Saturday, July 2, 2011

Heroes of Israel

A series of prints of original pen & ink drawings created by Norb Eglash to commemorate the great men & women who have courageously served Israel. You can buy the drawings on this website: Heroes of Israel

Moshe Dayan: 1915-1981. Joined the Haganah, Israel's underground forces, in 1939 and rose to command the Israeli forces in Jerusalem in the War of Independence. His rise in the army was meteoric: in 1950-51 he was head of the Southern Command and in 1952-53, Chief of Operations. In 1953-58 Dayan was appointed IDF Chief of Staff and revitalized the forces. He was elected to the Knesset in 1959 and served till 1981; appointments also included Minister of Agriculture, Defense and Foreign Minister. Dayan will forever be remembered wearing a black patch over his left eye as a result of a sniper wound incurred in 1941 during fighting for the British in World War II.

Ariel (Arik) Sharon: 1928- . Elected as Prime Minister in 2001. Commander of several IDF units in 1948 & succeeding wars. Best known as founder & leader of "101", special IDF commando unit in 1953 & "Hero of Israel's 6 Day War" in 1967. Elected to the Knesset in 1973 & served in various appointed ministries.

Joseph Trumpeldor: 1880-1920. Born in Russia, Trumpeldor heroically fought in the Russo-Japanese War (losing his left arm in an attack) and became the most decorated Jewish soldier in Russian history. In 1912 he made Aliyah to Palestine. With the outbreak of World War I he joined the British forces and helped in the founding of the renown Zion Mule Corps in 1915. He helped defend Tel Chai and was killed with 7 other fighters on March 1, 1920. His famous reputed last words: "Never mind, it is good to die for our country."

Ilan Ramon: 1954 - 2003. Col. Ramon was selected as the first Israeli astronaut by NASA in 1997. He served in the Israel Air Force (IAF) from 1972-1998, receiving special honors in the Yom Kippur War (1973), Operation Peace for Galilee (1982) & for F-16 1,000 Flight Hours (1992). In 1981 Ramon was one of eight Israeli F-16 pilots who obliterated the Osiraq nuclear reactor in Baghdad. On February 1, 2003 Ramon, along with seven astronauts on the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) broke apart during reentry into the atmoshere over Texas. He posthumously was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor (the only foreign pilot so honored).

Ze'ev Jabotinsky: 1880-1940. Founder & head of Revisionist Movement of Zionism. In 1915 he & Josef Trumpeldor created a Jewish army that fought with the Allies against the Turks.. In the mid 1930s & later he advocated that Jews from east Europe evacuate their homes & immigrate to Palestine understanding European Jewry was on the eve of destruction.

Menachem Begin: 1913-1992. Served as Commander-in-Chief of the Irgun (underground forces) leading to & during Israel's War of Independence (1947-48). Selected as Sixth Prime Minister, 1977-83. Prior he had led the political opposition in the Knesset (Parliament) for 29 years. In 1979 he signed the historic peace agreement with Egypt... the first with any Arab country.

Theodor Herzl: 1860 - 1904. Founder of political Zionism, playwright & journalist. In 1897 he organized the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, as well as establishing the World Zionist Organization. He wrote in his diary: "At Basel I established the Jewish State." 50 years later his forecast became a reality.

David Ben-Gurion: 1886-1973. First & third Prime Minister, 1948-53 & 1955-63, responsible for the fateful decision about establishment of the State of Israel. He led the State during the War of Independence & the first difficult years of mass immigration & austerity.

Chaim Weitzmann: 1874-1952. First President of Israel, 1948-52. Prior to selection he was one of the leading personalities in the Zionist Movement. The Balfour Declaration issued in 1917 by Great Britain on the establishment of a Jewish national home was largely due to his persistent work. He served as President of Hebrew University, founded the Weitzmann Institute & served as President of the World Zionist Organization.

Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995. Fifth Prime Minister, 1974-77 & 1992-95, earlier served as Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) & Ambassador to the U.S. Additionally, served as Minister of Defense in the governments of Peres & Shamir from 1984-90. On November 4, 1995, soon after signing a peace agreement with Yasser Arafat, he was assassinated at a mass peace rally in Tel Aviv.

Golda Meir: 1898-1978. Fourth Prime Minister, 1969-74 & the only woman to occupy this high office; appointed following the death of Levi Eshkol. She was Prime Minister during the Yom Kippur War, but was forced to resign following severe public criticism on the conduct of the war.

Shimon Peres: 1923- . Eighth Prime Minister, serving two abbreviated terms, 1984-86 & 1995-96. He is one of the oldest & most senior Israeli Labor (left-wing) politicians with an international reputation. In 1992 he served as Foreign Minister in the Rabin government & following the latter's assassination replaced him as Prime Minister until defeated in elections of 1996. Selected as 9th President of Israel in 2007.

Yizhak Shamir: 1915- . Seventh Prime Minister, elected following resignation of Begin. Served two terms, 1983-84 & 1986-92. Served as Foreign Minister & was active in the Israeli underground forces, Irgun & Stern Gang, prior to statehood.

Rabbi Avraham Isaac Hacohen Kook: 1865-1935. Elected in 1921 as First Ashkenazic ( of European derivation) Chief Rabbi of Palestine (Israel). Founded the Merkaz ha-Rav, a Jerusalem Yeshiva (school) whose students not only study but serve in the IDF & are active in pioneer settlements & education of youth.

Henrietta Szold: 1860-1945. Born in Baltimore, MD, active as an educator, author, social worker & founder of Hadassah in 1914. Hadassah became & is the largest international Jewish women's organization.

Moshe Sharrett: 1894-1965. Served as the second Prime Minister in 1954, succeeding Ben-Gurion when the latter resigned. Appointed Israel's first Foreign Minister in 1948 & again in 1955 when Ben-Gurion resumed the premiership. His central achievement was the development of methods & machinery of Zionist & Israeli diplomacy.

Teddy Kollek. 1911- 2007. Mayor of Jerusalem from 1965-93. Much of the face of modern Jerusalem is due to his efforts in developing its economy, culture, social life & according its proper reputation as a vibrant capital of Israel. In 1988 Kollek was awarded the Israel Prize for his special contributions to the State.

Chaim Herzog: 1918-1996. Sixth President, 1983-93. Earlier served as General in IDF, Member of Knesset & Israel's Delegate to the UN. In World War II he was Director of British Intelligence in Germany. In this capacity he identified a captured soldier as Nazi leader, Heinrich Himmler.

Levi Eshkol: 1895-1969. Third Prime Minister, 1963-69. He played key role in development of the Haganah, elected to the Knesset in 1951 & became Minister of Finance in 1952, being largely responsible for development of the crucial water carrier. He was successful in improving Israel's relations with the U.S., West Germany & Soviet Union.

Abba Eban: 1915-2002. Great orator, statesman, diplomat, first Ambassador at UN in 1948 & Foreign Minister from 1966-74. In 2001 he was awarded the Israel Prize for his lifetime achievements on behalf of Israel.

Ezer Weizman: 1914-2005. Seventh President, 1993-2000. Served in the British Royal Air Force (RAF) during WWII & was one of the founding officers & pilots of the Israel Air Force (IAF) in 1948. In 1958 he was appointed Commander of the IAF, serving 8 years, during which he laid the foundation for the modern air force. In 1977 he served as Minister of Defense in the Begin cabinet.

Yitzhak Ben Zvi: 1884-1963. Second President, 1952-63. Ben Zvi was one of the most prominent figures of the early pre-state self-defense organization. He was one of the leading activists in the Mapai Labor movement & a long-standing political partner of Ben-Gurion.

Yigael Yadin: 1917-1984. He joined the Haganah in 1933, becoming its operations officer & implementing & devising strategies used in Israel's War of Independence. He retired from the IDF in 1952 & devoted his life to archeological research & antiquities, teaching & publishing prolifically. He was awarded the Israel Prize in Jewish Studies in 1956.

Yigal Allon: 1918-1980. His activities in the Haganah began in the Arab riots of 1936-39. In 1941 he was among the founders of the Palmach (crack commando unit of Haganah) & became its commander in 1945. During Israel's War of Independence he commanded decisive operations & the southern front. Included among ministries he served were Labor, Defense, Education & Culture, Foreign Minister & Deputy Prime Minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu: 1949- . Israel's ninth Prime Minister, 1996-99; selected as Israel's thirteenth Prime Minister, 2009-. Served in elite commando unit from 1967-72, engaging in anti-terrorism & special missions. Appointed Israel's Ambassador to the UN in 1984 & Deputy Foreign Minister in 1988. One of his primary themes throughout his public career is the fight against terrorism. Who can forget his appearances on TV, depicting Israel's plight & smallness in area (vs. surrounding Arab countries) during the Gulf War.

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