- Pinhas Lavon was Israel's defense minister in 1954, when Israeli agents were arrested in Egypt, apparently for trying to bomb U. S. facilities in Cairo and Alexandria and other targets in an effort to turn Great Britain and the United States against Egypt. The government of Prime Minister Moshe Sharett had not been consulted, and Lavon claimed that he had not been aware of the plan. However, Colonel Binyamin Gibli, head of military intelligence, insisted that Lavon had personally instructed him to proceed. An inquiry was ordered, but no conclusion was reached. Lavon resigned from the government and was elected secretary general of the Histadrut. As a consequence of later revelations, the cabinet was convinced that the evidence against Lavon had been fabricated, and the government issued a statement that the 1954 operation had been ordered without Lavon's knowledge. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who had been outvoted in the cabinet, called the resolution a miscarriage of justice. In protest against the intrusion of the executive into the sphere of the judiciary, Ben-Gurion resigned and brought down the government. He told his party that he would not accept a mandate to form a new government as long as Lavon represented the party as secretary general of the Histadrut. The party's central committee ousted Lavon in 1961.
Historical Dictionary of Israel. Bernard Reich David H. Goldberg. Edited by Jon Woronoff..
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Lavon (Lubianiker), Pinchas — (1904–76) Israel labour leader. Lavon was born in Galicia and was one of the early organizers of the Gordonia youth movement, founded in 1923. He settled in Palestine in 1929 and became a leading figure in Mapai and the Histadrut, a member of… … Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament
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