Ra'anana deputy mayor Uzi Cohen dies at age 55

Uzi Cohen succumbs to heart failure at Meir Hospital; funeral takes place on Friday afternoon.

uzi cohen 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
uzi cohen 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Uzi Cohen, Ra'anana's deputy mayor of 17 years and long-time Likud Party activist, died at 55 on Thursday night at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba. Cohen was hospitalized on Thursday evening with heart-related complications. His condition worsened overnight and doctors were forced to pronounce him dead at approximately 1 a.m. A long-time Likud activist, Cohen recently served as acting mayor of Ra'anana. Two weeks ago, police recommended indicting Cohen on suspicion of breach of trust and fraud. The National Fraud Unit reported that Cohen had allegedly employed a municipal contractor as well as a gardener to complete projects on his own private residence. Cohen was known for the large-scale public-works projects that he championed in Ra'anana, including an idea for a canal that he said would turn the city into the "Venice of the Middle East. Cohen was also regularly spoofed on Channel 2's "A Wonderful Country," as a "bulldozer" personality. Cohen was born in 1952 in Moshav Tal Shahar and moved to Ra'anana at age two. He was an active member of the Likud since it was founded in 1973. He first became deputy mayor of Ra'anana in 1990 under mayor Ze'ev Bielski. He served as acting mayor when Bielski was appointed head of the Jewish Agency. Cohen was buried on Friday at Kfar Nahman. Before the funeral, Ra'anana residents paid their last respects to Cohen, whose casket was placed at Yad Lebanim prior to the funeral.