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Ben Gurion and Rockefeller

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In his funeral eulogy last Friday for Nelson A. Rockefeller, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said. “What a great President he would have been.” Ironically, almost 13 years ago another world statesman offered a similar appraisal. The statesman was Premier David Ben Gurion of Israel. His view just came to light with the release to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency of a letter dated Dec. 28, 1966 from Ben Gurion to Asher Wolk, founder and editor of Olam Hadash, the Hebrew magazine for children in the United States.

Ben Gurion, in his letter written one month after Rockefeller’s reelection to his third term as Governor of New York, stated. “There is no doubt in my mind that Nelson Rockefeller is most worthy to be the Governor of New York, perhaps even in a higher office than that. If you will see him, please convey to him, in my name, my hearty regards. Wolk said that he did not publicize the letter at that time because it might have suggested that Ben Gurion was offering support to Rockefeller in a future Presidential bid. Now, with both men dead, the letter is part of history, Wolk said.

Wolk, who served at that time as director of the Jewish community and press department in the Governor’s office, was communicating with Ben Gurion in relation to Olam Hadash. Ben Gurion said he was encouraged by the development of the Hebrew monthly and concluded his letter with the remarks about Rockefeller.

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