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Tidhar, David

TIDHAR, DAVID (1897–1970), Israeli author and police officer. Born in Jaffa, Tidhar volunteered in 1918 for the Jewish Legion and was also among the defenders of Jaffa Jews during the 1921 Arab riots. He was an early member of the Haganah and joined the Palestine Police in 1922, serving as the commanding officer in the New City of Jerusalem. In 1926 he opened a private investigation bureau. Throughout the years he put his particular knowledge of Arab affairs and of the Mandatory government at the disposal of the yishuv institutions and of the Jewish Agency. In 1950 he turned to full-time writing and publishing.

Tidhar was the hero of the first published Hebrew detective stories in a series of 28 stories, Balash ("Detective"), written by Shelomo Ben-Israel (Gelfer). Tidhar's major work is Enẓiklopedyah le-Ḥalutzei ha-Yishuv u-Vonav (1947ff., of which 19 volumes appeared in his lifetime), a detailed Who's Who of Ereẓ Israel. His other writings include Hot'im veḤata'im be-Ereẓ Yisrael ("Criminals and Crimes in Ereẓ Israel," 1924); Bein ha-Pattish ve-ha-Saddan ("Between Hammer and Anvil," 1932), a collection of articles; Be-Maddim uve-Lo Maddim ("In and Out of Uniform"), memoirs of public activity from 1912 until 1937, and Be-Sherut ha-Moledet ("In the Service of My Country," 1960–61), containing memoirs, documents, and photographs from the period 1912–60.