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Pioneers Of Israel

Pioneers Of Israel

Pioneers Of Israel


This t-shirt is a tribute to seven great leaders in Israeli history. Here are their stories:

Theodore Herzl
, the “Father of Modern Zionism” began arguing for the establishment of a Jewish state as early as 1896. As a great visionary, Herzl declared at the First Zionist Congress in 1897 that “In Basle I founded the Jewish state... Maybe in five years, certainly in fifty, everyone will realize it.” Exactly 50 years later, the United Nations voted for the establishment of a Jewish nation.

Chaim Weizmann’s
vital scientific assistance to the Allied forces in World War I brought him close to British leadership and enabled him to play a key role in issuing the Balfour Declaration in 1917. In the agreement, Britain committed itself to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. Weizmann subsequently became the first president of the State of Israel.

David Ben-Gurion was the undisputed leader of the Zionists, forging the way to Israel’s establishment. In 1948 he became Israel’s first prime minister. He first retired from political life in 1953, but was repeatedly called upon to lead the nation in difficult times. Many Israelis felt that only the “old man” as he was affectionately known, could save Israel.

Moshe Dayan, The fourth Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces(1953–1958), he became a fighting symbol to the world of the new State of Israel. He went on to become Defense Minister and later Foreign Minister of Israel.

Golda Meir is best known as the first female prime minister of Israel. She was a long-time leader of the Zionist movement after making aliyah from America in 1921. In 1956, she was named foreign minister and later became the first Israeli Ambassador to the Soviet Union. She was so popular amongst Soviet Jews that thousands of people came to see her arrival.

Menachem Begin first gained notoriety as the head of the Zionist underground group, the Irgun. Upon the founding of Israel, he formed the Herut Party which became the main opposition party in Israeli politics for almost 30 years until his stunning victory in the 1977 elections. As prime minister, Begin signed a peace accord with Egypt for which he earned the Nobel Peace Prize.

Yitzhak Rabin is Israel’s most prominent general turned prime minister. During the 1948 War of Independence, Rabin played a vital role in the nascent IDF. He later became IDF Chief of Staff where he oversaw the stunning victory over invading Arab armies in 1967. He was first elected prime minister in 1974 and again in 1992 during which he signed the Oslo Accords. Rabin also oversaw the signing of the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace in 1994. He was assassinated by an Israeli Jew in November 1996.