Bar-Lev, Haim(1924–1994)

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BAR-LEV, HAIM(1924–1994)

Israeli general and politician. Haim Bar-Lev was born in Vienna, grew up in Yugoslavia, and immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1939. He joined the Palmach (the first and elite military group within the Haganah) in 1942 and commanded a battalion in the Arab-Israel War of 1948. Bar-Lev remained in the army, commanding an armored brigade in the Arab-Israel War of 1956, and in 1957 becoming chief of the Armored Corps. After studying economics and business at Columbia University in New York from 1961 to 1963, he returned to Israel. He became chief of military operations in 1964, deputy chief of staff in 1967, and chief of staff in 1968. From 1968 to 1970, Bar-Lev led the Israel Defense Force (IDF) in the war of attrition against Egypt. The Bar-Lev Line, Israel's line of defense along the Suez Canal, was named for him. Bar-Lev retired from the IDF in 1972, then was elected to the Knesset in 1973 and served as minister of commerce and industry until 1977. He was minister of police from 1984 until 1988, then served as Israeli ambassador to the Russian Federation from 1992 until his death in 1994.