The Black Angeleno Who Took on the ‘Problem of Palestine’
Diplomat Ralph Bunche's UN Work Paved the Way for Israel's Birth
On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, soon to be the first prime minister of Israel, gave the first public reading of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. With an eye toward wooing the powerful United States, the first draft had liberally cribbed from the American declaration, directly invoking “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Revisions, arguments, and more revisions ensued; but Ben-Gurion’s words retained a strongly international flavor, and—strikingly—appealed repeatedly to the then-new United Nations.
Israel’s birth 75 years ago this month followed a long and violent struggle over land and sovereignty. …