Aharon Zisling

Aharon Zisling


Date of birth = 26 February 1901
Place of birth = Minsk, Russian Empire
Year of Aliyah =
Date of death = 16 January 1964
Place of death =
Knesset(s) = 1st, 2nd
Party = Ahdut HaAvoda
Former parties = Mapam
Gov't roles = Minister of Agriculture

Aharon Zisling ( _he. אהרון ציזלינג, 26 February 190116 January 1964) was an Israeli politician and minister and a signatory of Israel's declaration of independence.


Zisling emigrated to Palestine in 1914. He was born in Belorussia. He was among the founders of Youth Aliya and as a member of the Haganah command, and participated in the founding of the Palmach; he was a founder of the Ahdut HaAvoda party, a Jewish Agency delegate to the UN and a member of the Zionist Executive Committee.

Following Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, he was appointed Minister of Agrictulture in David Ben-Gurion's provisional government. By then Ahdut HaAvoda had evolved into Mapam.

However, Zisling was a noted critic of Ben-Gurion's policies towards Palestinian Arabs, in particular plans to occupy abandoned villages and to destroy standing Arab crops throughout the country after the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.Fact|date=February 2007 On November 17, 1948 he told the Provisional State Council (the forerunner to the Knesset); "I couldn’t sleep all night. I felt that things that were going on were hurting my soul, the soul of my family and all of us here (...) Now Jews too have behaved like Nazis and my entire being has been shaken." [ [http://mondediplo.com/1997/12/palestine The expulsion of the Palestinians re-examined] Le Monde Diplomatique, December 1997]

In 1949 he was elected to the first Knesset, but Mapam were not included in Ben-Gurion's coalition and Zisling lost his place in the cabinet. He was re-elected in 1951, and was part of the faction that broke away from Mapam to recreate Ahdut HaAvoda. He lost his seat in the 1955 elections and did not return to the Knesset.


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