Signed, Sealed, Delivered? David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion, perhaps the most influential Jewish leader since Moses, needs no introduction. However, here are some facts about Israel’s first Prime Minister…
He was the one who proposed the 12th of May, 1948 for the name of the State, rejecting the choices of Judea, Zion and Eretz Israel. He was the one who pushed – more than anyone else – for the Declaration of Independence, even with Jerusalem and a large part of the Galilee cut off, Kibbutz Kfar Etzion had just fallen, and the United States, days before, had give express warning that he would. not to come to the aid of a young state in the event of a military victory, which could be entirely possible – by the way.
He was the one who wrote in his diary on the day of the Declaration, stated, “at four o’clock in the afternoon, the independence of the Jews was announced and the State was established. His fate is in the hands of the armed forces.” He was the one who ordered – just five weeks after the establishment of the State – to open fire on the Irgun military ship, the Altalena; a decision that some saw as a test of true leadership and others as an act of murder that would lead to civil war. It was he who – although a socialist himself – charted Israel’s course from the Soviet Union and – years later – ordered Adolf Eichmann to be arrested and brought to trial in Jerusalem.
Finally, he was the one who – shepherding the State into existence and shaping all its institutions more or less from the Mossad to the IDF, from the Histadrut Labor Union to the national Bible Quiz – forcing his wife Paula to eat the same thing. Porridge, a mixture of fruit and sour cream that she called “cooch mooch,” every day for breakfast.
The final song is Shir Ba’Boker Ba’Boker (lyrics – Amir Gilboa, music – Gideon Koren and Shlomo Artzi, arrangement – Yaron Gershovsky), produced by Shlomo Artzi (Licensed by Israel Story via Acum).
About Israel’s Story: Israel Story is the award-winning podcast that tells extraordinary stories about ordinary Israelis. Often called “This American World,” by the Israelis, we bring you strange, unpredictable, interesting and exciting stories about a place we all think we know a lot about, but we don’t. Produced in partnership with The Times of Israel.
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