By Shimon Peres
Part of the Jewish stumble upon series
Israel’s present president supplies us a dramatic and revelatory biography of Israel’s founding father and primary top minister.
Shimon Peres used to be in his early twenties whilst he first met David Ben-Gurion. even though the country that Ben-Gurion could lead via conflict and peace had no longer but declared its precarious independence, the “Old Man,” as he used to be referred to as even then, was once already a mythic determine. Peres, who got here of age within the cupboards of Ben-Gurion, is uniquely positioned to awaken this determine of stirring contradictions—a prophetic visionary and a canny pragmatist who early grasped the need of compromise for nationwide survival. Ben-Gurion supported the 1947 United countries Partition Plan for Palestine, although it intended surrendering a two-thousand-year-old dream of Jewish payment within the whole land of Israel. He granted the Orthodox their first exemptions from army provider regardless of his personal deep secular commitments, and he reached out to Germany within the aftermath of the Holocaust, understanding that Israel would want as many robust alliances as attainable in the eu community.
A protégé of Ben-Gurion and himself a mythical determine at the overseas political degree, Shimon Peres brings to his account of Ben-Gurion’s lifestyles and towering achievements the profound perception of a statesman who stocks Ben-Gurion’s dream of a contemporary, democratic Jewish countryside that lives in peace and safeguard along its Arab buddies. In Ben-Gurion, Peres sees a overlooked version of management that Israel and the area desperately want within the twenty-first century.
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Extra info for Ben-Gurion: A Political Life
Among these was Zvi Arye Gruen, David’s grandfather and a formative influence on his young life. Zvi Arye was among the first in the district to join the Hovevei Tzion (literally “Lovers of Zion”), a movement founded in the early 1880s that encouraged agricultural settlement in Palestine. Avigdor was a sort of unofficial attorney-at-law—a familiar figure in the Pale at that time—who helped people with their legal problems. He was among the first in Plonsk to set aside the more traditional Jewish garb in favor of the frock coat and winged collar that suited his profession.
Then I brew up some tea and have my breakfast. At first light, I take my “flock”—two pairs of oxen, two cows, two calves, and a donkey—over to the trough to drink. The sun’s still not up, and I’m harnessing the yoke on my oxen, putting the bag of seed on the donkey, getting my cattle-prodder ready [a detailed description of this implement appears here in parentheses], and heading for the field, where I plow steadily all day long. … The oxen plod slowly ahead, like important burghers, and I have all the time in the world to think and to dream.
In his heart, he knew by this time that his own contribution to the Zionist enterprise could be greater than tilling the soil and mucking out the cowshed—though he never stopped praising, indeed almost venerating, agricultural workers. “Settling the land—that is the only real Zionism,” he wrote to his father in February 1909 from the village of Kinneret in the Galilee, after a brief trip back home. ” In a long letter home later that year, he considered the pros and cons of the whole family coming out to the Galilee to farm the land while he himself would pursue his legal education and political aspirations on behalf of the Yishuv.