Wednesday, May 24th | 28 Iyyar 5777

Close

Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

Subscribe
July 17, 2016 7:29 pm

Never-Before-Seen 48-Year-old Footage Released of Israel’s First Prime Minister Reminiscing in English About Jewish State, Saying, ‘It’s Only the Beginning’

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Email a copy of "Never-Before-Seen 48-Year-old Footage Released of Israel’s First Prime Minister Reminiscing in English About Jewish State, Saying, ‘It’s Only the Beginning’" to a friend
Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, in a 1968 interview with Yitzhak Clinton Bailey. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, in a 1968 interview with Yitzhak Clinton Bailey. Photo: Screenshot.

Interviews conducted nearly five decades ago with the late David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, were revealed on a Channel 10 talk show on Sunday.

The never-before-seen interviews were conducted in English by Dr. Yitzhak Clinton Bailey, an American-born ethnographer who lived near Ben-Gurion in Sde Boker, the Negev community founded by the Zionist leader.

In the snippets broadcast on Israel’s “The Morning Show with Orly and Guy,” Ben-Gurion talked about the early days of the state. Prodded to talk about his role in it, he said, “I didn’t guide Israel; I guided myself. I never guided Israel.”

Related coverage

May 24, 2017 2:54 pm
0

Church of Scotland’s Rejection of BDS and Criticism of Hamas Draws Cautious Welcome From Country’s Jews

Scottish Jews have cautiously welcomed the Church of Scotland's decision at its annual General Assembly to reject the BDS campaign...

When asked by Clinton Bailey whether he feared for his country, Ben-Gurion answered, “I always feared for it. Not only now. That state does not yet exist. It’s the beginning only.” It was 1968 at the time, two decades after the state’s establishment.

According to show hosts Orly Vilnai and Guy Meroz, who were interviewing Clinton Bailey about the old films, Ben-Gurion also talked about his belief in Buddhism alongside Judaism, though this was not among the clips they aired.

Instead, they moved on to show the “Old Man” (as he was known) — who gave the interviews to Clinton Bailey five years before his death in 1973 — engaging in manual labor and discussing why he wanted to build Sde Boker.

“The most important thing I learned, I learned by living here, living this life,” he said, while hoisting a ladder and moving it around a barn. He is then seen digging outside with a shovel, saying: “I wanted to live in a place where I know that my friends and myself… we did it, all of it… the trees here, I know that I planted them. The trees speak to me in another language. I know people can create life.”

The interviews were taped a few months after Ben-Gurion’s beloved wife, Paula, died. According to Channel 10, he expressed how sad he was, and how much he missed her.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Prof. Bailey in Jerusalem. He had just finished a trip to eastern Morocco and displayed a photo of a sign to Timbuktu 1000 whatevers away. He is a wonderful scholar.

    I had never heard before of his interviews with BG before. The man changed Jewish history and we are still building and will continue to build.

    In an otherwise gloomy moment in world events, this is sunshine.

  • Am Yisroel Chai

    Am Yisroel Chai

  • robert davis

    I would not say BG had no vision he must have had one to claim Jews’ sovereignty over Western Palestine but considering the number of arabs he wanted to stay in Israel his vision was very incomplete. On top of that instead of ploughing the earth in Sde Boker and saying childish things about the trees he planted he should have used his aura to persuade the government to expel arabs after 1967 Leftwing israelis have no idea of what politics are.

  • Dommy

    “I know people can create life.”

    What delusion.
    Only God can create life!
    That must’ve been his Buddhism coming out.

    • Jerry

      Is the name Dummy, or Dommy. Which is more appropriate?

  • Jack Tucker

    “It was 1968 at the time, a decade after the state’s establishment.”

    Just between us, Ruthie, Israel was independent in 1948, not 1958.
    So 1968 was two decades after.

  • 1968 was two decades after the establishment of the State of Israel, NOT a decade.

  • Yaakov

    I don’t see any quotations in which he mentioned “the Jewish state.”

Algemeiner.com