Haim Gouri, legendary Israeli fighter and poet, dies at 94

Haim Gouri, poet, warrior and founding father of the State of Israel, has died. He was 94.

By: TPS and World Israel News Staff

Haim Gouri, one of Israel’s definitive poets, authors, filmmakers and journalists died Wednesday. He was 94.

Gouri was one of the first major Hebrew-language authors of the modern Israeli period. After fighting in the pre-state Hagana militia and the IDF’s legendary Palmach unit during the War of Independence, he emerged as a leading voice of Israel’s founding generation.

In all, Gouri published 12 books of poetry, 10 books of prose and many newspaper and magazine articles. He is perhaps best known for his coverage of the trial of Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann, which he published in the book Facing the Glass Booth: The Jerusalem Trial of Adolf Eichmann.

Gouri fiercely defended his connection to Zionism and expressed his concerns for the State of Israel.

In 1988 he was awarded the Israel Prize for Poetry.

Noting that Gouri died on Tu B’Shevat, the Hebrew calendar’s equivalent to Arbor Day, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said he would name a section for tree planting in the Knesset Archaeological Garden after the late author.

Culture Minister Miri Regev eulogized Gouri as a “giant” of Israel’s founding generation who helped herald and document the rebirth of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

Making reference to one of Gouri’s best-known works, Regev said “Gouri will forever remain a ‘flower of fire’ of our national rebirth in the State of Israel. May his memory be a blessing.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett added that Gouri symbolized a spirit of “we, not just me.”

“His poems will continue to send a shudder through the hearts of Israeli youth,” Bennett added.