. It was originally planned as a commercial center for the region. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Afula really came into its own.
Another leader of Ahdut HaAvod was David Ben-Gurion. He was born in Russia in 1918 and immigrated to Israel in 1933. In the Jewish Agency, he was the head of the Hechalutz and Youth Department.
A memorial service for Yigal Allon, who died last week at the age of 85, drew hundreds of mourners to a remote area near Lake Kinneret. In the cemetery, adults wore kibbutz shirts, while young people wore the blue shirts of the youth movements. The service was attended by members of the kibbutz movement, as well as members of the former Palmach pre-state military force.
Allon’s kibbutz was founded in 1937, and he was a leader of the Palmach battalions during the War of Independence. Later, he served as a deputy prime minister of Israel, serving under Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin. The Yigal Allon Cultural Center is named for him.
The Yigal Allon Museum is located on the grounds of Kibbutz Ginosar, on the Sea of Galilee. The museum features the art and history of Alon, a political and military leader who believed in coexistence. There are rotating exhibitions of Arab and Jewish art, as well as a permanent exhibition of the history of the Galilee. There is also a 2,000-year-old Galilee boat on display.
After serving in the Palmach, Allon became a political figure. He served in the Knesset for 25 years, and eventually became an acting prime minister. His political career included service on the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Education and Culture Committee, and Foreign Affairs Committee. And he remained active until his death. In his later years, Allon worked for the government, serving in the Knesset, as minister of absorption, education, and foreign affairs.
The first century AD was a period of severe drought, so the water level of the Sea of Galilee was low. Then, an ancient fishing boat was found in the mud. Its frame was preserved, and carbon-dated to between 100 BC and 70 AD. It was made of twelve different types of timber, and was 8.2m long and 2.3m wide. Today, the boat is on display at the museum in Kibbutz Ginosar.
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