Amos Kenan, iconoclastic writer and artist, dies at 82

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Amos Kenan, the Israeli artist and writer who scandalized his countrymen with his iconoclasm, has died at 82.

He died Tuesday after struggling for years with Alzheimer’s disease, reports said.

Kenan, born in Tel Aviv, was a fighter in the prestate underground Lehi movement and an early member of the Canaanite movement, which envisioned a Hebrew nationalism bereft of the Jewish religion.

His pointed anti-religious satire led to his firing from Ha’aretz in the early 1950s and accusations, never proven, that he was involved in a bomb attack on a religious Cabinet minister.

He lived in France from 1954 to 1962, where he formed friendships with some of the country’s leading literati.

Upon his return to Israel, Kenan resumed his career as a satirist, writing for periodicals and the stage. He also was a noted sculptor and painter.

In the late 1980s, Kenan broke with his lifelong Lehi veterans when he said he saw in the Palestinian struggle echoes of their own youthful aspirations for independence.

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