San Diego - Sha'ar HaNegev Teacher Exchange

David Ben-Gurion's Negev

In David Ben Gurion's bedroom, hangs a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi (the only picture in the room), under it is a plaque with Ben Gurion's words:

"The moral strength of the East is perhaps embodied most of all in the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, the outstanding man who is heading the war for independence and the weapon of this commander is non-violence."

David Ben-Gurion, considered the chief architect of the state of Israel, said "The future of Israel lies in the Negev." Why? Good question. The Negev was an inhospitable desert, but it was also a large buffer between the Arab world to the south and the inhabited parts of Israel. I suspect that it also represented a challenge to create something from nothing, which is a common theme for the people who came to Israel.

a Bedouin Camp

They used to move with the sheep and climate - grazing, now as a condition of Israeli law they must stay in one place.

When travelers ask for a place to rest, the custom is to offer three cups of coffee as a courtesy, regardless of the traveler's tribe.

For more information

TIME 100: Leaders & Revolutionaries - David Ben-Gurion - - Provides a profile of Ben-Gurion and links to other related sites.

Past Prime Ministers' Gallery - David Ben-Gurion - Biography - - Provides a brief biography of Ben-Gurion.

Jew Watch - Leaders - David Ben-Gurion - - Links to a brief biography of Ben-Gurion from Compton's Ency. and articles about Ben-Gurion's Zionist-Socialist Beliefs, the support of nuclear weapons factories, and his role in the holocaust.

The Bedouin Arab of Israel - - Provides information on the Bedouin's lives, their beliefs, their needs, their points of prayer, and census data.

The following are links to sketches and personal narratives
created during our travels

Collaboration | Druze Village | Golan Heights | Jerusalem |
Kiryat Shmona | Misgav-Am | Yad Vashem | Zippori

Photos | Program Goals | WriteDesign Gallery |
E-Mail Doug at and Melissa at