In Palestine, he was appointed as the chairman of the central committee of the newly formed branch of the group ‘Poalei Zion’, in Jaffa, the port city of Israel
Apart from being the party’s chairman, he worked as an orange-picker and in 1907, he moved to Galilee, where he worked as an agricultural laborer. It was during this time, he decided to break away from politics.
On April 12, 1909, Gurion was involved with an armed group who staged an attempted robbery, who ended up murdering a farmer and a watchman.
In 1909, he joined the ‘HaShomer’, a Jewish defense organization, who helped safeguard local Jewish communities.
In November 1911, he moved to Thessaloniki, which he believed was one of the best Jewish cities he had ever seen. Here, he studied Turkish for his law studies and then finally moved to Istanbul in 1912, where he studied at Istanbul University.
Gurion and another friend, Ben Zvi, recruited around forty Jews into a Jewish militia to assist the Ottoman Army during World War I, however, despite his efforts; he was deported to Egypt in March 1915.
From here, he travelled to the United States of America, where he remained for the next three years. On his return, he and Zvi recruited around 10,000 Jews to fight on Turkey’s side.
He served briefly in the British army and then returned to Palestine after the end of World War I.
After the death of one of the theorists of the Poalei Zion, the group split in 1919 and Gurion was made as the leader of the right-wing of the group called ‘Ahdut HaAvoda’.
In 1920, he became the general secretary of the Histadrut, the Zionist Labor Federation in Palestine and emerged as a clear winner after he joined forces with another party to create ‘Mapai’, a stronger right-wing labor party.
Gurion’s views about the Arab world were published in 1931 titled, ‘We and Our Neighbors’.
In 1935, he Labor Zionism became the dominant trend and Gurion was seen fit to be made the head of the World Zionist Organization. The same year, he also became the chairman of the executive committee of the Jewish Agency.
During World War II, Gurion encouraged the Jewish population to support and volunteer for the British Army and about 10% of them obliged, many of them, who were women.
In September 1947, he signed a status-quo agreement with the leader of the Orthodox Yisrael party, where he established that ‘Shabaat’ would be Israel’s official day of rest and that every sector in the Jewish community would be granted autonomy in all spheres of life including education and health facilities.
To all intents and purposes, Gurion was the leader of the Jewish population, even before the state’s autonomy was declared. On May 14, 1948, Gurion declared the Independence of the state of Israel and was also elected as Prime Minister of Israel when his party won majority seats during the first national election, held on February 14, 1949.
As a Prime Minister, he oversaw the establishments of various state institutions, the establishment of the National Water Carrier and even headed ‘Operation Magic Carpet’, which brought around 49,000 Yemenite Jews to the new state of Israel.
In 1953, he resigned from his position and the second Prime Minister, Moshe Sharett was elected in January 1954. However, Gurion served as temporary acting Prime Minister when Sharett was out of the country for a year.
In 1955, he was appointed as Defense Minister and was soon re-elected as Prime Minister. In response to the recurrent, aggressive Egyptian guerrilla attacks, Gurion armed the Israeli army with help from France and Britain and invaded the Sinai Peninsula of Gaza. This war became a highlight of his career and was his only chance of making sure of Israel’s endurance and that another Holocaust would not happen again.
He authored ‘My Meetings with Arab Leaders’, which was published in 1967.
He finally stepped down as Prime Minister in 1963, due to personal reasons and retired from politics in 1970.