Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

The First Palestinian-American Elected to Congress

(1927 - 2014)

The first Palestinian-American elected to Congress was John Hans Krebs.

Born Hans Joachim Krebs in Berlin, Germany in 1927, he moved with his parents to Mandate Palestine in 1933 and later volunteered for the Haganah. He went on to study law at the University of California at Berkeley in 1946 where he earned an A.B. before going on to finish his LL.B. at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1957. That year he was admitted to the California bar.

Krebs served in the U.S. Army from 1952-54 and obtained U.S. citizenship in 1954. The same year he got married (wife Hanna).

Krebs served as member of the Fresno County Planning Commission from 1965 to 1969 and the Fresno County Board of Supervisors from 1970 to 1974.

Krebs was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 17th district as a Democrat in 1974, defeating four-term Republican Bob Mathias by a 52% to 48% margin. Krebs served two terms before being defeated in 1978.

Krebs died on November 10, 2014, in Fresno, California.

Sources: Victor Rosenthal, “The first Palestinian-American in Congress,” Abu Yehuda, (January 10, 2019);
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
“John Hans Krebs,” Wikipedia.

Photo: Wikipedia