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Yaacob Riftin Dead at 71

Funeral services were held at Kibbutz Ein Shemer today for Yaacob Riftin, one of its founders and a veteran leader of Mapam, Kibbutz Artzi and the Histadrut who died yesterday at the age of 71.

Riftin, who was born in Poland, settled in Palestine in 1929 and soon rose to prominence in the Labor Zionist and kibbutz movements which he represented on various public bodies during the Mandate period. After the State was founded, he served four terms in the Knesset as a member of the Mapam delegation. His political views were some what to the left of that party and he was eventually ousted from it and formed a left-wing alignment, Brit Hasmol (left alliance) in 1969.

For many years, Riftin served as a member of the Jewish Agency’s defense committee and after the Yom Kippur War became chairman of the Committee for the Rehabilitation of Israeli-Soviet Relations. Though ill in recent years, he continued to work in the industrial plant at Ein Shemer and was active in various projects he has undertaken.

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