David Ben-Gurion


May 19, 2022

David Ben-Gurion (October 16, 1886; Plonsk, Russian Empire, now Poland; December 1, 1973; Tel Aviv, Israel) was one of the leaders of the Zionist and Zionist-Socialist movements and one of the founders of the State of Israel. In 1948-1953 and 1955-1963 (with a break in 1961), he was Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Israel. Under his leadership, the War of Independence (1948-1949) and the Sinai Campaign (1956) were won, and Palestinian Arabs were exiled.


He was born on October 16, 1886 in Plonsk (now Poland) to the family of Sheyndala and Avigdor Green. His father was a friend of Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism. In 1906, as an agricultural worker, he went to Ottoman Palestine, where he participated in the establishment of the Jewish self-defense organization Gashomer (Guardian). In 1910 he was appointed editor of the Jewish weekly magazine Gaahdut (Unity). He was invited to this position by Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who later became the second president of Israel. He signed his first article, Ben-Gurion (Young Lion). In 1912 he entered the Faculty of Law at Istanbul University. In 1914 he came home on vacation, but did not return to Istanbul because of the First World War. In 1915, the Ottomans, then rulers of Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire, expelled Ben-Gurion from Palestine on charges of Zionist activity. He settled in the Sultanate of Egypt and then moved to the United States. There in New York he met a student, Polly Manweiss, a Jew from the Russian Empire. In 1917 they married. He founded the Ge Halutz youth movement in the United States, and in 1918 put forward the idea of ​​creating voluntary Jewish brigades in the British Army. He participated in the formation of the Jewish Legion (as part of the Canadian army, as the United States was not at war with the Ottoman Empire) to liberate Palestine. He was one of the first to join such a brigade and served in it as a private. In August 1918 he landed in Egypt as part of the 39th Regiment of Royal Riflemen. After the war he returned to Palestine and became one of the founders of the underground army of Hagan and Histadrut (General Federation of Jewish Workers). In 1921 he was elected its secretary general and held this post for 14 years. Under his leadership, Histadrut transformed