Former minister Shulamit Aloni dies at 85

Former minister Shulamit Aloni dies at 85

Meretz party founding member and Israel Prize laureate fought in Palmach in her youth, and for civil rights as a politician

Lazar Berman is a former breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Shulamit Aloni (photo credit: CC BY-SA Orrling, Wikimedia Commons)
Shulamit Aloni (photo credit: CC BY-SA Orrling, Wikimedia Commons)

Former government minister Shulamit Aloni died Friday morning at the age of 85.

Aloni, an Israel Prize laureate, served under Yitzhak Rabin as education minister from 1992-1993 and as science and arts minister from 1993-1996.

She was born in Tel Aviv, and fought in the Palmach during the 1948 War of Independence.

Aloni was one of the 12 founders of the left-wing Meretz party, leading the party and bringing it into Rabin’s coalition.

After being replaced at the head of Meretz by Yossi Sarid, Aloni retired from politics. She won the Israel Prize in 2000 for her contributions to Israeli society.

“I send my condolences to the Aloni family,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told her son Nimrod Aloni. “Despite the deep disputes between us over the years, I appreciated her contributions to the Israeli public, and Aloni’s determination to stand firm for what she believed.”

President Shimon Peres, currently attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, also shared his thoughts on Aloni’s passing. “Shulamit Aloni was a fighter for peace and civil rights in Israel, left a decisive impact on the struggle of women, of minorities, and of the weak sectors of society who were pushed to the side. She was a bold democratic and social fighter.”

Aloni will be buried at 4 p.m. in Kfar Shmaryahu.

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