David Lawrence-Young – Remembering Our Past Leaders
Last week my wife and I had to drive through much of the length of Israel, from Jerusalem to the Upper Galilee. To shorten my journey I drove up Route 6 (aka. Kvish Shesh in Hebrew)
As we passed a blue and white road-sign showing where the turn-off to Ben Gurion airport was, I said to my wife that most of this country’s leaders have been immortalized by having a large civil engineering project or an educational institute named after them.
“Look, here we are driving along Route 6 or Kvish Rabin, while over there is a sign to Ben-Gurion airport.”
“That’s right,” she replied, “and Ben Gurion also has the Negev University named after him as well.”
And that got me thinking. President (and Prime Minister) Shimon Peres has a Peace Center named after him,
while Israel’s first three Presidents, Haim Weizmann, Yitschak Ben Zvi and Zaman Shazar all have educational and/or research institutes named in their honour.
Levi Eshkol, the very down-to-earth Prime Minister who led the country through the Six-Day War has an important water purification plant named after him
and Golda Meir’s name is remembered through Park Golda in the northern Negev.
In Jerusalem, Menachem Begin’s name is immortalized both through his modern Heritage Centre in the centre of town
and also through the wide Begin Boulevard. This busy highway sweeps through Jerusalem linking the northern suburb of Ramot to Gilo, its southern counterpart.
As my wife and I were listing off the above places, we thought that ex-Prime Minister Olmert
and ex-President Katzav would forever be linked with Ma’asiyahu Prison. Here they respectively served time for corruption and rape.
While rounding up this list, the following thought came into my head: Which institute or civil engineering project would be named after Bibi Netanyahu when he steps down (or pushed out?) A cigar factory?