Pa'il (Pilevsky), Meir

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PA'IL (Pilevsky), MEIR

PA'IL (Pilevsky ), MEIR (1926– ), Israeli officer, radical politician, and historian, member of the Eighth and Ninth Knessets. Pa'il was born in Jerusalem and studied at the Taḥkemoni School in Jerusalem, at Beit Hinukh in Ḥolon, and at the Balfour Reali Gymnasium in Tel Aviv. He served in the Palmaḥ in 1943–48. In April 1948 he was witness to the massacre performed at Deir Yassin by an iẒl unit, as an observer on behalf of the Haganah. During the War of Independence he served as a deputy commander of a battalion, and as operations officer in the staff of the Negev Brigade. After the War of Independence he served in the idf as commander of the Central School for Officers, and head of the Department for Fighting Doctrine in the General Staff. He retired from the idf in 1971 with the rank of colonel.

Pa'il studied general history and Middle Eastern studies at Tel Aviv University, and received a doctorate in history in 1974. His thesis dealt with the growth of the Israeli military system out of the Zionist underground movements before the establishment of the state.

Pa'il joined Mapam in 1948, but left it in 1969 against the background of its decision to run in the elections to the Seventh Knesset in the Alignment list with the *Israel Labor Party. He then became active in the Movement for Peace and Security. In 1973 he was one of the founders of Tekhelet Adom that joined the radical Moked, and was elected to the Eighth Knesset on its list. In 1977 he was one of the founders of Maḥaneh ha-Semol ha-Yisraeli (known as "Sheli") and was elected to the Ninth Knesset on its list. In 1980 he resigned from the Knesset as part of a rotation agreement, and was replaced by Se'adyah Martziano. In the Knesset he served on the Education, Culture, and Sports Committee, and the Immigration and Absorption Committee. He remained in Sheli until the party disintegrated in 1983. After 1984 he became the academic director of the Center for Historical Research of the idf at Ef 'al, in cooperation with the United Kibbutz Movement. He was one of the founders and an active member of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, and one of the founders of the Israeli Association for Military History.

He was a prolific writer of books and articles about Israeli's military and political history. Among his numerous works are Min ha-Haganah li-Ẓeva Haganah (1979); with Menahem Brinker, Iyyunim ba-Tarbut ha-Politit be-Yisrael (1985); Palmaḥ: Ha-Ko'aḥ ha-Meguyyas shel ha-Haganah (1995); and Ha-Mefaked: Manhigut Ẓeva'it be-Darkhei No'am (2003).

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]