Book Review: Ben-Gurion

The Book ‘Ben-Gurion’ is a biography on David Ben-Gurion written by well known Israeli writer Michael Bar-Zohar.

David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) is regarded as the ‘Father of the modern state of Israel’ and Tel-Aviv Airport is named in his honor.

His story is a very remarkable one and in a way parallels that of Israel.

Born in Poland, Ben-Gurion possesses one fervent and fanatical desire – The survival of his Jewish people and the establishment of the Israeli State.

He devoted his life to this goal and employed all means necessary to achieve it.

The Book chronicles his life as a student in Poland to his migration to Israel to his political career and his ideals and principles which shape the state of Israel to this day.

There are many lessons in the Book for the modern Indian:

1.Don’t just talk, do something. In Kannada, there is a phrase ‘Bai Muchko, Kelsa Hechko’…i.e. shut up and work. Ben Gurion lived his life by this motto…he simply went ahead and did actions which were impossible to reverse….for example, shifting of the capital of Israel to Jerusalem in the face of global opposition

2.Convert adversity into opportunity. When the Israel was formed, it was immediately attacked by the armies of 5 Arab countries.It converted this crisis into an opportunity by defeating these armies and expanding the frontiers of Israel by conquering enemy territory

3.Keep your aim in mind.Your policies can change, your methods can change, your team can change-but they all have to serve the original goal you have in mind.

4.Make a coalition of allies.But at the same time, don’t expect any external power to come to your aid…each country is guided by its own interests.

I would recommend this Book only for serious history buffs.


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