A Letter From the Publisher: Apr. 4, 1988

One day in 1955, David Ben-Gurion, the legendary founder of Israel and the nation's Prime Minister at the time, surveyed a group of photographers who had clamored into his office to record a ceremonial event. Noting that TIME's David Rubinger was absent, Ben-Gurion quipped, "Where's the one with the ginger beard?"

Rubinger's beard is no longer ginger, but he is still taking photographs for TIME. Rubinger, 63, has captured so much of his country's history on film that this week's cover story on Israel and its 40th anniversary is illustrated almost entirely with his work. Perhaps inevitably, many of Rubinger's pictures...

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