• Issue: October 1986
  • Designer: Z. Narkiss
  • Stamp size: 30.8 x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 22
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

David Ben-Gurion was one of the outstanding leaders of the pre-State Jewish settlers in Eretz Israel. He was head of the Zionist Movement in the nineteen thirties and, by virtue of his strong-willed character, was able to demand and later proclaim the establishment of the State of Israel. He became Prime Minister and national commander-in-chief during the crucial years of the War of Independence and the struggle for revival and existence.

Born in Plonsk, Poland in 1886. He emigrated to Eretz Israel at the age of 20 as a young Zionist socialist, becoming involved in agricultural work and workers' concerns. He studied Law in order to prepare himself for national leadership. At about the age of 30 he was banished from Eretz Israel by the Turks and mobilized a battalion of Jewish fighters, in the USA, prepared to fight with the Allies towards conquest of Palestine. He returned to Eretz Israel as a member of one of the legions.

Following his return he took part in the setting-up of the Workers' Organization, of which he was Secretary-General, and later became Chairman of the Labour Party. From 1935 until the establishment of the State, he served as Chairman of the Jewish Agency, dealt with matters concerning State policies and security and stood at the head of those in favour of an agreement regarding division of the country into two States, in the wake of which, he proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel on the 5 lyar 5708 (14 May 1948).

Ben-Gurion's personality influenced the shaping of the image of the State of Israel. He paid particular attention to the gathering of Jews from the Diaspora and their absorption, the Israel Defence Forces, State education, democracy, external relations and security, out of a quest for peace. In 1953 he withdrew from the Government and lived for about two years at Sede Boqer in the Negev Desert. After a further withdrawal in 1963, he settled in Sede Boqer for good. In 1970 he finally resigned from the Knesset, retired from political life and dedicated himself to writing. He died at the age of 87 and was buried in Sede Boqer beside his wife Paula.

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David Ben-Gurion Centenary