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July 10: A Jewish Member of the PLO

July 9, 2015

3234135994Ilan Halevi (Georges Alain Albert), a French-born Jewish writer who came to Israel in 1965 to understand and support the Palestinian resistance movement and became a high-ranking member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, died in France at 69 on this date in 2013. Halevi was active in the jazz and avant-garde scene in Paris before living for several years in Mali and other African lands. In Israel he was active in the anti-Zionist Matzpen group, then joined Fatah after the 1967 Six-Day War and served as the PLO’s representative in Europe and to the Socialist International. Halevi participated in the 1991 Madrid Conference as a PLO vice-minister of foreign affairs, and was elected to the Fatah Revolutionary Council in 2009. After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, most of his work took place among Israeli Jews and Palestinians who were working together against the occupation. Halevi published both fiction and non-fiction books and was a founder of the French-language Palestinian Studies Review. He split his time between Paris and the West Bank and described himself as “100 percent Jewish, 100 percent Arab.”

“There is no comparison between the suicidal terrorism of the desperate and the reasoned terrorism of an overarmed state.” —Ilan Halevi