David Ben Gurion and the IDF

​​​​​"More than any other person in our generation, he deserves the title "Founder of the State"

Levi Eshkol, new Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense, speaking in the Knesset (June 24, 1963)

David Ben Gurion (1886 – 1973), first Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Israel.

His involvement in security matters began at the end of 1946, when he assumed responsibility, at the Jewish Agency, for matters relating to the security of the Jewish community in Palestine.  

Ben Gurion was Israel's Prime Minister and Defense Mi​nister for fifteen years (1948 – 1953; 1955 – 1963).

As Defense Minister, he assumed responsibility for the IDF's preparedness and capabilities to defend the state whenever necessary.

He also believed the IDF should fulfil other roles, including:

A "Pioneering Education Center" for the younger generation and for the new immigrants, to ensure the further development of the state: "Our army should not only win wars and deter our enemies, it should also "make the desert bloom" and establish settlements in it…"

We present documents and photographs about the intimate links of Ben Gurion and the IDF. Reading them you may become familiar with his opinions about the IDF's roles. 

To visit additional exhibitions​:

Basic assumption on the eve of the War of Independence

The establishment of the IDF

The end of The War of Independence​

The Price of War

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