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Hacohen, David


HACOHEN, DAVID (1898–1984), Israeli politician and diplomat; member of the First to Sixth Knessets. Hacohen was born in Gomel, Russia, the son of Mordecai ben Hillel *Hacohen, who immigrated to Ereẓ Israel with his family in 1907. In Gomel he went to a reformed ḥeder, and in Tel Aviv went to the Herzlia Gymnasium. Hacohen enlisted to the Turkish Army in 1916 and served in Anatolia. In 1919–23 he studied economics at the London School of Economics. Upon his return to Palestine in 1923 he was appointed manager of the Office for Public Works and Planning in the *Histadrut, which eventually became *Solel Boneh. During World War ii he was *Haganah liaison officer to the British Army and British Intelligence. His house in Haifa served as the center of Free French Forces radio transmission to the Vichy-occupied Levant. For many years during the British Mandate, Hacohen served as a member of the mixed Arab-Jewish Haifa Municipality. Together with other yishuv leaders, he was arrested by the British on "Black Saturday," June 29, 1946, and interned at Latrun. After being a member of *Aḥdut ha-Avodah, Hacohen was elected to the First Knesset on the *Mapai list, and remained a member of the Knesset for 20 years until 1969, with a break in 1953–55, when he served as Israel's first ambassador to Burma. In the Second to Sixth Knessets he was chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He led many of the Knesset delegations to the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, and was twice a member of its Executive.

David Hacohen's second wife was Bracha *Habas.

[Benjamin Jaffe /

Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]

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