David Bar-Ilan

(1930-2003)


David Bar-Ilan was born on February 7, 1930 in Haifa, Israel. His parents were second generation Israelis.

Bar-Ilan was a piano prodogy and won a scholarship to the Juilliard School of Fine Arts in New York at the age of seventeen. He came back to Israel in 1948 to fight in the War of Independence and, after winning, returned to the United States to finish his schooling. He remained in America for the next forty years.

While in the States Bar-Ilan progressed in his music career, working with well-known composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Glenn Gould. Meanwhile, Bar-Ilan became a constant voice in American news, vocalizing strongly his support of Israel and the plight of Soviet Jewry.

Once he moved back to Israel, Bar-Ilan began writing for the Jerusalem Post. He became a lead writer in 1990 and was editor of the Post from 1992 until 1996.

David Bar-Ilan was a man who never hid his political feelings and his "right-wing" views edged the pages of the Jerusalem Post.

It was perhaps these views that caused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to choose Bar-Ilan as his chief of information and policy after the Likud party won the election in 1996.

As a political aide, Bar-Ilan was disliked by left-wing Israelis as well as many of the more liberal newspapers because of his hardline policies which included his support of the West Bank settlements and his disdain for the peace talks with Yasser Araft and the PLO. He was unwilling to negotiate with a militarized Palestinian Authority though maintained that he would consider a two-state solution with a de-militarized Palestine. On the same token, he was greatly liked by the more right-wing supporters in Israel.

David Bar-Ilan died on November 4, 2003 at the age of 73 after suffering from a heart attack.


Source: Guardian