Zionism - Israeli Flag

Zionism and Israel - Biographies

Biography - Levi Eshkol

Biography - Levi Eshkol

Levi Eshkol (1895-1969), was Prime Minister of Israel in the 6-Day war. Eshkol was born in 1895 in the Ukrainian village of Oratovo (near Kiev). He had a traditional Jewish upbringing and education which continued when he entered a Hebrew high school in Vilna at the age of 16 and joined the Zionist group, "Tzeirei Tzion" (Youth of Zion). In 1914, at the age of 19, he came to Palestine, then still a part of the Ottoman Empire, where he worked as an agricultural laborer and political activist.

During World War I, he volunteered for the Jewish Legion of the British Army, and joined the group which founded the settlement of Degania Beth.

Photo - Levi Eshkol

zionism dictionary

Eshkol later worked in the Histadrut Labor Federation's Agricultural Center. He participated in the establishment of "Mekorot," Israel's water utility, in 1937, and served as its chief executive until 1951.

In 1940, he became a member of the Haganah, and in 1947 he organized the recruiting drive for what became the Israel Defense Forces. With the establishment of the State he became the first Director­General of the Ministry of Defense, in effect the supplier of the material which kept the Israeli army in the field. He also became the head of the World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency's Settlement Department in 1948.

In 1951 Eshkol was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Development and from 1952 until 1963 he served as Minister of Finance. He remained Chairman of the WZO/JAFI Settlement Department until 1963. Eshkol is largely responsible for obtaining funds to develop the country, absorb massive immigration waves and equip the army.

In June 1963, Eshkol assumed the post of Prime Minister. His careful preparation and able administration were probably responsible in large part for the success of Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, but at the time, Eshkol was perceived as weak.  When Egypt and Syria precipitated the crisis, Eshkol appeared to hesitate and he stuttered while speaking on the radio. Pressure grew to take on Moshe Dayan as Defense Minister and establish Government of National Unity. Eshkol complied, relinquishing the Defense portfolio to Moshe Dayan and bringing Menachem Begin of Herut into the cabinet. Dayan got a great deal of credit for the 6 day war, though in fact he had not been in charge of defense arrangements in the preceding period.

Eshkol found other sources of military supplies for the Israeli armed forces, particularly in the United States, after France began its military boycott of the Jewish state before the 1967 war. The war itself was a vindication of his efforts at the Ministry of Defense to provide the IDF with the best equipment available. In just six days, Israel succeeded in conquering the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights, as well as the Sinai peninsula. Following the war, Eshkol oversaw the re-unification of Jerusalem, the fresh wave of immigration and the huge economic boom.

Levi Eshkol died in office on February 26, 1969 of a heart attack.

Adapted from: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/eshkol.html

More Israeli and Zionist Biographies The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

External Zionism Links

This site provides resources about Zionism and Israeli history, including links to source documents. We are not responsible for the information content of these sites. These links are NOT intended to be an exhaustive reference about Zionism, but the list will keep growing...

Please tell us about your favorite links and we will review them for inclusion.

Please do copy these links to your Web site and tell your friends about  http://www.zionism-israel.com Zionism and Israel Information Center

 Thank you.

Please link to us and to  our Sister Web sites -    http://zionism.netfirms.com Zionism Pages  and Zionism and Israel On the Web

Wikipedia article about Zionism - A comprehensive article including the history of Zionism  as well as links to specific topics and articles about anti-Zionism.

Zionism - Table of contents at the Jewish Virtual Library

Zionism article at Infoplease

Zionism - Definition and Brief History - A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish anti-Zionists.

Labor Zionism - Early History and Critique - Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

The US Library of congress has a comprehensive and balanced set of articles about Zionism:

Zionist Precursors - US Library of Congress

Political Zionism - US Library of Congress

Cultural Zionism - US Library of Congress

Labor Zionism - US Library of Congress

Revisionist Zionism - US Library of Congress

Jewish Agency Zionism pages - Links to basic information about Zionism from the Jewish Agency

Ambassador Herzog explains Zionism in the UN

Advocacy

Dvar Dea - Israel Advocacy

Israel-Palestina - (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... Israël-Palestina Informatie -gids Israël, Zionisme, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective - Dutch and English.

 

ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log    Zionism & Israel News  Israel: like this, as if Albert Einstein Bible History of Zionism Zionism FAQ Zionism Israel Center Maps of Israel Jew Israel Advocacy Zionism and its Impact Israel Christian Zionism Site Map