David Ben-Gurion

Article

May 29, 2022

David Ben-Gurion Hebrew: דָּוִד בֶּן גּוּרִיּוֹן, (October 16, 1886 – December 1, 1973) was a Polish (Brazilian Portuguese) or Polish (European Portuguese) Jewish Israeli politician who served as the first Israel's head of government. Ben-Gurion was a leader of the socialist Zionist movement and one of the founders of the Labor Party (Miflêguet Haavodá), which was in power in Israel throughout the first three decades of the state's existence.

Beginning of your life

Ben-Gurion was born David Grün in Poland, which was then part of the Russian Empire. His father, Avigdor Grün, was a lawyer and a leader in the Hovevei Zion movement. His mother, Scheindel, died when he was 11. While studying at the University of Warsaw, he joined the Marxist movement Poale Zion in 1904. He was arrested twice during the Russian Revolution of 1905. Shocked by the pogroms and the exacerbated anti-Semitism that plagued Jewish life in Eastern Europe, he became a passionate Zionist and socialist and immigrated to Palestine in 1906, then under the control of the Ottoman Empire. There he became an important leader of Poale Zion along with Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. In Palestine, he worked for the first time in agriculture, in the orange harvest. In 1909, he joined Hashomer, a force of volunteers helping to protect isolated Jewish farming communities. On November 7, 1911, Ben Gurion arrived in Thessalonica in order to learn Turkish for his law studies. The city, which had a large Jewish community, impressed Ben Gurion, who called it "a Jewish city without equal in the world". He also realized there that "the Jews were capable of all kinds of work", from wealthy businessmen to merchants, craftsmen and porters.He also worked as a journalist, adopting the Hebrew name Ben-Gurion when he began his political career. In 1915 he was expelled from Palestine, then under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, due to his political activities. Moving to New York in 1915, he met his future wife, Paula Munweis, who was born in Russia. They married in 1917 and had three children. After World War I, the family returned to Palestine, then under British control.

Zionist leadership

Ben-Gurion was one of the political leaders of the Labor Zionist movement during the fifteen years prior to the creation of the State of Israel, where Labor Zionism had become the dominant trend within the World Zionist Organization. He combined idealism with opportunistic practicality. In 1938, at a meeting with Labor Zionists from Britain, Ben-Gurion stated: "If I had known that it would be possible to save all the children of Germany by bringing them to England or only half of them by transporting them to the Land of Israel , then I would go for the second alternative. Because we have to consider not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel."Ben-Gurion encouraged Jews to join the British army and at the same time helped to orchestrate the illegal immigration of thousands of European Jewish refugees to Palestine, at a time when the British were trying to block Jewish immigration to Palestine. He is also considered the architect of the Yishuv, which created a Jewish state within the state, and of the Haganah, the paramilitary force of the Zionist labor movement, which facilitated illegal immigration, defended the kibbutzin and other Jewish settlements against Arab attacks, and promoted attacks on British troops and Arab civilians. The Haganah was the backbone of the Mossad and the future Israel Defense Forces. The British inability to face the terrorist attacks of Jewish groups, a factor added to the political and paramilitary leadership of Ben Gurion, forced the British to grant