chapter
104 Pages

Politics

In Deeember 1953, David Ben-Gurion, Israel's Prime Minister and Minister of Defenee, resigned his posts and moved south to Sde-Boker, a small kibbutz in the Negev. His offieial letter of resignation was handed in to President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi on 7 Deeember 1953. One week later, on 14 Deeember, aeeompanied by his wife Paula, a number of seeretaries, policemen and seeurity guards, he set out for Sde-Boker. On the day he tendered his letter of resignation, Ben-Gurion broadeast a 'Farewell Address to the Nation' on Israeli radio, and published a special farewellletter to the soldiers of the Israel Defenee Forees (IDF).l Neither in his farewell address nor in his farewellletter did Ben-Gurion mention direetly the reasons that had led hirn to take this step. The closing seetion of the farewell address, however, eontains a hint that might shed so me light on the affair. There, he stated that the pioneering ethos could be summed up in the words of the prophet Habakok: 'The righteous shalllive aeeording to his faith'. He was not preaehing to others, he went on to say, nor did he make self-righteous and harsh demands on others; he did not seek out the sins of strangers, but rather fulfilled his beliefs in his daily life - he lived his faith.