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Dov Joseph (Yosef)


Dov Joseph (Yosef) (Bernard), Israeli politician and lawyer, member of the First to Third Knessets. Born in Montreal, Canada, as a teenager he was among the founders of Young Judea in Canada and served as its president. In 1918, he joined the Jewish Legion, and within its framework reached Palestine.

After his return to Canada Joseph studied economics and political science at McGill University in Montreal, and after that law at Lavale Univesity. He studied in London, where he became a barrister and received his Ph.D. After his studies he settled in Jerusalem, and started working as a lawyer in the office of Horace Samuel.

In 1933, Joseph was involved in the preparation of a claim for civil compensation in the case of the assassination of Hayim Arlosoroff and he joined Mapai. In 1936, Joseph was appointed legal adviser and deputy head of the Jewish Agency's Political Department, in Jerusalem, under Moshe Sharett.

During World War II, he coordinated the enlistment of volunteers for the Jewish units in the British Army. In the years 1945–46, he served as a member of the executive of the Jewish Agency and was sent to the United States on special missions. On Black Saturday, June 29, 1946, he was among the leaders of the Jewish Agency arrested by the British and held at Latrun until November.

Toward the establishment of the State in 1948, Joseph was appointed military governor of Jerusalem, during the siege on the city. After the establishment of the State, he was elected to the First Knesset on the Mapai list and remained a Knesset member until 1959, serving as minister of supply and rationing in 1949–51, in which capacity he initiated a policy of rationing.

Until 1959, Joseph served in numerous ministerial posts including agriculture (1950–51), transportation (1950–51), commerce and industry (1951–52), justice (1951–52 and again 1961–66), development (1953–59), and health (1956–59). From 1956 to 1961, he served as treasurer of the Jewish Agency. After the establishment of the Israel Labor Party in 1968 he served as head of a party committee that proposed an amendment to the Israeli electoral system.

He wrote Nationality, Its Nature and Problems (1929); The White Paper on Palestine: A Criticism (1930), British Rule in Palestine (1948), and The Faithful City (1960).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.