Former Mapai and Rafi MK Gideon Ben Yisrael dies at 92

December 18, 2014 18:35

Pensioners' Union chairman Gideon Ben Yisrael, who was a member of the fourth and fifth Knessets in Labor predecessors Mapai and Rafi, died at 92 Thursday.

Ben Yisrael was born in Haifa and served in the British Army's Jewish Brigade in World War II. At the end of the war, he helped sneak Holocaust survivors into Israel, and was injured fighting in Jerusalem during the War of Independence.

He was an MK in the fourth and fifth Knessets, representing the southern region in Mapai, and split off with former prime minister David Ben-Gurion when he founded the Rafi party in 1965.

Ben-Yisrael has been the voluntary chairman of the Pensioners' Union since 1996 and lobbied in the Knesset for laws helping the elderly.

Labor leader Isaac Herzog and secretary-general Hilik Bar expressed sorrow at Ben Yisrael's death "before he could see the Labor Party's revival" in the coming election, and vowed to act according to his values.


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