The Alternative That Flickered
“My country has left me”
by Yaakov Sharett
Those Were the Years, Nissim Mishal, Yediot Aharonot
The year 1954 was Moshe Sharett’s only full year as Prime Minister. He served as
This brief term can be explained by the fact that Sharett was given the post temporarily after
Some believe that Ben-Gurion's resignation at the end of 1953 was designed to distance Sharett from the cabinet because he opposed heating up the borders with retaliation operations and warned against launching a pre-emptive war, or even talking about it - because talk just might start it. Indeed, when Ben-Gurion retired, he recommended that his party appoint Levi Eshkol, not Sharett, next Prime Minister. This move failed, but before leaving, Ben-Gurion managed to plant two booby traps for Sharett: He chose the extremist Pinhas Lavon as Defense Minister, and appointed the belligerent Moshe Dayan Chief of Staff.
Sharett did not have the slightest chance of overpowering the defense establishment. The IDF top brass ignored his authority and conducted an independent retaliation policy behind his back. Chief of Staff Dayan, who sought a war with
Being an intelligent man and a foreign minister who was sensitive to
Ben-Gurion did not agree. He did not consider the cease-fire lines of 1949 sacred. In his Independence Day speech in 1955, he declared: "Our future does not depend on what the gentiles say, but on what the Jews do."