In our collective memory Levi Eshkol is perceived as a weak, even a vacillating prime minister. Perhaps this was unjust already back on the eve of the Six Day War, when his image became thus ingrained in our popular lore. Certainly, compared to many of his successors in ensuing decades, Eshkol can be portrayed as a resolute upholder of Israeli national pride – especially when clad in pajamas.
Merely by refusing to change into proper daytime attire, Eshkol struck a plucky patriotic pose. In his humble night clothes he evinced more audacity than most of the wishy-washy variety that followed him in office.
Eshkol took his steadfast stand in the ungodly hours of May 27, 1967, when Soviet Ambassador Dmitri Chuvakhin arrived on the PM’s doorstep and demanded to wake him up to deliver an urgent message from Moscow. The envoy insisted he couldn’t wait till dawn. Continue reading