ben eliezer writing 311.
(photo credit: Eli Neeman)
Assaf Harofe Medical
Center in Tzrifin is no longer claiming that former Labor Party
minister Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer is suffering from influenza but
rather has pneumonia and has been attached to a respirator and
anesthetized so he will not suffer or interfere with treatment.
who recently celebrated his 75th birthday with his wife, five children
and grandchildren at his Rishon Lezion home (some of his grandchildren
live permanently in the US) has for years had chronic health problems.
Besides being obese, he has long been a heavy smoker, and has suffered
from heart problems that required multiple bypass surgeries. In the past
year, the skin on his face and hands has been blotchy and appeared in
various hues from yellow to purple.
Ben-Eliezer: Mubarak regime, peace will endure
apparently dyed dark hair led to his ongoing image of frenetic activity
and involvement, and in recent weeks and months, he saw Egypt’s
then-president Hosni Mubarak in power and even spoke to him on the phone
after the powerful Egyptian was pushed shame-facedly from office.
in Basra, Iraq in 1936, Fuad, Ben-Eliezer's given name, made aliya with his family in 1950 and
spoke fluent Arabic as well as Hebrew and English. He has been a member
of the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th Knessets and
has been in the Labor Party since 1991. Previously he was in Yahad in
1984 and soon joined the Alignment from that year until 1991.
Ben-Eliezer has served in various ministerial posts including defense
minister; minister of industry, trade and labor; minister of national
infrastructure; deputy prime minister; minister of communications; and
minister of housing and construction. For much of the time, he was loyal
to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, but in recent times sharply criticized
and then broke with him, leaving Barak in the new Atzmaut Party and
himself resigning from the government.
Previous to joining
political life, Ben-Eliezer worked in the Israel Defense Forces from
1954 and became a career soldier. He served as a commander in the Six
Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and was wounded in the
War of Attrition. In 1977, he was appointed first commanding officer in
southern Lebanon, serving at the army liaison between the Lebanese
Christian militias and Israel and serving as military governor of Judea
and Samaria from 1978 to 1981. He was also coordinator of government
activities in the territories in 1983-4. He finished his military
service with the rank of brigadier general and was first elected to
parliament in 1984 as a Yahad MK, which soon merged with the Alignment.
recent years he has been an "elder statesmen" and has even been offered
high posts in Labor. He won the Labor Party leadership election in 2001 only to lose the leadership post one year later to Amram Mitzna. Ben-Eliezer has
been a hawk in defense matters but more left-wing politically, calling
for a compromise in final-status talks.
director-general Dr. Benny Davidson said Ben-Eliezer’s condition was
"not simple" because of his age and medical history. His life may be in
danger, but the hospital spokeswoman officially released only two
sentences of dry information.