Israel lost another of its cultural icons on Monday with the passing of Yehoshua Kenaz, who, together with Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua – for many years close friends – were the three literary musketeers, meeting frequently not only in Israel, but also in Oxford and Paris.Oz died in December 2018, and now Yehoshua is the only member of the trio who is left. Kenaz was reported as having died from coronavirus, but this was disputed by Yehoshua, who, in an interview on KAN Reshet Bet with Esti Peretz-Ben Ami, said that Kenaz had been ill for years, and in recent years had been institutionalized because he suffered from dementia.He should not be remembered for the final period of his life, but for what he left behind, said Yehoshua, who described his friend and colleague as a truly magnificent writer and a man of great intellect who made a gigantic contribution to Israeli culture.President Reuven Rivlin tweeted that Kenaz’s passing was a painful loss to Israeli culture. Kenaz had been a superb translator, a wise editor and a gifted writer, he said.Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper, in eulogizing Kenaz, spoke of his significant contribution to Israeli literature, both as a writer and a translator. He was particularly known for his translations of French classics into Hebrew.Over the years, Kenaz was the recipient of many literary prizes, including the Alterman Prize, the Newman Prize, the Agnon Prize, the ACUM Prize and the Bialik Prize.Born as Yehoshua Glass in 1937 in Petah Tikva during the period of the British Mandate, he was subsequently considered physically unsuitable to join the IDF, but the population in the mid-1950s was so small that there few army reject, and Kenaz was drafted into the Intelligence Corps, which was the ideal place for him, even if he had been physically fit. While in the army he changed his name from Glass to Kenaz.Following his discharge, he studied philosophy and romance languages at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and French literature at the Sorbonne. It was in Paris that he wrote his first story and sent it to Keshet Magazine, which promptly published it. Kenaz had taken his first step on the path to fame.He did not always write under his own name, and used the nom de plume of Avi Otniel. In addition to being a novelist, translator and editor, he was also a screenwriter. Several of his novels were adapted for the silver screen, and many of his works were translated into English.Politically, Kenaz was in favor of a two-state solution, which he hoped would put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but he had his doubts on that score, noting that the creation of the State of Israel had not put an end to antisemitism.Kenaz was laid to rest at the Yarkon Cemetery on Monday evening.