Zitate von David Ben-Gurion

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David Ben-Gurion

Geburtstag: 16. Oktober 1886
Todesdatum: 1. Dezember 1973

David Ben-Gurion, hebräisch דוד בן גוריון, Aussprache [daˈvɪd ben gurˈjo:n] rief mit der Verkündung der israelischen Unabhängigkeitserklärung am 14. Mai 1948 den modernen Staat Israel aus. Er war dessen erster Ministerpräsident.

Ben-Gurion war 1930, im zu der Zeit noch britischen Mandatsgebiet Palästina, einer der Gründer der zionistisch-sozialistischen Arbeiterpartei Israels und führte sie bis 1963 als Parteivorsitzender an. Nach parteiinternen Konflikten – unter anderem vor dem Hintergrund der Lawon-Affäre – verließ er die Mapai und gründete 1965 die linke Arbeiterliste Rafi. Beide Parteien vereinigten sich 1968 wieder und gingen zusammen mit der Achdut haAwoda in der bis in die Gegenwart bestehenden sozialdemokratischen Awoda auf.

Von 1948 bis 1953 und von 1955 bis 1963 war Ben-Gurion Premierminister und Verteidigungsminister Israels.

Zitate David Ben-Gurion

„In our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us. But let us not ignore the truth among ourselves.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Address at the Mapai Political Committee (7 June 1938) as quoted in .
Kontext: In our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us. But let us not ignore the truth among ourselves. I insist on the truth, not out of respect for scientific but political realities. The acknowledgement of this truth leads to inevitable and serious conclusions regarding our work in Palestine… let us not build on the hope the terrorist gangs will get tired. If some get tired, others will replace them.
A people which fights against the usurpation of its land will not tire so easily... it is easier for them to continue the war and not get tired than it is for us... The Palestinian Arabs are not alone. The Syrians are coming to help. From our point of view, they are strangers; in the point of law they are foreigners; but to the Arabs, they are not foreigners at all … The centre of the war is in Palestine, but its dimensions are much wider. When we say that the Arabs are the aggressors and we defend ourselves — this is only half the truth. As regards our security and life we defend ourselves and our moral and physical position is not bad. We can face the gangs... and were we allowed to mobilize all our forces we would have no doubts about the outcome... But the fighting is only one aspect of the conflict which is in its essence a political one. And politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves. Militarily, it is we who are on the defensive who have the upper hand but in the political sphere they are superior. The land, the villages, the mountains, the roads are in their hands. The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside. They defend bases which are theirs, which is easier than conquering new bases... let us not think that the terror is a result of Hitler's or Mussolini's propaganda — this helps but the source of opposition is there among the Arabs.

„Under no circumstances must we touch land belonging to fellahs or worked by them.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Written statement (1920), as quoted in .
Kontext: Under no circumstances must we touch land belonging to fellahs or worked by them. Only if a fellah leaves his place of settlement, should we offer to buy his land, at an appropriate price.

„But the fighting is only one aspect of the conflict which is in its essence a political one. And politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves. Militarily, it is we who are on the defensive who have the upper hand but in the political sphere they are superior.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Address at the Mapai Political Committee (7 June 1938) as quoted in .
Kontext: In our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us. But let us not ignore the truth among ourselves. I insist on the truth, not out of respect for scientific but political realities. The acknowledgement of this truth leads to inevitable and serious conclusions regarding our work in Palestine… let us not build on the hope the terrorist gangs will get tired. If some get tired, others will replace them.
A people which fights against the usurpation of its land will not tire so easily... it is easier for them to continue the war and not get tired than it is for us... The Palestinian Arabs are not alone. The Syrians are coming to help. From our point of view, they are strangers; in the point of law they are foreigners; but to the Arabs, they are not foreigners at all … The centre of the war is in Palestine, but its dimensions are much wider. When we say that the Arabs are the aggressors and we defend ourselves — this is only half the truth. As regards our security and life we defend ourselves and our moral and physical position is not bad. We can face the gangs... and were we allowed to mobilize all our forces we would have no doubts about the outcome... But the fighting is only one aspect of the conflict which is in its essence a political one. And politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves. Militarily, it is we who are on the defensive who have the upper hand but in the political sphere they are superior. The land, the villages, the mountains, the roads are in their hands. The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside. They defend bases which are theirs, which is easier than conquering new bases... let us not think that the terror is a result of Hitler's or Mussolini's propaganda — this helps but the source of opposition is there among the Arabs.

„We accepted the UN resolution, but the Arabs did not.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Address to the Israeli cabinet (12 May 1948), as quoted in "One day that shook the world" by Ellli Wohlgelernter http://info.jpost.com/C002/Supplements/IndependenceDay/one_day.html, in The Jerusalem Post (30 April 2002)
Kontext: We accepted the UN resolution, but the Arabs did not. They are preparing to make war on us. If we defeat them and capture western Galilee or territory on both sides of the road to Jerusalem, these areas will become part of the state. Why should we obligate ourselves to accept boundaries that in any case the Arabs don't accept?

„We need to anticipate the character of the times, discern embryonic forms emergent or renewed, and clear the path for circumstantial change.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Rebirth and Destiny of Israel (1954), p. 419; a portion of this paragraph has sometimes been misquoted as: "To maintain the status quo will not do. We have to set up a dynamic state bent upon expansion."
Kontext: Our code must be framed to speed the absorption of immigrants into our economy, culture and society; to fuse the returning tribes into a homogeneous national and cultural unit; to forward our physical and moral healing and the cleansing of our lives from the trivia and dross which gathered upon us in dependence and exile. To maintain the status quo will not do. We have set up a dynamic State, bent upon creation and reform, building and expansion. Laws which lag behind development, merely a digest of experience and the lessons of the past, are useless to us. We need to anticipate the character of the times, discern embryonic forms emergent or renewed, and clear the path for circumstantial change.

„We do not wish, we do not need to expel the Arabs and take their place.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Letter to his son Amos (5 October 1937), as quoted in .
Kontext: We do not wish, we do not need to expel the Arabs and take their place. All our aspirations are built upon the assumption — proven throughout all our activity in the Land — that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.

„The State of Israel is prepared to make its contribution in a concerted effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Israel's Proclamation of Independence, read on (14 May 1948)
Kontext: We extend the hand of peace and good-neighborliness to all the States around us and to their people, and we call upon them to cooperate in mutual helpfulness with the independent Jewish nation in its Land. The State of Israel is prepared to make its contribution in a concerted effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

„Everybody sees a difficulty in the question of relations between Arabs and Jews. But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Written statement (June 1919), as quoted in Time magazine (24 July 2006)
Kontext: Everybody sees a difficulty in the question of relations between Arabs and Jews. But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question. No solution! There is a gulf, and nothing can bridge it… We, as a nation, want this country to be ours; the Arabs, as a nation, want this country to be theirs.

„We have rebelled against all controls and religions, all laws and judgments which the mighty sought to foist upon us. We kept to our dedication and our missions. By these will the State be judged, by the moral character it imparts to its citizens, by the human values determining its inner and outward relations, and by its fidelity, in thought and act, to the supreme behest: "and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Rebirth and Destiny of Israel (1954), p. 419.
Kontext: We have rebelled against all controls and religions, all laws and judgments which the mighty sought to foist upon us. We kept to our dedication and our missions. By these will the State be judged, by the moral character it imparts to its citizens, by the human values determining its inner and outward relations, and by its fidelity, in thought and act, to the supreme behest: "and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Here is crystallized the eternal law of Judaism, and all the written ethics in the world can say no more. The State will be worthy of its name only if its systems, social and economic, political and legal, are based upon these imperishable words. They are more than a formal precept which can be construed as passive or negative: not to deprive, not to rob, not to oppress, not to hurt.

„They are more than a formal precept which can be construed as passive or negative: not to deprive, not to rob, not to oppress, not to hurt.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Rebirth and Destiny of Israel (1954), p. 419.
Kontext: We have rebelled against all controls and religions, all laws and judgments which the mighty sought to foist upon us. We kept to our dedication and our missions. By these will the State be judged, by the moral character it imparts to its citizens, by the human values determining its inner and outward relations, and by its fidelity, in thought and act, to the supreme behest: "and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Here is crystallized the eternal law of Judaism, and all the written ethics in the world can say no more. The State will be worthy of its name only if its systems, social and economic, political and legal, are based upon these imperishable words. They are more than a formal precept which can be construed as passive or negative: not to deprive, not to rob, not to oppress, not to hurt.

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„To maintain the status quo will not do. We have set up a dynamic State, bent upon creation and reform, building and expansion.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Rebirth and Destiny of Israel (1954), p. 419; a portion of this paragraph has sometimes been misquoted as: "To maintain the status quo will not do. We have to set up a dynamic state bent upon expansion."
Kontext: Our code must be framed to speed the absorption of immigrants into our economy, culture and society; to fuse the returning tribes into a homogeneous national and cultural unit; to forward our physical and moral healing and the cleansing of our lives from the trivia and dross which gathered upon us in dependence and exile. To maintain the status quo will not do. We have set up a dynamic State, bent upon creation and reform, building and expansion. Laws which lag behind development, merely a digest of experience and the lessons of the past, are useless to us. We need to anticipate the character of the times, discern embryonic forms emergent or renewed, and clear the path for circumstantial change.

„Well done, now give it back to them.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Spoken to Louis Nir in June 1967, after his unit captured Hebron in the Six-Day War), as quoted in "Is the end in sight?" by Henry Porter in The Observer (28 October 2001) http://observer.guardian.co.uk/nireland/story/0,11008,582158,00.html

„The most dangerous enemy to Israel’s security is the intellectual inertia of those who are responsible for security.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Quoted in Supreme Command : Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (2002) by Eliot A. Cohen, p. 172

„Israel had better rid itself of the territories and their Arab populations as soon as possible. If it did not Israel would soon become an Apartheid State.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Quoted from memory by Hirsh Goodman in Let Me Create a Paradise, God Said to Himself: A Journey of Conscience from Johannesberg to Jerusalem https://books.google.com/books?id=lUvqer1w-QcC&lpg=PP1&ots=NaV9ASJZPf&dq=Let%20Me%20Create%20Paradise%2C%20God%20Said%20to%20Himself&pg=PT90#v=onepage&q&f=false By Hirsh Goodman, page 90. The quote was checked by UK Media Watch against Ben Gurion's relevant diary, Ben Gurion archives and with historians Benny Moris, Martin Kramer, Zaki Shalom and Anita Shapira. Hirsh Goodman "stands by his recollection, but declined, when asked, to provide any further details on the interview, such as the name of the radio station or the name of the interviewer" Did the Independent just publish a fake Ben-Gurion quote? (Update) https://ukmediawatch.org/2017/03/29/did-the-independent-just-publish-a-false-ben-gurion-quote/
Misattributed

„I fight, therefore I exist.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

No clear citations of this to Ben-Gurion have been located. A very early variant of this idea (which plays upon the statement of René Descartes "Cogito ergo sum" — "I think, therefore I exist") is found in Die Weimarer Reichsverfassung http://books.google.gr/books?id=VRBAAAAAYAAJ&q= (1922) by Leo Wittmayer, p. 255, a work about the Weimar Constitution, where Wittmayer speaks against the attitude, while stating it in Latin: "bello ergo sum".
Misattributed

„We must support the army as though there were no White Paper, and fight the White Paper as though there were no war.“

—  David Ben-Gurion

Statement (12 September 1939), quoted in * Ben-Gurion: The Burning Ground, 1886–1948
1987
Shabtai
Teveth, p. 717.
Variants:
Fight the war as if there was no White Paper, and the White Paper as if there was no war.
As quoted in A History of Palestine from 135 A.D. to Modern Times (1949) by James William Parkes, p. 342
"We shall fight the War as if there was no White Paper, and the White Paper, as if there was no War."
As quoted in Pioneer (1968) by Deborah Dayan, p. 83

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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