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Moshe SharettBiography of a Political Moderate$
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Gabriel Sheffer

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198279945

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198279945.001.0001

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The ‘Obvious’ Heir

The ‘Obvious’ Heir

Chapter:
(p.680) 22 The ‘Obvious’ Heir
Source:
Moshe Sharett
Author(s):

Gabriel Sheffer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198279945.003.0023

In the early 1950s, no change of guard in Israeli politics occurred without considerable preliminary practical as well as ritualistic preparations. This was of course particularly the case with choosing a successor to Ben–Gurion, the first time that the question of his succession had become pertinent. For since May 1953 the entire political elite was aware of the prime minister's persistent intention to resign. From the very minute that Ben–Gurion openly mentioned this possibility, despite his subdued manner, Sharett began preparing to step into Ben–Gurion's big shoes. His goal seemed attainable, particularly since it was facilitated by the fact that he served as acting prime minister from July 1953. None the less, as part of the Mapai ritual, when Ben–Gurion publicly announced his decision to leave politics ‘for two or three years’ to his colleagues in the cabinet in early October 1953, Sharett was among those who tried to persuade the ‘old man’ to change his mind, albeit not with any great show of enthusiasm.

Keywords:   Sharett, Mapai, resignation, prime minister

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