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Lot #190
David Ben-Gurion

"We must prepare for war"

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Estimate: $400+
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"We must prepare for war"

TLS in Hebrew as Minister of Defense, one page, 5.75 x 7.75, July 11, 1955. Letter to Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett, in full (translated): "We must prepare for war and to strengthen the ability of the repatriants and repatriant communities. We must now devote our best efforts to and focus our abilities on preparing for the fight. There is no doubt that if a war breaks out with Egypt who is the greatest Arab power—the repatriant communities will be at the forefront of fighting, and if we fail to train them to be capable to withstand the fighting, the repatriant communities are bound to suffer a great catastrophe the implications of which may be unfathomable. I would ask you to raise this issue for discussion at the next government meeting." In fine condition, with two file holes.

On February 25, 1955, Arab infiltrators murdered an Israeli civilian in the town of Rehovot. When one of the militants killed during the raid was found to be in possession of documents linking him to Egyptian military intelligence, Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion and Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan demanded a harsh retaliation. Three days later, Operation Black Arrow commenced with a force of 150 paratroops that attacked an Egyptian base near the city of Gaza, killing nearly 40 Egyptian soldiers. In response, President Gamal Abdel Nasser closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping and air traffic and increased support for Palestinian fedayeen raids, which invited even harsher Israeli retaliatory raids such as Operation Elkayam (72 dead) and Operation Volcano (81 dead, 55 captured). Tensions between Egypt and Israel ultimately led to Israel taking part in the invasion of the Sinai Peninsula and Suez Canal alongside the United Kingdom and France.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #589 - Ended August 12, 2020

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