Ben-Gurion Looks For Definition of the “Zionist Movement” Today
Click to enlarge:
Israel’s founding father urges the president of the World Jewish Congress to focus on the “burning questions” of Zionism – immigration – rather than on “the historic tale” prior to the establishment of Israel. DAVID BEN-GURION.
Typed Letter Signed to Nahum Goldmann, July 18, 1955. In Hebrew, on State of Israel letterhead. 1 p., 6 x 8 in.
“It is your duty to give every Zionist an answer as to what the content of the Zionist Movement is today, and what the difference is between a Jew who calls himself a Zionist and an ‘ordinary’ Jew who helps Israel, at a time when even the Zionist is not required by you to do more than an ordinary Jew. It is intolerable that, instead of receiving an answer to today’s ‘burning’ questions - those which concern immigration - your Executive is continuing to recount the historic tale that almost every one of us already knows, the deeds of Zionism prior to the establishment of the State.”
Nahum Goldmann (1895-1982) was a Polish-born Israeli Zionist. Founder and president of the World Jewish Congress from 1948 to 1977, Goldmann worked actively with David Ben-Gurion towards the creation of Israel and coordinated the efforts of Jewish societies outside the state. Between 1956 to 1968, Goldmann also served as the President of the World Zionist Organization. He became a citizen of Israel in 1962, though he never took up permanent residence there.
David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) became the first prime minister of Israel on May 14, 1948 when he proclaimed the birth of the independent State of Israel. Prior to 1948, he had been a leader in the pioneering Labor movement and had headed the struggle for Jewish independence in Palestine. Ben-Gurion resigned from the government in 1953, only to be recalled to serve as defense minister in 1955. By the end of 1955 he was once again serving as prime minister while maintaining his position in the defense ministry. He resigned permanently from the Israeli Parliament in 1970. Ben-Gurion’s ideology was staunchly democratic and he was an ardent Zionist.