David Ben-Gurion Autograph Letter Signed, "David Ben-Gurion, Minister of Defense", one page, 6" x 8", The Government Center letterhead, March 29, 1955, to Yosef Efrati, Deputy Minister of Agriculture. Penned in Hebrew, in full, "Greetings, Prior to coming to Israel I read about the citrus plantations of Montefiore, and of Mikve-Yisrael and Petach-Tekva of Tempfer and Soloman; I envied them that they were privileged for something that no other Jew will merit - to be the first. When I arrived in Israel I realized that the first chapter did not end: au contraire, it almost did not begin - empty and desolate parcels of land are waiting to be redeemed by the new immigrants that are arriving. It is our obligation to increase the settlements in the Negev in order to strengthen our security." Brief letter written eight months prior to his return to government as Prime Minister of Israel. From 1948 to 1963 Ben-Gurion was instrumental in developing national institutions and projects, including Jewish settlements in Negev. In 1955 he initiated raids into Gaza in response to Palestinian guerrilla attacks, escalating tensions between Israel and Egypt that ultimately led to the 1956 Sinai War. When France and Britain joined with Israel against the Arabs, hostilities were eventually brought to a close with the intervention by the United States and the United Nations. Tape repair along quarter fold on verso, two punch holes right margin, fine condition.

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    June, 2008
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