A Founding Father of Israel, Inspired by Armenian History, Dies

TEL AVIV–The man who commanded the clandestine operations that brought in four ships carrying some 24,000 illegal immigran’s between 1945 and 1948, Yossi Harel, died Sunday in Tel Aviv at the age of 90.
The writer Yoram Kaniuk, a friend of Harel, told Haaretz that when the ships he commanded sailed past the coast of Turkey, Harel would think of the Armenian village in Franz Werfel’s novel “40 Days of Musa Dagh,” which described the Armenian Genocide.
“He loved the Armenian people and felt close to them,” Kaniuk said, adding that he wanted to mention Harel’s sensitivity to the Armenia’s as a sign of the great humanitarianism and compassion that were central to his Harel’s character.

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