Description

    Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion accepts Moshe Dayan's resignation from the IDF

    David Ben-Gurion Typed Letter Signed as Prime Minister to Moshe Dayan. Four one-sided pages, 8.5" x 11", typed in Hebrew on Prime Minister's letterhead, Jerusalem, January 27, 1958. Moshe Dayan was an important Israeli military leader and politician who served as a fighting symbol to the world for the new state of Israel He served variously as chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, defense minister, foreign minister, and minister of agriculture. In late 1957, Dayan requested that he be released from his position as chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces. After a great deal of consideration, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion sent this personal letter to Dayan, revealing his deep appreciation and admiration for his friend and compatriot.

    It reads in part: "Dear Moshe, During the last months I thought over and hesitated if I should accept your request to release you from your duty as the commander in chief of the IDF. Although you extended in this difficult and responsible job more than your three antecedents, but not because of tiredness you ask to be released. I know that your strength today is no less than it was in the day of your appointment to be commander in chief, before more than 4 years ago, although in this four years many hard and crushing assignments were imposed on you - dangers that didn't fall in the hands of IDF commanders since the end of the independence war in the beginning of 1949. After comprehensive inquiries that I have made with senior army commanders, I acceded at last to your request, and the government approved my decision, also not without hesitations, because I felt moral obligation, obligation that I believe all of the country obliged you, to respect your wish and allow you 2 years study in the Hebrew university in Jerusalem. The decision making was made easier after you expressed your wish to stay in the army as a major-general."

    Ben-Gurion goes on to describe in detail all the stages of Dayan's life: he writes about Dayan's upbringing, noting that Dayan's parents helped to establish his deep love for Israel and his powerful faith in the freedom of the Jewish people and their strength. He describes the role of Dayan in the "Hagana," his relationship with Orde Wingate, his capture by the British Mandate and the time he did in jail, his service in the "Palmach," his injuries, and his outstanding service in the IDF. Through each stage of Dayan's life, Ben-Gurion praises Dayan's courage, broad political and strategic vision, his unusual military abilities and remarkable results.

    The Prime Minister finishes his letter with the following kind thoughts: "I am sure that you will keep on serving your people and your homeland and their safety in your best power in the future as well, and that you will succeed in all of your doings the way you did until this day."

    Dayan would go on to fulfill Ben-Gurion's prediction. A year after retiring from the IDF, Dayan joined Mapai, the leftist party in Israeli politics, then led by David Ben-Gurion, while also serving as the Minister of Agriculture. Dayan then joined with the group of Ben-Gurion loyalists who defected from Mapai in 1965 to form Rafi. The new Prime Minister Levi Eshkol disliked Dayan, but recognized Dayan's political value to him and appointed the charismatic and popular military leader minister of defense in order to raise public morale and widen his government's support by establishing a unity government. This remarkable letter is in fine condition, with minor overall age toning and a few light creases; small tear at upper left corner. An outstanding letter of major military and political importance!


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
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