JERUSALEM (Feb. 26)
Maj. Gen. Yigal Allon, Acting Prime Minister, will be the first Sabra (native-born Israeli) to hold the Premiership since Israel was founded in 1948. His predecessors–David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett and Levi Eshkol–were all born in Russia and emigrated to Palestine as young men.
Gen. Allon was born in 1918 at Kefar Tabor in Lower Galilee. His mother’s family had been in Palestine since medieval times. His father was brought to the country as a boy. He was educated at the Kadoorie Agricultural College, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford. In 1937 he was one of the founders of Kibbutz Ginossar on the shores of the Sea of Galilee which is still his home.
Gen. Allon received his military training in the Haganah, the defense force of Jewish Palestine formed in 1920. He saw his first combat in the Arab uprising of 1936. In 1941 he was a founder of Palmach, Haganah’s striking force, and was its commander from 1945-48. He commanded Israeli forces in some of the major battles of the 1948 War for Independence and later resigned from the Army to resume his studies.
He has been a member of the Knesset since 1954, representing the moderate Socialist Achdut Avodah faction which was one of three that merged last year to form the Israel Labor Party. Gen. Allon joined the Cabinet in 1961 and served as Minister of Labor. He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister by Mr. Eshkol last year and was also given the portfolio of the new Ministry for Immigrant Absorption. Gen. Allon is married and the father of two children. He has published three books about the Army and Palmach.
On the question of a peace settlement with the Arabs, Gen. Allon cannot be described as either a “hawk” or a “dove.” The so-called Allon Plan for the West Bank is designed to assure Israel’s security while eliminating a heavy concentration of Arabs from Israeli rule. Basically, the plan calls for the establishment of a string of Israeli military settlements along the banks of the Jordan River which would constitute Israel’s eastern security frontier. The mountain us hinterland containing the heaviest Arab population in such towns as Nablus, Tulkarem and Jenin would remain demilitarized and would be returned to Jordan. The Jordanians would be provided with an access corridor in the vicinity of Jericho. One version of the Allon plan was said to envision a gradual demilitarization of the Jordan River military settlements as peace and normalcy returned. But a later version said the military strongholds would be permanent. Similarly, one version of the plan reportedly provided access for Jordan to an Israeli Mediterranean port. The Allon Plan basically was said to be favored by a majority of Gen. Allon’s Cabinet colleagues.