On the eve of International women’s day the Central archive of the IDF publishes two documents related to the name of the founder of Israel David Ben Gurion. One of them – written them a letter, outlining the point of view of Ben Gurion on the participation of women in government. In the second case he acts as the addressee of the letter written by ester Arditi, the only woman in history to be awarded the order for the difference.
A letter to Ben-Gurion addressed the Zionist women’s organizations, who called to include women in the government. It was written on March 29, 1948, when the establishment of Israel remained a month and a half. In this future Prime Minister calls the appointment of women to Ministerial posts required and expressed regret that other members of the Mapai leadership, this position is not shared.
«It is our duty not only to mothers, sisters, wives and daughters who share with us the burden of the Yishuv, but to the world, to our neighbours. The participation of women in government will be the banner of freedom and equality. Fight for it to be not only female but also male organizations (if any),» writes Ben Gurion.
Esther Arditi refers to the legendary policy two decades later – January 27, 1969. Woman working as a tour guide, says that her clients, a Jewish family from Italy, I want to meet the first Prime Minister of Israel and shake hands with him. She says that the family lived in Libya, but fled there from the pogroms after Israel’s victory in the six day war of 1967, and now wants to repatriate.
«I confess that I want to shake the hand of Mr. Ben Gurion. I want to note that I was the only girl soldier who is honored as the chief of General staff Moshe Dayan, and the President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. In the six day war, during the fighting in the Old city, I served as a paramedic in the paratrooper brigade and received from the soldiers the nickname «angel of the paratroopers»,» writes Esther.
Archive the IDF does not report whether the place of this meeting, but talks about the deeds committed her in 1954 when she was only 17 years old. Then Esther, born in Sofia and immigrated from Italy alone, she served as a nurse at an air force base «Hatzor».
On 29 November a squadron of Mosquito bombers, commanded by major Jacob Salmon, despite severe weather conditions, practiced night flying. When the planes were in the air, in Hazor the power went out and the runway was plunged into darkness. The commander sent planes to other bases as he headed for the home airfield. To sit he has failed – the plane crashed in a nearby field.
Esther, who had no right to drive the car, sat behind the wheel of the jeep and raced to the crash site. Despite the order not to approach the plane that could explode at any moment, she pulled from the cab of the Navigator first, and then the commander, who was unconscious. She did not save the pilots, the bomber exploded.
After serving in the army, Esther went to medical school at the hospital «Carmel» in Haifa, worked as a nurse and then retrained as guides. But in the six day war and the Yom Kippur War, she returned to the army as a paramedic, rescuing soldiers in the Old city and on the Suez canal.
One of the streets of Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanania is the name of the «angel in white» – in honor of Esther Arditi.