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Ben-Gurion's Gifts: Fascinating Past Discoveries Found by Chance | Israel Hayom


Highlights: Gifts from the first prime minister are found in the archives of the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute. The gifts include a tank, a chapter of Psalms and a set of candlesticks. "These gifts have cultural value today, and when I look at this value, I see that someone made it, and it was important to see the letter of thanks back," says the director of the institute. "Even though The Old Man is gone for 50 years, we are always happy for new discoveries related to his legacy," he adds.

A miniature tank and a framed chapter of Psalms are some of the things sent to the first prime minister and discovered in the custodian's storerooms • The "old man" was delighted: "I showed everyone"

At a time when the Gifts Law is stirring up storms in the Knesset, and against the backdrop of the ongoing trial regarding the receipt of gifts on an unusual scale by politicians, the dust is shaking over forgotten historical discoveries.
Decades of testimony took us back to another time, modest and beautiful, when it was not economic value that starred, but mainly the message of values.

As part of arranging and organizing the Custodian General's warehouses, the workers found a tank model, a chapter of psalms and candlesticks given to the first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion as a gift in 1949. The employees took pictures and sent the photos to the Ben-Gurion Heritage Archive in the Negev, where the archive's director, Ramon Ziv-Av, searched the archives for the names of the gift givers and found the letters of thanks Ben-Gurion had sent them.

"The gifts were personal gifts that came from ordinary citizens. As prime minister, Ben-Gurion obviously met with a lot of senior officials, but he also had contact with ordinary citizens who had correspondence with him," Ziv-Av told Israel Hayom. "These gifts have cultural value today, and when I look at this value, such as the gift of the tank, I see that someone made it, and not some factory, and it was important to see the letter of thanks back from Ben-Gurion."

Standby tank. Cultural value, photo: Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute

The government will help when he delights in the design of the tank model, and as a token of gratitude, Ben-Gurion writes to the soldier: "I showed the 'tank' to all the members of the government and they expressed their desire, which is also mine, that if you are discharged from the army you want to study at the Technion, you will be given the government's help

." Ben-Gurion also asks him to write to him again: "And I would be grateful if you would inform me in writing of your plans for the next – to stay in the army or study." The director of the archive points to Ben-Gurion's greatness, saying, "He managed to put it in a broader and more social context, which is something very beautiful and special."

The mechav written by Ben-Gurion as a thank you for the gift to the soldier, photo: Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute

A few weeks ago, the Custodian General arrived at the Institute, where they handed over the gifts that would remain in his possession to the hut guard and the display, thus effectively fulfilling Ben-Gurion's Law. Those interested are invited to keep up to date via social networks to know where and when it will be possible to visit and be impressed by the display.

Director General of the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute, Eitan Dunitz, adds: "We were happy to find the hidden objects behind the letters that were preserved in the archives all these years. Even though The Old Man is gone for 50 years, we are always happy for new discoveries related to his legacy."

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-05-30

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