Exodus’ hero dies


The Israeli operative who oversaw the illegal Jewish immigrant ship “Exodus” died.

Yossi Harel, among the legendary leaders of the Haganah underground in British Mandate Palestine, succumbed to a heart attack Saturday. He was 90.

In the years between World War II and Israel’s founding in 1948, Harel was responsible for organizing Jewish immigration in the face of a British blockade.

His most famous mission was aboard Exodus, a ship that carried some 4,500 Holocaust survivors from France to Palestine in 1947 but was intercepted by the British navy. The incident was dramatized by novelist Leon Uris and then turned into a 1960 Hollywood film in which Paul Newman played a character based on Harel.

“His life was intertwined with the history of the state,” Harel’s American-born wife, Julie, told Ma’ariv.

Recommended from JTA