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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before boarding his plane at Ben Gurion Airport to fly to Sharm el-Sheikh for peace talks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at Ben Gurion Airport, outside Tel Aviv, for his flight to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt for the second round of direct peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, September 14, 2010. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is hosting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Sinai resort town for peace talks. UPI/Debbie Hill
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David Ben-Gurion (help·info) (Hebrew: דָּוִד בֶּן-גּוּרִיּוֹן‎, born David Grün on 16 October 1886, died 1 December 1973) was the first Prime Minister of Israel and a Zionist leader. Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, culminated in his instrumental role in the founding of the state of Israel. After leading Israel to victory in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Ben-Gurion helped build the state institutions and oversaw the absorption of vast numbers of Jews from all over the world. Upon retiring from political life in 1970, he moved to Sde Boker, a kibbutz in the Negev desert, where he lived until his death. Posthumously, Ben-Gurion was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.

David Ben-Gurion was born in Płońsk, Congress Poland which was then part of the Russian Empire. His father, Avigdor Grün, was a lawyer and a leader in the Hovevei Zion movement. His mother, Scheindel, died when he was 11 years old.

Ben-Gurion grew up to be an ardent Zionist. As a student at the University of Warsaw, he joined the Marxist Poale Zion movement in 1904. He was arrested twice during the Russian Revolution of 1905. He immigrated to Ottoman Palestine in 1906, shocked by the pogroms and anti-Semitism of life in Eastern Europe, and became a major leader of Poale Zion with Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ben Gurion."