A Journey to Israeli Socialism

The story of German Mexican anarchist Augustín Souchy’s experiences in Israel in the early 1950s: an outsider's journey through kibbutzim, moshavim and the working-class city of Holon

A farmer plowing the fields of Kvutzat Yavne, 1947. The Meitar Collection, the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection, the National Library of Israel

By Nitai Shinan

The German Mexican anarchist Augustín Souchy Bauer was born in 1892 in Hanover. He remained in that city until 1917, when he fled to Sweden to avoid being drafted into the German army, which was busy fighting World War I. After several years spent in Nordic countries he returned to Germany, where he stayed until the Nazis rose to power in 1933. While in Germany, he was active in the Anarchist federation and served as the editor of its newspaper. In 1936, with the outbreak of civil war, he went to Spain to participate in the defense of the republic against the nationalist military coup. While there, he served as the head of the foreign language information office in the anarchist trade union, the CNT. Like many other republicans, after the fall of the republic, he immigrated to Mexico and stayed there until 1961, when he then returned to West Germany. He remained an anarchist activist there for the rest of his life, until his eventual death in 1984.

During his time in Spain, Augustín Souchy closely followed the process of collectivization and the establishment of cooperative agricultural communes, mainly in the provinces of Aragon and Catalonia. His interest in this attempt, which was stopped in its tracks by Francisco Franco’s rise to power as a result of the nationalist victory, also brought him to the State of Israel in the fall of 1952. His objective was to closely examine the new forms of settlement, especially the cooperative moshavim and kibbutzim, in order to learn about how they differed from and how they were similar to what was happening in Spain.

Once back in Mexico, he reported about his experiences in an essay that he called El nuevo Israel, in which he tried to give his readers an appreciation of the character and successes of the collective institutions of the young State of Israel. The second edition of the essay, almost unchanged from the original, was published in 1958 in Buenos Aires and can be found at the National Library of Israel.

It seems that the author was properly prepared for this journey, and therefore, while reporting on a lecture he delivered in German in Tel Aviv, during which he compared the cooperative settlements and communities in Israel with those founded in Spain, he mentioned Abba Ahimeir’s negative impression of the kibbutzim. Ahimeir claimed that the money needed to settle a single person on a kibbutz was enough to cover the cost of settling ten immigrant families elsewhere in the country.

Armed with his incredible ability to express himself in almost every major European language, as well as a bit of Hebrew, the author was able to establish connections with many people from all the diverse facets of Israeli society. Unlike other visitors from Latin America who visited Israel in the early 1950s and were generally accompanied by personnel from the Foreign Ministry’s Latin America Department or other public institutions, Augustín Souchy traveled on his own. He even used public transportation, just like a local would. Once he even hitched a ride in a military jeep on his way from Nahalal to Nazareth. This flexibility enabled him to speak with all types of characters, an opportunity rarely given to members of official delegations hosted by the authorities. For example, on a bus from Shavei Tzion to Haifa, he heard a young Jewish Spanish-speaking immigrant from Turkey lament the difficulties of life in the ma’abarot (immigrant and refugee absorption camps) and the unfair way apartments were granted to new immigrants based on personal contacts. In response, the author defended the state and pointed out to this young woman that the housing problem was a global issue and that the State of Israel couldn’t build enough homes to quickly house all the new immigrants who came.

At the Histadrut (Israel’s national trade union) branch in Nazareth and the co-op store in the Afula area, Souchy heard serious complaints from Arab Israelis about the military regime, about the discrimination they faced, and about their restricted movement and land confiscations. The author, who understood that Jewish-Arab relations were a problem in the young country, spoke with A. Baron, secretary of the Ichud (Unity) Association, which supported bi-nationalism and Jewish-Arab rapprochement and was founded even before the establishment of the state by Yehuda Leib Magnes. At the time, the association published a small monthly magazine called Ner which covered public affairs and Jewish-Arab rapprochement. Souchy also spoke with Elias Kossa, a lawyer and leader of the Arab community in Haifa who represented their interests in the Israeli courts. Elias Kossa also complained about the discrimination suffered by Arab Israelis, using data that had already been published in Ner magazine which showed how the food rations allocated for Arabs were smaller than what was allocated for the Jews during the austerity period. It was clear that the political plan Elias Kossa proposed, which included the return of the expropriated lands and the return of Arab refugees to their lands, was unacceptable to the Israeli government. It seems that in conversations with Israeli Arabs, the author was reserved and contented himself with critically listening to them while trying to understand how it was possible for the State of Israel to act this way while being committed to equal rights for all its citizens. He sometimes wondered whether economic and scientific shortcomings of Arab agricultural workers might be the factor responsible for the gaps between the Jewish and Arab farmers.

Tel Aviv – a photo from the book

After accepting the suggestion of the secretary of the Histadrut information office, Stella Rabinowitz, that he should visit a religious kibbutz, Souchy found himself in Kvutzat Yavne. The author prepared himself for the possibility that he’d find “a more or less primitive tribe from Asia Minor” there and wondered how he’d be able to communicate with them, if at all. To his surprise, he was able to converse with the locals his in own mother tongue; after all, Kvutzat Yavne had been founded by German immigrants in 1931. Their conversations mostly involved questions related to the organization of the kibbutz, its economy, and the communal lifestyle. It seems the only way the kibbutz’s religious nature became evident during his visit was when he was asked to wear a kippa (yarmulke) while in the dining room. During dinner, he observed a debate between a young pioneer who had only recently arrived from Switzerland who “supported Karl Marx’s economic theory despite his religious beliefs” and the secretary of the kibbutz, Eliyahu Buchaster, who preferred the theories of the Jewish social anarchist Gustav Landauer. The latter may have preferred those theories because of Landauer’s recommendation to establish agricultural settlements where the work would be done communally. Landauer could indeed be considered one of the intellectual forefathers of the kibbutz movement. Such a debate could have easily taken place in a secular kibbutz as well.

Youth working in the kibbutzim – from the book

Souchy also had a long conversation with Rachel Adler, a member of the community, in order to fully understand the value of women in the kibbutzim. Opponents of the collective lifestyle came out against the status enjoyed by kibbutz women because, “when speaking about the kibbutzim outside of Israel[…] it is impossible to avoid hearing the opinion that life in the kibbutz contributes to the destruction of the family institution. There are opponents of the collective settlements who make fun of these lifestyles and speak maliciously of the ‘collectivization of women’.” Mrs. Adler responded that the opposite was true, and that the kibbutz afforded women the best life possible, as well as plenty of spare time. Unlike women in the city or on a private farm who needed to work outside the home but also maintain their households and take care of the children – which effectively meant working 12 or even 14 hours a day – women on a kibbutz didn’t need to take on such a burden because the farm work and childcare were handled jointly by the collective. Indeed, Souchy noted that despite the unique arrangements for family accommodation on a kibbutz, with children sleeping in a children’s home, parents could visit their children and be there to put them to sleep whenever they wanted.

Youth working in the kibbutzim – from the book

However, despite all the kibbutz’s economic and social successes, not all members were optimistic about the future of the collective lifestyle. Baruch Kahane, the manager of the kibbutz factory, noted that he and other members of the founding generation had been imbued with the cooperative ideology and believed that they were “the successors of the Essenes, the group from the time of the ancient Hebrews who completely practiced collective property. The members of this group lived in an admirable manner; they loathed war, condemned commerce and disparaged the treasures of the world.” However, that wasn’t how the more recent immigrants behaved; they didn’t “have the same idealism” that the founders had, and therefore the kibbutzim and other collective communities couldn’t gain new strength from the immigration waves of the early 1950s, according to Kahane.

Dr. Rosenstein, a dentist and member of Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, wasn’t any more optimistic than Baruch Kahane regarding the future of kibbutz settlement. But in his opinion, the fault wasn’t with the immigrants but rather with the members of the younger generation, even those from the kibbutzim. This was because he felt that the youth didn’t share the values ​​of sacrifice, the idea of being content with little, which characterized the founders of the kibbutzim. The youth weren’t enthusiastic about “living so close to each other. Many of them don’t always want to eat in the communal dining room. They don’t like the idea of a meal that, while healthy and nutritious, doesn’t take into account everyone’s personal taste.” It seems that city life, where people could freely go to the cinema or a dance club, seemed much more attractive to them.

Kvutzat Yavne – from the book

It turns out that ideological questions also threatened the cooperative lifestyle. The author visited Kibbutz Givat HaShlosha, whose members were in the midst of a severe internal conflict. The conflict related to Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union, with whom the supporters of the Mapam party sympathized, but whom the Mapai party supporters objected to. A shoemaker from the kibbutz, a Mapai supporter, told Souchy with quite a hint of irony: “In our kibbutz, there are supporters of the ruling party [Mapai] and the opposition party [Mapam]. The more or less pro-Soviet Mapam members are in the majority, and among them are schoolteachers who’ve introduced Soviet doctrine into their lessons… They said that Stalin was the greatest person alive, second only to God. In these discussions, the differences of opinion were so fundamental that it wasn’t possible to reach a compromise.” To the author’s question of whether, for the sake of the union, it might be possible to provide each school of thought with its own teachers, and thus perhaps establish two schools, the shoemaker replied that it was already too late for that. The kibbutz soon split and the Mapai supporters established a new kibbutz called Einat.

Dr. Manfred Scheuer, chairman of Moshav Shavei Tzion, was more optimistic about the prospect of the cooperative lifestyle and was even hopeful that new people would join his community. When Souchy asked him how the success of the moshav related to issues of capitalism and socialism, Manfred replied, “We do not deal with theories… we are practical people. For us, experience is the only thing that can teach us. We trust our sense of logic and the use of honesty and respect in carrying out the work. These are the principles we followed when we built our group.” It seems that Souchy felt more comfortable in the kibbutzim where he could more easily engage in “theories” than in Moshav Shavei Tzion.

Givat Brenner – from the book

The author was also impressed by the socialist character of the Kiryat Avoda neighborhood in central Holon, where restrictions on private ownership were put in place. During his tour, he asked his host, the secretary of the Kiryat Avoda cooperative association, “Where have the shops, cinemas and synagogues gone?” The secretary answered, “We don’t need any of them. We have a small synagogue that serves a small part of the population. The majority here doesn’t think that religion needs to stand out… As for private shops, we think that they’re unnecessary. We have the cooperative store, where we can buy better and cheaper goods.” Souchy was very moved by this answer, and for a moment it seemed to him that in the Israeli city of Holon, the dream of doing away with private commerce that prioritizes profit over all else and replacing it with a cooperative store that considers the common good had finally come true. Had the anarchist ideal – a world made up of communes that provide for the needs of the people without exploitation – finally been realized in Israel?

Unfortunately, the secretary’s wife dampened Souchy’s enthusiasm by pointing out that many residents of Holon worked in Tel Aviv and did their shopping there as well. It seemed that a society operating without the drive of private profit was still a far-off dream.

The book includes photographs, but it seems the captions were edited by someone with insufficient knowledge of Hebrew, and so names were sometimes misspelled. Dizengoff Square became Dizengulf, Kvutzat Yavne became Javno, and Givat Brenner became Rivat Brenner. This adds a comedic dimension to the essay.

In conclusion, it seems that one of the factors that attracted visitors to the young State of Israel was its spirit of social solidarity and the belief in socialism that led to considerable achievements. We must remember this, especially now as we work towards recovering from Hamas’s murderous attack on us. As for Souchy, it seems that he made another trip to Israel in the seventies, but additional research material is needed in order to properly assess his mindset and writings from this period.

This Flamboyant New York Jew Amended Black Legal History

Eight Black youths were hastily sentenced to death in 1931 Alabama. Global outcry ensued, and a flamboyant New York Jewish lawyer was sent down to defend them...

The Scottsboro Boys in a pamphlet published by the International Labor Defense, 1931 (Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the family of Dr. Maurice Jackson and Laura Ginsburg / Public domain)

From the hobo jungles of the American south to the Yiddish stages of Eastern Europe, news of the affair and the injustice that followed spread quickly.

Two white women of “easy virtue” (in the words of the judge in a subsequent legal proceeding), had claimed to have been raped by a gang of Black teenagers. Following a three-day trial, all but one of the nine defendants were sentenced to death.

The “Scottsboro Boys,” as they came to be known, lacked suitable legal representation. The case was almost completely based on questionable testimonies, with little evidence presented before the all-white jury. Hundreds of angry white locals kept at bay outside the courtroom by National Guard troops had demanded justice, insinuating that they would take matters into their own hands in case the court happened to not reach the “right” conclusion.

Outcry following the death sentences came quickly. Civil and Black rights groups across the United States denounced the trial and its unjust outcome. Justice for the young defendants was quickly adopted as a cause by activists across the globe. Protests were held outside American embassies and consulates abroad.

Protestors on the cover of a pamphlet published by the International Labor Defense, 1931 (Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the family of Dr. Maurice Jackson and Laura Ginsburg / Public domain)

Demonstrators, including members of the Finnish Workers Club, protesting the death sentence imposed on the Scottsboro Trial defendants, 1931 (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / Public domain)

In the years (and decades) to come, the affair inspired countless works of literature across the racial and geographic spectrum, from Langston Hughes to Yiddish playwright Leib Malach, whose work based on the events debuted in Warsaw in 1935, as the actual case’s legal proceedings were still ongoing. The locally and internationally acclaimed play highlighted the injustices of the American South, resonating with Eastern European Jewish audiences. Even though the real case took place in the neighboring state of Alabama, Malach named his work “Mississippi”.

Poster for the original 1935 Warsaw production of Leib Malach’s “Mississippi”.  From the Leib Malach Archive, National Library of Israel

Soon after the initial verdict in the Scottsboro case, one of America’s most celebrated lawyers – a New York Jew who had never lost a single capital case – would be called in to lead the retrial efforts.

Not yet 40, Samuel Leibowitz was by then one of the most well-known, successful and flamboyant defense attorneys in New York, defending numerous well-known clients including notorious mobster Al Capone.

By late 1932, the International Labor Defense (ILD), a legal organization founded by Clarence Darrow among others, which was associated with the Communist movement, had taken the lead in defending the Black youths. The case was generally seen by the communist leadership as an opportunity to not only achieve justice for the “boys”, but also to secure significant support for communism among Blacks in the United States.

Samuel Leibowitz, however, was not a communist. Before agreeing to defend the Scottsboro Boys alongside the ILD’s general counsel, Joseph Brodsky, Leibowitz demanded that he be allowed to manage the defense without any political interference. He also refused any payment for his services, paying all expenses out of pocket.

He had reviewed the case thoroughly and perhaps out of arrogance or simple naïveté, Leibowitz was convinced that there was no way he could lose.

According to Leibowitz’s son, who wrote a book chronicling his father’s legal career, the elder Leibowitz told Brodsky:

“… no matter what the prejudice may be, there is a basic rock of decency in every individual… We cannot lose this Scottsboro case. A Chinaman or a Zulu lawyer, barely able to speak pidgin English, must get an acquittal if the evidence at hand is presented to even twelve of the most bigoted, prejudiced creatures that can be corralled into a jury box.”

The fact that Leibowitz was Jewish and brought in by communists certainly did not help his cause – nor that of his clients – once the retrial commenced. His style and bravado were not welcome in northern Alabama. His New York manner and approach were seen as discourteous, not suitable to Southern mores. The courtroom was appalled, for example, when at one point he demanded that the prosecutor address a Black witness as “Mr. Sandford”, rather than simply as “John.”

Leibowitz in the courtroom during the Scottsboro case. He used the trainset behind him to try and discredit the alleged victim’s account of the events. Published in The Forward on April 16, 1933; available via the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

Born in Romania, Leibowitz had immigrated to America with his family when he was four years old and studied law at the prestigious Cornell University. In an April 1933 interview in which he asserted that he was “strictly orthodox” and had had a Passover seder after he returned from the trial, Leibowitz exclaimed that “The snake of anti-Semitism cannot live in the spotlight of public opinion”. He recounted that when someone suggested he change his name to something less Jewish, “I promptly told him to go to hell.” And, in fact, antisemitism played little to no role in Leibowitz’s personal and professional life – until the Scottsboro case.

Published in The American Jewish World on April 14, 1933; available via the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

Prosecutor Wade Wright peppered his arguments with blatant antisemitic language and innuendo. After one of the alleged victims recanted her claim that she’d ever been raped at all, and her new testimony was corroborated by someone named Lester Carter, Wright referred to the man as “Mr. Carterinsky”, describing him as “the prettiest Jew” he had ever seen. Alluding to the traditional Jewish peddler, Wright declared that if Carter “had been with Brodsky another two weeks he would have been down here with a pack on his back a-trying to sell you goods…”

In his closing remarks, Wright asked the jury, “Is justice going to be bought and sold in Alabama with Jew money from New York?”

Leibowitz responded with the following words:

“I am proud of my state. I would die for it just as I would die for my nation. We have as decent people in New York as you have in Alabama. They talk about communists to befuddle you. I’m a Roosevelt Democrat and I served my country when the Stars and Stripes were in jeopardy and when there was no talk of Jew or Gentile, white or black…

And they talk of ‘Jew money from New York.’ I’m not getting a cent for my services, or even for the expenses for myself or my wife down here. I’m not interested in Communism or any other ‘ism’. I’m interested solely in seeing that that poor, moronic colored boy over there and his co-defendants in the other cases, get a square shake of the dice, because I believe, before God, they are the victims of a dastardly frameup…

Let them take me out and hang me. My mission will have been served if I get these unfortunates the same justice that I would seek to achieve for any of you gentlemen if you came to New York and were unjustly accused…”

He called the previous trials “an insult to God himself and a mockery of justice,” and argued that the prosecution was simply “appeal[ing] to prejudice, to sectionalism, to bigotry…”

Before the re-trial started, Brodsky had countered Leibowitz’s confidence, telling him that he would “be a sadder but wiser man” after the trial. And, in fact, Brodsky’s prediction proved more accurate than Leibowitz’s, as the first retrial ended with another guilty verdict and another death sentence.

Leibowitz called it “a black page in the history of American civilization…”

His participation and the involvement of other “outsiders” had not always been welcome, even by the defendants and their families themselves. It was sometimes seen as a distraction or even a hindrance, as the white jury resented the interference of the Northern outsiders. The defendants and their lawyers were surrounded by armed guards, following repeated threats to lynch them.

The Scottsboro Boys under heavy guard. Published in The Forward on April 7, 1933; available via the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

Leibowitz leaving the courthouse flanked by two bodyguards, who were appointed by the judge following threats to the lawyer’s life. Published in The Forward on December 2, 1933; available via the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

Yet Leibowitz and his team kept fighting. One of his main initial points of attack – that Blacks had been excluded from serving on the original jury – ultimately helped set an important legal precedent that would ensure Black inclusion on jury rolls across the United States.

The Scottsboro Boys spent years in prison, but thanks to the efforts of Leibowitz and others, they were all ultimately spared the death sentence. In the years and decades that followed, all of the “boys” had their convictions overturned or were pardoned. This included three posthumous pardons granted by the governor of Alabama in 2013, more than two decades after the last of the Scottsboro Boy passed away.

Leibowitz stayed in touch with some of the Scottsboro Boys, even providing personal and professional help and support. In 1937, there were reports that his birthday would be celebrated as a “national” holiday by the American Black community, though that didn’t seem to ever materialize in any notable way. Leibowitz defended a few more high-profile clients and then became a judge, ultimately serving on the New York Supreme Court.

According to Quentin Reynolds’s book, Courtroom, a few years after Leibowitz’s involvement in the Scottsboro trials, he was on vacation in Miami and decided to visit a local courtroom in session. He noticed that there was a single Black man on the jury and when the proceedings recessed, he told the defense attorney that he had a question.

“I’m from the North, and I never knew you allowed Negroes on your juries here in the South. Isn’t that something new?” he asked.

The lawyer bitterly responded, “Yes it is something new. This is the first time in our state we have had a n***er on a jury and it’s all on account of a son-of-a-bitch named Leibowitz from New York. He came down to Alabama a few years ago to try a case and somehow he got to the Supreme Court in Washington, and damned if we haven’t had to put n***ers on our juries ever since.”

 

This article has been published as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to connect with people, institutions and communities across Europe and beyond, through storytelling, knowledge sharing and community engagement.

“My spiritual home destroyed itself”: Stefan Zweig’s Suicide Note

The letter with which Stefan Zweig took leave of the world is preserved today in the archives of the National Library of Israel

שטפן צווייג

Stefan Zweig was born in Vienna in 1881 to a well-to-do Jewish family. As the younger son, Zweig was exempt from the obligation to pursue a traditional, breadwinning profession and, instead, dedicated himself to the art of writing. He wrote poems, novellas, historical biographies, novels, and essays. Zweig traveled extensively throughout Europe and his books were sold in many languages with great success.

His most well-known work, The World of Yesterday, discusses the rise of German populism and the long-term tenure of Vienna’s antisemitic mayor, Karl Lueger. As someone who had experienced these developments first-hand, Zweig understood that this “new,” venomous iteration of politics had paved the way for the rise of the Nazis. He realized that the xenophobia and antisemitic rage that characterized this particular political movement would be exploited and perfected later by the head of the party, Adolf Hitler.

With the ascension of the Nazis to power in Germany in 1933, Zweig found himself gradually pushed out of the German-speaking world. In 1938, with the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, Zweig moved to England. Upon the outbreak of World War II, he traveled to the United States and visited South America. In 1941 Zweig immigrated to Brazil with his second wife, Charlotte Elizabeth (‘Lotte’).

Zweig viewed Brazil as a land of hope with a bright future. He believed that there was a chance that the values he cherished could flourish there: the unity of the human race, peace, brotherhood among men, and equality among different races. However, as the Nazis advanced their conquest and the war spread to the Atlantic, the ramifications were felt even in South America. Zweig himself felt ever more isolated and grew aware that the European world he knew and loved was lost forever.

On February 22nd 1942, Zweig and his wife, Lotte, were found dead in each other’s arms. The couple committed suicide by taking a lethal dose of pills. Zweig passed first, with Lotte following.

This is the suicide letter Zweig left behind:

שטפן צווייג
The suicide note, which is kept at the National Library

Before parting from life of my own free will and in my right mind I am impelled to fulfill a last obligation: to give heartfelt thanks to this wonderful land of Brazil which afforded me and my work such kind and hospitable repose. My love for the country increased from day to day, and nowhere else would I have preferred to build up a new existence, the world of my own language having disappeared for me and my spiritual home, Europe, having destroyed itself.

But after one’s sixtieth year unusual powers are needed in order to make another wholly new beginning. Those that I possess have been exhausted by long years of homeless wandering. So I think it better to conclude in good time and in erect bearing a life in which intellectual labour meant the purest joy and personal freedom the highest good on earth.

I salute all my friends! May it be granted them to see the dawn after the long night! I, all too impatient, go on before.

Stefan Zweig

Petrópolis 22/2/1942

 

If you liked this article, try these:

“If Judaism is a tragedy, let us live it” – Stefan Zweig’s Letters Revealed

All that Remains of “The Great Unknown”

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Photographed Together: Begin’s Father and Sharon’s Grandfather

Long before the State of Israel, the two men worked together at a Jewish bank and Jewish self-defense organization in Brest-Litovsk

A 1906 photograph released by the National Library of Israel presents rare visual evidence of the connection between Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon that existed even before the two future Israeli prime ministers were born. It is known that the Begin and Sharon (formerly Sheinerman) families both hailed from Brest-Litovsk, in modern-day Belarus. Sharon’s grandmother was even the midwife at Menachem Begin’s birth.

Yet this photo, which belonged to Sharon’s father, Shmuel Sheinerman, provides perhaps the only extant visual evidence of the historic connection.

Affixed to a piece of cardboard, the photo shows directors and staff of the Loan and Savings Bank in Brest-Litovsk. The bank was founded in 1905 to serve Jews, who suffered discrimination and persecution at that time.

Staff of the Loan and Savings Bank, Brest-Litovsk, 1906. Sitting on the far right is Ariel Sharon’s grandfather, Mordechai Sheinerman, and next to him is Menachem Begin’s father, Ze’ev Dov Begin.

The same year the bank was established, as pogroms against Jews took place across Eastern Europe, the two also worked together as part of the local Jewish defense organization. The Kishinev Pogrom of 1903 had led to a national awakening among many Jews in the Russian Empire, including efforts to better organize self-defense organizations like the one in which Sheinerman and Begin took active roles.

Seventy-six years later, Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon served together as Israeli prime minister and minister of defense, respectively.

Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon, 1978. From the Dan Hadani Archive, part of the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel

More than one million photos documenting Jewish and Israeli life since the mid-19th century are available online through the National Library of Israel.