David Ben-Gurion

Ben-Gurion defends the sovereignty of the Knesset while embroiled in the Lavon Affair

Typed Letter Signed, "D. Ben-Gurion," in Hebrew, 1p, 6.5" x 7", March 8, 1961, addressed to Ephraim Tzoref. Folds, punch holes for filing, tape at upper margin and tape residue, all in blank areas on recto. Very good condition with a bold Ben-Gurion signature over four inches in length.

The letter translates as follows: "I understand your distress but no need to exaggerate. The 'bad spirits' which overtook the public following organized gossip - will pass. / There was no need for early elections but the Knesset is sovereign and we have to accept its decisions with love. The people will decide."

The resurgence of the Lavon Affair in 1960, was brought about by the trial of Avri Elad, who was accused of being an Egyptian double agent in what was called the 'Lavon Affair' or 'Regrettable Affair'. Lavon, originally accused of giving the order for a poorly conceived covert operation in Egypt that resulted in the capture, torture and death of several Israeli agents and greatly embarrassed the State of Israel, was acquitted by a Commission of Seven in December 1960. Lavon insisted Ben-Gurion absolve Elad of all suspicion. Ben-Gurion refused to do so, and insisted Lavon (who had been Defense Minister at the time of the covert operation) be removed from his post as Secretary General of the Histadrut. According to the Knesset Government website, "A no-confidence motion on this matter was rejected in January 1961, but growing criticism of Ben-Gurion from coalition member parties...led to his resignation. His attempt to form a new government failed, and Mapai's refusal to present a different candidate for the post brought forward the elections. The Knesset approved its dispersal on March 13th 1961. Elections were held five months later... [This] Fifth Knesset officiated for a little more than four years, during which three governments were formed - the 10th through 12th Governments. The Tenth Government was the last government headed by David Ben-Gurion, who...resigned for the final time...feeling he had lost the trust of his fellow friends in the matter of the 'Lavon Affair.' (http://knesset.gov.il/review/ReviewPage.aspx?lng=3&KNS=5)

Item: 55045

Price: $1,250.00
David Ben-GurionDavid Ben-GurionDavid Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
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