ELIAV, ARIE LOVA


ELIAV, ARIE LOVA (1921– ), Israeli planner, educator, sociologist, politician, and peace activist, member of the Sixth to Ninth and Twelfth Knessets. Eliav was born in Moscow and was brought by his parents to Palestine in 1924. He studied at the Herzlia Gymnasium in Tel Aviv and general history and sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He joined the Haganah in 1936 and in the years 1941–45 fought in the British army in the Middle East and Europe. In 1946–48 he was active in the organization of "illegal"*immigration to Palestine. After the establishment of the state he joined the IDF and participated in the War of Independence, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1949–53 he served as assistant to the director of the Jewish Agency Settlement Department, and studied agricultural economics in London in 1953. In 1955–57 Eliav directed the project for the development of the Lachish region in southern Israel, where many new immigrants were settled; he participated in the planning and establishment of the town of Arad. During the Sinai Campaign in 1956 he was in charge of the project for saving the Jews of Port Said.

In 1958–60, Eliav served as first secretary in the Israeli Embassy in Moscow. In 1960–64 he headed the aid and rehabilitation mission that Israel sent to Qazvin in northwestern Iran after it had been severely hit by an earthquake. Eliav was first elected to the Sixth Knesset in 1965 on the Alignment list. In 1966–67 he served as deputy minister of industry and trade in charge of industrialization in development areas, and the following two years as deputy minister of immigration absorption under Yigal *Allon. In 1969–71 Eliav served as secretary general of the *Israel Labor Party. In this period he started to adopt dovish positions regarding the concessions that Israel might make in return for peace with its neighbors. After resigning the secretary generalship of the Labor Party, he spent the next year writing an ideological work entitled Ereḥ ha-Ẓevi (one of the biblical names for the Land of Israel) in which an entire chapter was devoted to a discussion of Israel's relations with the Arabs and Palestinians. It appeared in English in 1974 as Land of the Hart.

Following the earthquake that occurred in Managua in Nicaragua just before Christmas of 1972 Eliav headed an Israeli aid mission to help construct temporary housing there. In December 1973 he ran in the elections to the Eighth Knesset on the Alignment list, but in April 1975 left the Alignment and joined the Civil Rights Movement, forming a parliamentary group by the name of Ya'ad. In 1975 he was also one of the founders of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. In January 1976 he and MK Marsha Freedman left Ya'ad, due to a dispute about policy toward the PLO and formed the Social Democratic parliamentary faction. In 1976–77 Eliav participated in talks with representatives of the PLO.

Eliav was one of the founders of the radical party Mahaneh Sheli, and in 1977 was elected to the Ninth Knesset on its list. In 1979 he handed his seat over to Uri *Avneri and engaged in teaching new immigrants and prisoners. In 1982–85 he participated, on behalf of Prime Minister Menaḥem *Begin, in contacts with the PLO and other Palestinian organizations in an attempt to bring about the release of four Israeli prisoners held by them in return for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

In 1982 Eliav joined the International Center for Peace in the Middle East. In the elections to the Twelfth Knesset in 1988 he returned to the Knesset on the Alignment list. In 1993 he unsuccessfully ran against Ezer *Weizman for the Labor Party nomination for the presidency of Israel.

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]


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