Who are important leaders and heroes of Israel?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Important political and military leaders of the modern State of Israel include:

THEODOR HERZL  (1860-1904). Founder of political Zionism and the State of Israel.

GOLDA MEIR  (1898-1978).  Israel's fourth Prime Minister (1969-1974), Meir was born in Kiev and grew up in Milwaukee. She was known as the "Iron Lady" (pre-Margaret Thatcher) and was only the third woman elected to head a major government.

MENACHEM BEGIN  (1913-1992).  The sixth Prime Minister of Israel, he won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979 for brokering the peace treaty with Egypt.

YITZHAK RABIN  (1922-1995).  A former Israeli general, Rabin became the nation's fifth Prime Minister, winning the Nobel Peace Prize (along with Shimon Peres) in 1994. He was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli dissident in 1995.

SHIMON PERES  (born 1923).  The current President of Israel, Peres was a former Prime Minister who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1994 (along with Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat).

ARIEL SHARON  (1928-2006). Former army general and Prime Minister of Israel.

DAVID BEN-GURION  (1886-1973).  Founding father and first Prime Minister of Israel and head of military operations during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

MOSHE DAYAN  (1915-1981).  War hero, military chief-of-staff, Defense Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU  (born 1949).  A native Israeli, Netanyahu was a former commando commander and is the current Prime Minister. 

YONATAN NETANYAHU  (1946-1976).  The brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, Yonatan was a war hero of the Yom Kippur War before being killed while leading the Israeli Raid on Entebbe.


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