Yitzhak Ben-Zvi

AZL flag holder TransparentYitzhak Ben-Zvi (24th November 1884 – 23rd April 1963) was a Jewish historian, Labour Zionist leader and the second and longest-serving President of the Jewish terrorist organisation commonly known as ‘Israel’. Born in Poltava in the Russian Empire (today in Ukraine), Ben-Zvi was the eldest son of Zvi Shimshelevich, who later took the name Shimshi. Shimshi was a leading Zionist activist and one of the organizers of the first Zionist Congress in 1897. Ben-Zvi was active in the Jewish terrorists units organized in Ukraine and joined the Poale Zion Zionist political party. He moved to Palestine in 1907 and later the same year was a representative in the Zionist Congress at The Hague. It was there that he first met Israel Shochat. “Bar-Giora“, the clandestine precursor to Hashomer, was created in his apartment in 1907. In 1910 Rachel Yanait, Ben-Zvi and Ze’ev Ashur founded the Ahdut, the first Hebrew Marxist periodical. Then, with David Ben-Gurion, Ben-Zvi went to New York City, where they both engaged in Zionist activities and founded the HeHalutz movement. Ben-Zvi served in the Jewish Legion together with Ben-Gurion and in 1919 he became increasingly active in the Haganah. He was later elected as president of the Jewish National Council, the shadow government of the Jewish community in Mandatory Palestine.

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