From Ben-Gurion vs. Weizmann to Rabin vs. Peres.
Ancient Jewish history, with which he was well acquainted, showed what could happen in the absence of a central military command. He made sure it wouldn’t happen again.
If the Jews could hang on through the tough early months, he thought, they would grow considerably stronger while their opponents might well become weaker. And so it proved to be.
The pre-state militia had actually prepared well for the outbreak of war in 1948. But its commanders generally hailed from rival political parties to Ben-Gurion’s.
On the eve of Israel’s statehood in 1948, with the massed forces of five Arab nations threatening invasion, David Ben-Gurion picked a fight with his own army. Why?
Throughout his life, he remained a friend of Israel.
Israel’s first prime minister was no enthusiast of ethnic cleansing.
Helping to memorialize the Shoah and to protect survivors.
Even Ben-Gurion didn’t like it—but it works.
“There is no wall of separation in Israel between Judaism and humanism.”
And the recent dispute over who owns that draft.
At each point—1897, 1917, and 1947—one Jewish leader appeared, and showed greatness.