How David Ben-Gurion Felt about the Size of the "Tablecloth"

How much of an expansionist was the leader of the yishuv, soon to be the first prime minister of the state of Israel?

David Ben-Gurion in his Tel Aviv office on September 1, 1949 in Tel Aviv. The model of a tank on his desk is a cigarette box and lighter given to him by an Israeli soldier. GPO via Getty Images.

David Ben-Gurion in his Tel Aviv office on September 1, 1949 in Tel Aviv. The model of a tank on his desk is a cigarette box and lighter given to him by an Israeli soldier. GPO via Getty Images.

Response
April 9 2018
About the author

Benny Morris is a visiting professor in Israel studies at Georgetown University and the author of, among other books, 1948: A History of the First Arab–Israeli War (Yale, 2008).


I have no bones to pick with Martin Kramer’s essay, “The May 1948 Vote that Made Israel.” He probably has it right: in the People’s Administration meeting on May 12, there was in fact no vote on whether or not to declare the establishment of the state of Israel on May 14-15—but there was a vote to omit from the forthcoming Declaration of Independence any mention of the new state’s boundaries.

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More about: David Ben-Gurion, History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism