Bar-Ilan, David

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BAR-ILAN, DAVID (1930–2003), Israeli journalist and pianist. Bar-Ilan was born in Haifa. A gifted pianist, he won a scholarship to Juilliard School of Fine Arts in New York at the age of 17. As a soloist he appeared with major orchestras and recorded six albums, including the works of Chopin, Beethoven, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms. In 1961 he was the first Israeli to perform in Germany. He began his writing career in the 1960s, becoming a staunch defender of Israel's case in articles he published in the American media. He also helped found Americans for a Safe Israel. Bar-Ilan was identified with Zionist Revisionist ideology and the Land of Israel Movement. He returned to Israel in 1990, where he joined The Jerusalem Post, first as editorial page editor and in 1992 as executive editor. Editorial policy under Bar-Ilan was characterized by right-wing positions on Arab-Israeli matters and support for the *Likud party. He wrote a weekly column, "Eye on the Media," castigating foreign media reporting on Israel. Yet, as editor he zealously kept the paper's op-ed pages open to a broad spectrum of political views. In 1996, after Netanyahu won the elections in Israel, Bar-Ilan joined Netanyahu's staff as his chief of information and policy planning. After Netanyahu's failure in the 1999 elections, he returned to The Jerusalem Post.

[Yoel Cohen (2nd ed.)]