Israel famously has no constitution. It turns out that’s no accident but rather the will of its first prime minister, who explains his thinking here.
The author of a new book about Israel’s diplomatic history joins us to discuss the enduring lessons he’s learned from surveying 3,000 years of Jewish history.
What are Jews for?
Born within four years of each other, David Ben-Gurion and Abdullah bin Hussein emerged out of the same political womb to forge Israel and Jordan in battle. Both nations should be grateful.
And helped organize one of the war’s worst massacres.
Ever? Judea? Zion?
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.