Kadima MK and former minister Ze’ev Boim died at a Milwaukee hospital on Friday
following a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 67.
Israel two months ago in order to be treated by Milwaukee surgeon Douglas Evans,
who is an expert on Boim’s disease. But his condition deteriorated over the past
week and he passed away in the company of his wife Edna and his sister.
state funeral is expected on Monday in Boim’s native Binyamina after his body
returns to Israel on Sunday.
Boim served in the Knesset since 1996
following a career as a school principal in Mexico and in Kiryat Gat and 13
years as mayor of the Negev development town. Boim was credited with advancing
the town by luring Intel to build a factory, absorbing thousands of Russian
immigrants, and with the Jewish Agency’s twinning of Kiryat Gat and Chicago in
its Partnership 2000 program.
Following a stint as Likud faction
chairman, Boim left for Kadima along with future prime minister Ehud Olmert, who
was Boim’s political patron and childhood friend. He served as deputy defense
minister and minister of agriculture, immigrant absorption, construction and
Knesset members from across the political spectrum released
statements praising Boim and mourning his loss. Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu called him one of the best MKs and credited him with advancing
education, values and love of the land and people of Israel.
always represented the values which Zionism was founded upon,” Kadima leader
Tzipi Livni said. “He loved this country and its people. He was a man with a
conscience and was always honest. The State of Israel has lost one of its best
sons and leaders today. Kadima is proud Boim chose to represent it during his
lifetime. He will be missed as a friend, as a colleague and as an exemplary
individual. May his memory be blessed.”
Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin
praised Boim’s “heroism” in fighting cancer. Boim is survived by his wife, three
daughters and seven grandchildren.
He will be replaced in the Knesset by
former Sayeret Matkal paratrooper unit commander Doron Avital, who is currently
a partner in a venture capital firm. Avital holds a PhD in logic and
philosophy from Columbia University, where he taught logic and analytic
At Tel Aviv University, Avital headed the Georges Leven
High-Tech Management School and later established and directed the BRM Institute
of technology and society at the Faculty of Management, where he continues to
contribute as a senior research fellow.