Veteran journalist, legal expert Moshe Negbi succumbs to cancer

Despite his illness, Negbi continued working almost until the end.

Funeral (illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Funeral (illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Veteran prize-winning journalist and legal expert Prof. Moshe Negbi died on Saturday night following a long battle with throat cancer. He was 68.
Despite his illness, Negbi continued working almost until the end. For many years he conducted an informative legal program, Din Vedevarim, on Israel Radio, initially under the auspices of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and over the past half year under the auspices of the Israel Broadcasting Corporation.
The program, which was first aired in 1981, focused on current legal issues and Negbi brought in other legal experts to add their comments and legal opinions to his own.
In addition to his broadcasting career, Negbi published articles on legal matters in the now defunct daily tabloid Hadashot, and subsequently in Maariv, Globes and Haaretz. He also wrote books on the rule of law, ethics and communications. An expert on legal ethics, he was frequently called upon at Israel Radio to comment on corruption, deprivation of civil rights and other topics of a legal nature.
Negbi taught at Sapir College, Netanya Academic College, the Hebrew University – of which he was also a graduate, Tel Aviv University and Bar Ilan University. He was also invited to lecture to the police and the National Security College.
During his military service, Negbi served in the Judge Advocate Corps as a prosecutor, and later transferred to the IDF Education Division.
He began working as a news editor in Israel Radio before entering the army, and following the completion of his mandatory army service, Negbi interned under the supervision of Mishael Cheshin at the State Prosecutor’s Office.
Cheshin, who died in September 2015, later became a Supreme Court justice.
Uncompromising in his championship of civil rights and freedom of the press, Negbi was equally critical of public figures when he believed they abused their powers and of the court system when he found fault with any of the court’s rulings.
True to his principles, Negbi was fired from Maariv after several years of writing a regular column because he declined to write on a particular case that was of special interest to his employer. Threatened with dismissal unless he did as he was told, Negbi refused to compromise.
President Reuven Rivlin, who practiced law before becoming a legislator, said that he would miss Negbi and described him as a moral compass and a model of professional integrity. Even when his voice became weak and hoarse, said Rivlin, there was no one who could equal his clarity of thought.
Aryeh Golan, who was a radio colleague of Negbi’s, called him a professional of the highest order.
MK Shelly Yacimovich, a former radio colleague of Negbi’s, tweeted that it was difficult for her to absorb the news that Negbi had died. When she was still a young journalist, he had served as her professional and moral mentor, she wrote, adding that he had been a moral beacon in everything related to the rule of law.
Although Negbi was described by his opponents as a leftist, with all the negative connotations that might have in a country with a right-wing administration, Reshet Bet legal reporter Amotz Shapira, in announcing Negbi’s passing, wrote of his modesty and of his pride in the fact that his two sons were in combat units in the IDF.
Channel 2 current affairs presenter Oded Ben Ami, who many years ago worked for Israel Radio, said that Negbi had contributed greatly to the understanding of the law.
Kan Reshet Bet in announcing Negbi’s death stated that he had been courageous, honest and incisive.
Negbi was a recipient of the prestigious Sokolov Award for his journalism and of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel’s Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award.
Negbi is survived by his wife, Dr. Irit Negbi, a Hebrew University expert on sexually related crimes, and three children. He will be laid to rest at the Menuha Nehona Cemetery in Kfar Saba on Monday at 2:30 p.m.