AḤIMEIR, ABBA


AḤIMEIR, ABBA (pseud. of Abba Shaul Heisinovitch;1898–1962), journalist and writer, Revisionist leader in Palestine. Aḥimeir was born in Dolgi near Bobruisk, Belorussia, studied at the Herzlia High School in Tel Aviv (1912–14) and returned to Russia where he became a member of *Ẓe'irei Zion. After World War I he studied history at the universities of Liège and Vienna. On his return to Palestine in 1924, he joined *Ha-Po'el ha-Ẓa'ir, but his views gradually underwent a change to extreme opposition to both communism and socialism. In 1928 he joined the *Revisionists and advocated active opposition to the Mandatory government. He was the first to organize illegal public action in Palestine, and as a result was arrested several times from 1930 onward. When Chaim *Arlosoroff was murdered in June 1933, Aḥimeir was accused of plotting the murder, an accusation which he vehemently denied. After spending a year in prison, he was cleared by a court of appeals before defense witnesses had been called. He was nevertheless detained in prison, charged with organizing Berit ha-Biryonim, an underground group formed for the purpose of fighting British policy in Palestine, and sentenced to a further 18 months' imprisonment. Aḥimeir's views contributed to the ideological basis of the *Irgun Ẓeva'i Le'ummi and *Loḥamei Ḥerut Israel underground movements. He wrote numerous articles, many of them violently polemical. His impressions of prison life appeared as a book, with the punning title Reportazhah shel Baḥur "Yeshivah" ("Report by an Inmate," 1946). His views on the problems of Judaism and Zionism are set down in Im Keri'at ha-Gever ("When the Cock Crows," 1958) and Judaica (Heb., 1961). After Aḥimeir's death a committee was formed to publish his works under the title Ketavim Nivḥarim ("Selected Works").


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.