Invite to Ben-Gurion memorial event uses photo of Levi Eshkol
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Invite to Ben-Gurion memorial event uses photo of Levi Eshkol

Culture Ministry denies responsibility for confusing the PMs, after grandson of Israeli founding father’s chides officials for gaffe

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol (L) and David Ben-Gurion at Lydda Airport before the latter's departure to England for Winston Churchill's funeral, January 1965. (GPO)
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol (L) and David Ben-Gurion at Lydda Airport before the latter's departure to England for Winston Churchill's funeral, January 1965. (GPO)

Something appeared amiss on the invitation to the official memorial ceremony on Wednesday for Israel’s founding father and first prime minister David Ben-Gurion.

It was not Ben-Gurion’s mug gracing the invitation, but rather that of Levi Eshkol, the third prime minister in Israel’s history.

The mishap prompted criticism of the Culture Ministry, which was responsible for organizing the event.

“Apparently there are officials in the Culture Ministry who never took a single course in the history of the State of Israel. Otherwise, how do we explain the fact that the invitation to the state memorial ceremony for Ben-Gurion was published instead with a photo of Levi Eshkol,” Yariv Ben-Eliezer, a grandson of Ben-Gurion, wrote on Facebook.

“Miri Regev has the solutions,” he added in apparent sarcasm, referring to the culture minister.

כנראה יש במשרד התרבות פקידים, שלא עברו יחידה אחת אפילו בהסטוריה של מדינת ישראל. אחרת, כיצד נסביר את העובדה שבהזמנה לאזכרה הממלכתית לבן-גוריון, פורסמה דוקא תמונתו של לוי אשכול.למירי רגב הפתרונים.

פורסם על ידי ‏‎Yariv Ben-Eliezer‎‏ ב- יום רביעי, 4 בדצמבר 2019

The Culture Ministry denied responsibility for the mistake, saying it had “no connection” to the invitation and that the company responsible used the ministry’s logo without permission.

It said it was examining possible legal steps, without elaborating.

Eshkol served as finance minister under Ben-Gurion and took over as prime minister when the latter stepped down in 1963. Ben-Gurion had previously relinquished the premiership in 1954 and was succeeded by Moshe Sharett, but returned to the Prime Minister’s Office over a year later.

Though previously allies, Eshkol and Ben-Gurion later clashed, with the latter leaving the ruling Mapai party in 1965 to form Rafi.

Wednesday’s ceremony, which marked 46 years since Ben-Gurion’s death, was held at Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev Desert, where he had lived. It was attended by President Reuven Rivlin and other dignitaries.

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