Herzog Chaim (1918-1997)

Israel's sixth President

.Chaim Herzog was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where his father, Isaac Halevy Herzog, was a well-known rabbi. The family moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1935 and Isaac Herzog became Chief Rabbi in 1937. Chaim was educated in the Yishuv and then at Cambridge and London Universities, where he earned his law degree.

During World War II, he served as a tank commander in Britain's elite Guard Armoured Division, later becoming a director of British intelligence in Germany. In this capacity, he identified a captured soldier as Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler. After the war, he served in the Haganah, the Jewish underground which became the Israel Defense Forces in 1948.

During Israel's War of Independence Herzog was an officer in the battle for Latrun, and later headed military intelligence twice, from 1948-1950 and 1959-1962. He served as Israel's military attache in Washington, 1950-1954; Commanding Officer of the Jerusalem district, 1954-1957; and Chief of Southern Command, 1957-1959.

When he retired from the IDF in 1962, Herzog headed an industrial investment company. On the eve of the Six Day War he became a radio commentator best known for his military and political analysis, especially during the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War. His book about the 1973 war, "The War of Atonement", was published in 1975, the year he became Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations. During his tenure at the U.N. he denounced the infamous resolution equating Zionism as racism and defended Israel's rescue of Jewish hostages held by terrorists in Entebbe, Uganda, in July 1976.

In 1981 Chaim Herzog was elected to the Knesset as a member of the Labor party. His book, "The Arab-Israel Wars", was published in 1982. In 1983, he became Israel's president, a position to which he was re-elected to in 1988. Chaim Herzog died in 1997.




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02 May 2005 / 23 Nisan 5765 0