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Reuven Shiloah, Leading Israeli Diplomat, Dead; Served in Washington

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Reuven Shiloah, former Israeli Minister Plenipotentiary to Washington, and political advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since the State was established in 1940, died of a heart attack in his sleep early this morning, at Tel Hashomer Hospital here. He was 50.

Mr Shiloah’s sudden death came as a shock to many here in government and diplomacy who have known him as one of the most brilliant men in Israel’s foreign service. He was admitted to the hospital last week, when his physicians suspected a heart ailment. Since he was very tired from overwork, the doctors decided over the week-end to keep him in the hospital a few days longer, and to work out a program of quiet recuperation. Death came during the early hours today from a blood clot.

Born in this city in 1909, Reuven Shiloah studied at Tachkemoni High School here, and took degrees at the Hebrew University at the Teachers Seminary. He served on special missions for the Jewish population here to Iraq and to Kurdistan, in 1931 and 1932, and became political secretary to Histadrut in 1932, serving in that post until 1936.

Later, he organized the intelligence service of the Jewish self-defense organization, Haganah, and also served on the staff of the political department of the Jewish Agency. From 1936 to 1948, he was liaison officer between the Jewish Agency and the British Army authorities in Palestine. In 1945, he was a Jewish Agency observer at the United Nations founding conference in San Francisco.

(In Washington Israel Ambassador Abba Eban said today: “I have no words to express my grief and shock at the sudden death of Reuven Shiloah. He was amongst my dearest friends, and my constant partner in so many enterprises. He made priceless contributions to Israel’s international progress, not least in the field of American-Israel relations. His wise counsel and passionate industry will be sorely missed.”)

Mr. Shiloah is survived by his widow. Betty, who is American-born; two sons; and a daughter. The funeral will take place here tomorrow.

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