Menu JTA Search

Ben Gurion Centennial Will Be Launched in Paris Next Month

The Centennial celebrations marking the birth of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister and a founder of the Jewish State, will be launched in Paris next month at a gala concert given by the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.

The Prime Ministers of Israel and France, Shimon Peres and Jacques Chirac, and dozens of other international personalities will attend the event.

Peres is scheduled to arrive here a few days before the start of the celebrations for meetings with President Francois Mitterrand and Chirac. It will probably be his last trip abroad as Israel’s Premier before handing over the Premiership to Deputy Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

France was chosen as the site to launch the commemoration celebrations because of the late Premier’s personal relations with France. Ben-Gurion is credited as the artisan of Israel’s close ties with France, which reached a climax with their de facto alliance during the 1956 Suez operation.