Lishansky, Yosef

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LISHANSKY, YOSEF

LISHANSKY, YOSEF (1890–1917), member of the clandestine intelligence organization *Nili in Ereẓ Israel. Lishansky was born in the district of Kiev, Ukraine. He was orphaned, taken to Ereẓ Israel at the age of six, and raised by relatives living in Metullah. He joined the *Po'alei Zion Party, and for three years he worked as a watchman for *Ha-Shomer in Galilee, but was not accepted as a member of the organization. At the end of 1915 he joined Nili. In January 1917 he and Avshalom *Feinberg tried, on behalf of Nili, to cross the Sinai Desert to reach the British lines in Egypt. Feinberg was killed en route by Bedouins, but Lishansky, though wounded, reached Egypt. Upon his return to Ereẓ Israel, he joined Sarah *Aaronsohn in organizing the group's espionage work. When Nili was uncovered by the Turks, Lishansky sought refuge with former comrades in Ha-Shomer, who, however, decided that the safety and security of the Jewish population necessitated his death. Emissaries of Ha-Shomer set out to assassinate Lishansky, but succeeded only in wounding him, and he managed to escape. He tried to reach Egypt but was caught on the way and sentenced to death by the Turkish authorities in Damascus. He was hanged on Dec. 16, 1917, together with his Nili comrade Na'aman *Belkind, and was buried beside him at Rishon le-Ẓion.

bibliography:

A. Engle, Nili Spies (1959), index; Dinur, Haganah, 1 (1954–56), 358–78, 409–11, 733–78; E. Livneh (ed.), Nili, Toledoteha shel He'azah Medinit (1961), index.

[Yehuda Slutsky]