HURWITZ, YIGAEL (1918–1994) Israeli politician, farmer, and industrialist; member of the Seventh to Twelfth Knessets. Hurwitz was born in Naḥalat Yehudah, and grew up in Nahalal. He was a member of the No'ar ha-Oved ve-ha-Lomed secretariat in 1938–41. In 1940 he enlisted in the Jewish Brigade. After World War II he settled in Kefar Warburg and participated in an attempt to establish a new underground movement called Am Loḥem. In 1946 he established a party by the name of Tenu'at ha-Am, which offered a middle way between the positions of *Mapai and the *Revisionist movement. After the War of Independence Hurwitz headed the Moshav Movement in Southern Israel, and in 1961–65 was member of its secretariat. Until 1966 he was engaged in establishing enterprises for the manufacture of dairy and meat products, and became director of the Tene-Noga Dairy Products Company as well as of Andir and Tavlin. In 1961 he joined Mapai and in 1965 he was among the founders of *Rafi with David *Ben-Gurion. In 1968 when most of the members of Rafi joined the *Israel Labor Party, Hurwitz remained with Ben-Gurion. He ran with Ben-Gurion on the State List ticket in the elections to the Seventh Knesset. In 1973, after the death of Ben-Gurion, he joined the *Likud with the rest of the State List. In 1976 he was one of the founders and the chairman of the La-Am faction within the Likud. In the first government formed by Menaḥem *Begin after the 1977 election upset, Hurwitz was appointed minister of industry, trade and tourism. He resigned from the government in September 1978 because of his opposition to the Camp David Accords. In November 1979, following the resignation of Simha *Ehrlich from the Ministry of Finance he was appointed to the post, and adopted as his motto "Not a Cent."
In the elections to the Tenth Knesset Hurwitz ran on the list headed by Moshe *Dayan, called Telem, but failed to enter the Knesset. Upon Dayan's death, Hurwitz entered the Knesset in his place. Prior to the elections to the Eleventh Knesset in 1984 he left Telem and ran in the elections at the head of a new list that he formed called Omeẓ. His party received a single seat in the new Knesset, and he joined the National Unity Government as minister without portfolio, serving in this post under both Shimon *Peres and Yitzhak *Shamir. In 1987, before the elections to the Twelfth Knesset, he rejoined the Likud after being promised two safe seats on its list. Hurwitz did not run in the elections to the Thirteenth Knesset.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.