Katz, Land of Israel champion, dies


Shmuel Katz, a leading Land of Israel advocate and protege of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, died at 93.

Katz, a founder of the Herut party – a predecessor to Likud – died May 9 in Tel Aviv.

A South Africa native, he immigrated to Palestine in 1936, where he became a protege of Jabotinsky, the revisionist Zionist whose ideas formed the basis for the Greater Israel movement. Katz later became a member of the high command of the Irgun, the prestate guerrilla organization that hewed to Jabotinsky’s ideology, and a member of the first Knesset.

He wrote for a number of newspapers, including the Jerusalem Post, and published a number of tomes defending Land of Israel principles and extolling Jabotinsky.

Katz often decried the state of Israel’s hasbara, or public information, apparatus and Prime Minister Menachem Begin named him to reform it after the Likud won its first election in 1977. Katz left the government in 1978, unable to countenance Begin’s agreement to return the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace with Egypt.

In 1971, he helped found Americans for a Safe Israel, which advocates against land-for-peace formulas, instead promoting peace for peace.

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