David Ben-Gurion on Eisenhower: "I Never Met a Better Friend of the Jews"

December 5, 1970

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David Ben-Gurion on Eisenhower: "I Never Met a Better Friend of the Jews"
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 189

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      Background

      Ben-Gurion begins by declaring that he owes more to his country than his country owes to him. The subject at hand, however, is Dwight D. Eisenhower: he is glad Pinkley is writing about him. He was a “lovely person,"  Ben-Gurion recalls, who wanted to help the Jews immediately after World War II, but was prevented from doing so by the British Foreign Office and the American State Department. He tells this story: 

      I told him that almost all Jewish refugees in Germany intend to settle in Israel (then it was still being called Palestine) and they need more education, more self-government, more Hebrew teachers, more Hebrew books, and I asked him to send every week an airplane to Israel to bring teachers and books. He agreed to everything. But when the first plane arrived the British administration could not prevent, but they immediately applied to the Foreign Office, and the Foreign Office to the State Department ordered Eisenhower to stop sending planes to Palestine.

      Ben-Gurion spoke with Eisenhower, again, when the latter was president, and concludes, “I never met a better friend of Jews.”


      Autograph Letter Signed ("D. Ben-Gurion"), in English, 2 pages, octavo, Sdeh-Boker, December 5, 1970. To Virgil Pinkley.
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      No. 34

      Sdeh-Boker, 5 .12. 1970

      Dear Mr. Virgil Pinkley,

      I owe to my country much more than my country owes to me, if one owes to me, if the [country] owes to me anything at all. I am glad that you are writing a book about General Eisenhower. He was a lovely person. I met him first in Germany immediat[e]ly after the second world war. I told him that almost all Jewish refugees in Germany intend to settle in Israel (then it was still being called Palestine) and they need more education, more self-government, more hebrew teachers, more hebrew books, and I asked him to send every week an airplane to Israel to bring teachers and books; He agreed to everything. But when the first Plane

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      No. 35

      arrived the British administration could not prevent, but they immediately applied to the Foreign Office, and th[e] Foreign Office to the State Department ordered Eisenhower to stop sending planes to Palestine...

      I had later a chance to talk with [him] when he was President. I never met a better friend of Jews. He was a lovely person.

      I learned from your letter a new English word, "fettle" and many thanks for it.

      Yours

      D. Ben-Gurion

      Mr Virgil Pinkley
      1717 South Chico str
      South El Mante
      California 91733
      usa.