Shamir, Moshe

(1921-2004)
   Popular Israeli author, novelist, literary critic, social commentator, and political activist. Born in Safed, he was raised in Tel Aviv and attended the Herzliya High School. A member of Hashomer Hatazir, he joined the movement's Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek from 1941 to 1947 and served in the Palmah between 1944 and 1948. It was during this time that Shamir's literary career began as the first editor of Bamahaneh, the underground weekly newspaper of the Hagana and after statehood the official publication of the Israel Defense Forces. Shamir's early success as a writer was based largely on his ability to give popular expression to the idealism and aspiration of the generation that established the kibbutzim and fought Israel's War of Independence (1948-49).
   Israel's victory in the Six-Day War (1967) had a profound impact on Shamir and marked a turning point in his literary career. Following the war, he quit the Zionist left and went over to the nationalist right, becoming a founder of the Land of Israel Movement that advocated permanent retention of most of the territories taken from the Arabs as a strategic buffer against future attacks. He won a seat in the ninth Knesset (1977-81) on the Likud slate as the leader of the party's right-wing La'am faction. He resigned from the Likud to protest the Camp David Agreement with Egypt and in 1979 was a founding member of the ultranationalist Tehiya Party. His ideological shift was reflected in much of his later literature, which, in direct contrast to the idealism of his earlier works, tended to focus on problems of class tension in Israeli society, the decline of the kibbutz as an institution, and what Shamir deemed the emptiness of Israeli values. Among his many literary awards were the Bialik Prize (1955), the Israel Prize for contribution to literature (1988), and the ACUM Prize for his life work (2002).

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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  • SHAMIR, MOSHE — (1921–2004), Hebrew author. Shamir was born in Safed and raised in Tel Aviv. He was a member of the ha shomer ha Ẓa ir movement and held a position on its national board. From 1941 to 1947 he was a member of kibbutz Mishmar ha Emek, and in 1944… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Shamir, Moshe — ▪ 2005       Israeli novelist and politician (b. Sept. 15, 1921, Zefat, British Palestine d. Aug. 20, 2004, Rishon LeZiyyon, Israel), championed the socialist ideals of kibbutz life in his novels; in the 1960s he launched a political career as a… …   Universalium

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