Photo Credit: GPO
Shimon Peres (2-R) with then IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan (R), Prime Minister David Ben Gurion (2-L), Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kolleck (L), from 1958.

Wednesday was the 133rd birthday of David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of the State of Israel and the first Prime Minister of the Israeli Government.

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Ben-Gurion, born on October 16, 1886, was the leader of the Zionist Movement as it prepared the Yishuv for Jewish independence in the Land of Israel, which the British referred to as Mandate Palestine. He was one of those who led the nascent State to victory in the War of Independence in 1948, and is considered one of the greatest leaders ever to take the reins of the Jewish State.

It was also Ben-Gurion who forged the original compromise between the religious and secular political factions that allowed the two sectors to be able to co-exist in a coalition that might otherwise have never been able to build and maintain a stable government.

Until this year, Ben-Gurion was the longest-serving prime minister in the history of the State of Israel; Benjamin Netanyahu broke the record this July.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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