The State of Israel will prove itself not by material wealth, not by military might or technical achievement, but by its moral character and human values.— David Ben-Gurion
The most delicious David Ben-Gurion quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
The present map of Palestine was drawn by the British mandate.
The Jewish people have another map which our youth and adults should strive to fulfill: from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Let me first tell you one thing: It doesn't matter what the world says about Israel; it doesn't matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. And unless we show the Arabs that there is a high price to pay for murdering Jews, we won't survive.
Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves .
.. politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.
We regard it as our duty to declare that Jewish Jerusalem is an organic and inseparable part of the State of Israel, as it is an inseparable part of the history of Israel, of the faith of Israel.
It's not enough to be up to date, you have to be up to tomorrow.
Since I invoke Torah so often, let me state that I don't personally believe in the God it postulates ... I am not religious, nor were the majority of the early builders of Israel believers. Yet their passion for this land stemmed from the Book of Books ... [The Bible is] the single most important book in my life.
No city in the world, not even Athens or Rome, ever played as great a role in the life of a nation for so long a time, as Jerusalem has done in the life of the Jewish people.
Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs.
We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinians] never do return.
The old will die and the young will forget,
A Christian state should be established [in Lebanon], with its southern border on the Litani river. We will make an alliance with it. When we smash the Arab Legion's strength and bomb Amman, we will eliminate Transjordan too, and then Syria will fall. If Egypt still dares to fight on, we shall bomb Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo.
Ours is a country built more on people than on territory.
The Jews will come from everywhere: from France, from Russia, from America, from Yemen... Their faith is their passport.
Suffering makes a people greater, and we have suffered much.
We had a message to give the world, but we were overwhelmed, and the message was cut off in the middle. In time there will be millions of us - becoming stronger and stronger - and we will complete the message.
If the antisemites want to hate, let them hate, and let them go to hell.
We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places.
We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland
Referring to Palestinian refugees: "We must do everything in our power to ensure that they never return.
Israel has created a new image of the Jew in the world - the image of a working and an intellectual people, of a people that can fight with heroism.
The Arabs of the land of Israel [ Palestinians] have only one functionleft to them -- to run away.
Anyone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.
Courage is... the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared.
The most dangerous enemy to Israel's security is the intellectual inertia of those who are responsible for security.
The acceptance of partition does not commit us to renounce Transjordan: one does not demand from anybody to give up his vision. We shall accept a state in the boundaries fixed today, but the boundaries of Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external factor will be able to limit them.
The great Jewish scientists and philosophers of the last few generations - Spinoza, Einstein, Freud, Robert Oppenheimer and others - were natives of Europe and America.
It's not a matter of maintaining the status quo.
We have to create a dynamic state, oriented towards expansion.
In the midst of wanton aggression, we still call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to return to the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, with full and equal citizenship and due representation in its bodies and institutions - provisional or permanent.
The assets of the Jewish National Home must be created exclusively through our own work, for only the product of the Hebrew labor can serve as the national estate.
We offer peace and neighborliness to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Hebrew nation for the common good of all.
Which are you first, a Jew or an American? A Jew.
When a Jew, in America or in South Africa, talks to his Jewish companions about 'our' government, he means the government of Israel.
We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return
To be realistic, you have to believe in miracles.
Terrorism benefits the Arabs, it may lay waste the Yishuv and shake Zionism.
But to follow in the Arabs' footsteps and ape their deeds is to be blind to the gulf between us. Our aims and theirs run counter: methods calculated to further theirs, are ruinous to us.
We don't consider manual work as a curse, or a bitter necessity, not even as a means of making a living. We consider it as a high human function, as the basis of human life, the most dignified thing in the life of the human being, and which ought to be free, creative. Men ought to be proud of it.
Anyone who believes you can't change history has never tried to write his memoirs.
Not the absorption capacity of the land, but the creative ability of a people, is the true yardstick with which we can measure the immigration potentialities of the land.
If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.
The old will die and the young will forget.
We will make a great and awful mistake if we fail to settle Hebron, neighbor and predecessor of Jerusalem, with a large Jewish settlement, constantly growing and expanding, very soon. This will also be a blessing to the Arab neighbors. Hebron is worthy to be Jerusalem's sister.
We must assist the British in the war as if there were no White Paper and we must resist the White Paper as if there were no war.
We do not recognize the right of the Palestinian Arabs to rule the country, since Palestine is still undeveloped and awaits its builders.
It is only in Hebrew that you feel the full meaning of it -- all the associations which a different word has.
In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.
After eighty, there are no enemies, only survivors.
In the land of Israel was born the Jewish nation.
There came an order to kill the religious and social spirit of the people. . . . And after the nation turned back to its land with strength, it protected it steadfastly. . . .
Israel will not discuss a peace involving the concession of any piece of territory. The neighboring states do not deserve an inch of Israel's land. . . . We are ready for exchange for peace.
Under no circumstances must we touch land belonging to fellahs or worked by them. Only if a fellah leaves his place of settlement, should we offer to buy his land, at an appropriate price.
We should prepare to go over to the offensive.
Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai.
We have preserved the Book, and the Book has preserved us.
Everybody sees a difficulty in the question of relations between Arabs and Jews.
But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question. No solution! There is a gulf, and nothing can bridge it... We, as a nation, want this country to be ours; the Arabs, as a nation, want this country to be theirs.