Ilan Halevi, Jewish senior PLO member, dies at 70

Born in Nazi-occupied France, anti-Zionist activist rose through the ranks, advising Yasser Arafat

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Jewish Fatah member Ilan Halevi (photo credit: Youtube/ screengrab)
Jewish Fatah member Ilan Halevi (photo credit: Youtube/ screengrab)

A Jewish member of the Palestine Liberation organization and former adviser to Yasser Arafat died Wednesday at the age of 70.

Ilan Halevi, who was also a PLO deputy foreign minister, died at a Paris hospital, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Halevi, one of very few Jews to hold senior positions in the PLO, was born as Ilan Albert in Leon, France in 1943, then under Nazi control. According to WAFA, he joined the Fatah movement after the Six-Day War in 1967. Halevi began writing for the Israeli socialist organization Matzpen in 1969, and joined the Palestinian group several years later.

Describing himself as “100 percent Jewish and 100 percent Palestinian”, Halevi served in the PLO’s foreign ministry, and sat on the PLO delegation to the 1991 Madrid Conference.

A dedicated anti-Zionist, Halevi authored several books criticizing Israel. Halevi received the Medal of Distinction from PA President Mahmoud Abbas for his dedication to the Palestinian cause.

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