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Dov Joseph Dead at 80

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Dov Joseph, who was military governor of besieged Jerusalem during the Israel War of Independence and later a Cabinet Minister from 1949-66, died Saturday at the age of 80.

Born April 27, 1899 in Montreal, as Bernard Joseph, he left Canada in 1918 to serve in the Jewish Legion in Palestine. He returned to Canada to complete his legal studies of McGill University in Montreal and then returned to Jerusalem in 1921 where he was in private law practice until 1948. He served as legal advisor to the political department of the Jewish Agency from 1936-45, was a member of the Executive from 1945-47 and its treasurer from 1957-61.

A close associate of David Ben Gurion, Joseph served as Jerusalem’s military governor in 1948-49 during the years the city was under siege from Arab forces. Under his leadership, the residents held on despite daily shelling and sniper fire. He described this period in a book, “The Faithful City, the Siege of Jerusalem,” published in 1962.

With the creation of the new State, Joseph became Minister of Supply and Rationing and introduced rationing and other austerity measures during the difficult years of 1949-50. He then served as Minister of Transport and Communications, 1950-51; Minister of Trade and Industry, 1951-53; Minister of Health, 1955, and Minister of Justice 1961-66. He was a member of the Knesset throughout that period.

Joseph was the author of two other books, “British Rule in Palestine” and “In Quest of Peace.”

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