Ariel (Fisher), Joseph

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ARIEL (Fisher ), JOSEPH (1893–1964), Israeli diplomat. Born in Odessa, Fisher was active in the Zionist movement from his early youth, and as a result of his activities in the Zionist student organization He-Ḥaver, he was imprisoned by the Czarist authorities. He immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in 1924 and, entering the service of the Jewish National Fund, was sent to Paris, where he directed the jnf until 1950. There he founded the bi-weekly La Terre Retrouvée, of which he was editor. After the Nazi occupation of France in 1940, Fisher maintained clandestine Zionist activities at Lyons. He was one of the active members of the Conseil Representatif des Juifs de France (c.r.i.f.) from its inception.

On returning to Israel in 1950, he was appointed Israeli ambassador to Belgium (1952–57), during which period he organized a visit to Israel by the Queen Mother Elisabeth of Belgium. In 1960, he was appointed director of the department of foreign relations of *Yad Vashem and engaged in research on the Holocaust in France. He contributed extensively to periodicals and wrote a number of books, including Un Peuple Renaît (1938) and memoirs of the Zionist movement in Russia during the period of the Bolshevik Revolution, which were published in He-Avar, a journal devoted to the history of the Jews in Russia.

[Jacob Tsur (2nd ed.)]