Deceased Israeli War Hero Meir Har-Tzion Praised: ‘From Bar Kochba Until Har-Tzion No Warrior Came Close’

March 14, 2014 1:11 pm 6 comments
Israeli warrior Meir Har-Tzion.  Photo: WikiCommons.

Israeli warrior Meir Har-Tzion. Photo: WikiCommons.

“Meir Har-Tzion, one of the greatest warriors in Israel’s history is gone… from Bar Kochba until Har-Tzion no warrior came close,” said Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett in an online eulogy of his “childhood hero,” who passed away at 80 on Friday.

“Generations of warriors grew up on his books, on completing every mission no matter the cost, solitary navigation in the middle of the night, retaliation missions, non-abandonment of a friend in the field, uncompromising demands, and the love of the Land of Israel,” Bennett wrote on Facebook on Friday. “May your memory be blessed, hero of Israel.”

Har-Tzion was a leader in Israel’s first commando force, Unit 101, which later merged with the IDF’s Paratroopers Brigade, but its exploits and Har-Tzion’s bravery in the unit and on his own has became the stuff of legend.

He was born in Herzliya, where as a teenager living in Kibbutz Ein Harod, he set out for a hike into Syrian territory with his sister Shoshana, and the pair were kidnapped by Bedouin and jailed in Damascus for several weeks.

In the early 1950s, Har-Tzion trekked into Jordan to visit the ancient Nabataean city of Petra. Several hikers followed in his footsteps and were killed in the process, the Times of Israel said on Friday.

On December 23, 1954, his sister Shoshana and Oded Weigmeister were killed while hiking in the Judean Desert. Har-Tzion retired from the army, and set out with weapons and three paratroopers to avenge her death. They snuck into Jordan, caught five men from the tribe that had killed the two Israelis, and killed four of them, leaving the fifth one alive to tell the tale.

Upon his return to Israel, Har-Tzion was arrested, jailed for 20 days and suspended from the military for six months.

In 1956, Har-Tzion was wounded, suffering a shot in the throat during a cross-border raid on the police station in Rahawa, but an emergency field tracheotomy saved his life.

Har-Tzion later helped found the IDF’s elite reconnaissance unit Sayeret Matkal and fought in Israel’s Six-Day War against Arab armies in 1967.

Other Israeli leaders also remembered Har-Tzion on Friday.

He was “one of the greatest warriors in the history of the IDF — an audacious, distinctive commander whose influence in molding generations of fighters and units was pivotal,” said Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him “one of our greatest heroes,” a man who “was steeped in love for the nation and the land.”

“There was no one braver than he was,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said. “He was a legend already in his own time, and if not in his own eyes, then in the eyes of all those who knew his bravery.”

Moshe Dayan, the legendary Israeli military leader, once called Har-Tzion “the greatest Jewish warrior since Bar Kochba,” a sentiment that was echoed by Bennett on Facebook.

6 Comments

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.