Useful Notes: David Ben-Gurion

"In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles."

David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) was the primary founder and the first Prime Minister of Israel.

David Ben Gurion was born in Poland in 1886. In response to the anti-semitism he fled to Palestine and became a Determined Homesteader. During the feuding with local Arabs he was a Vigilante Man in the Hashomer militia, an embryo version of the Hagganah which was in turn later to become Israelis with Infrared Missiles. He served in the British army in World War I and then came back to take part in local politics,in which he rose rapidly.

During the Mid-century he directed the policy of the pre-independence "Yishuv" (a labor union alliance that was evolving into a de facto state), and that of the new state of Israel. He led during World War II and during the War of Independence and helped build a nation that survives to this day.

Ben Gurion was in some ways an Insufferable Genius but he was in the right place at the right time. His personality was more like The Spock than The McCoy, and he led policy through his brilliant grasp of strategy, a gift which Israel badly needed in its formative years.

Nerds who don't keep up with middle-eastern history or politics may recognize him as the visual inspiration for the Guardians of the Universe...or Section 9 Chief Aramaki Daisuke.

Associated Tropes:

  • An Immigrant's Tale
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Badass Israeli
  • The Chessmaster
  • Fighting for a Homeland
  • La Résistance
  • The Magnificent: Ben-gurion means "son of a lion." Of course, he chose it because it sounded like "Grün," but between "Son of a Lion" and the literal translation "Green" (especially when the Hebrew word for "green" is the rather uninspiring "Yaroq"), which would you choose?
  • The Spock: Especially compared to Moshe Sharett/Shertok's McCoy.
  • The Spymaster : Part of his job was this.
  • The Strategist
  • Team Dad
  • Vindicated by History: People seem to ignore some glaring faults of his nowadays:
    • The party he lead, Mifleget Po‘alei Eretz Yisrael ("Workers' Party of the Land of Israel", or "Mapai" for short), ruled Israel through almost dictatorial means, including firing teachers who voted for the ‘wrong’ party (or even weren’t members of the workers’ association associated with the party) and bribing workers during elections. In one notorious case, a labourer slid his vote into the ballot box and, realising his blunder, quickly exclaimed, ‘I slid the five lirotnote  together with the alefnote !’
    • Blaming (at least in his diary) all sorts of atrocities committed by the IDF in its early days (the most notorious case being the massacre at Kafr Qasim) on Holocaust survivorsnote , referring to them as ‘human dust’, and later on on non-Ashkenazi Jews. In both cases he was dead wrong: the atrocities were committed by Ashkenazi Jews who were born and raised in Israel, or at least assimilated willingly and quickly, the kind of people Ben-Gurion was mostly fond of.
    • And let’s not go into his role in the 1948 Palestinian exodus...
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He was very good at this.

Alternative Title(s):

David Ben Gurion