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van Paassen, Pierre°

VAN PAASSEN, PIERRE°

VAN PAASSEN, PIERRE ° (1895–1968), writer and journalist; among the most fervent non-Jewish Zionists. Born in Gorinchem, Holland, to a Calvinist family, Van Paassen was raised on the Bible and love for the people and the land of Israel. From 1914 he lived in Canada. He became a world-famous journalist, noted for his travel articles and interviews with leading personalities. His attachment to the Jewish people and land of Israel emerged after his first visit to Palestine in 1925, and from then on his books and articles reflected his enthusiastic attitude toward Zionism. In 1942 Van Paassen headed in the U.S. the Committee for a Jewish Army. His book The Forgotten Ally (1943) was a sharp indictment of British anti-Zionist policy; its Hebrew version was banned by the Mandatory government in Palestine in 1946. He also polemicized against Jewish and Zionist leaders whom he accused of a moderate, compromising stance toward anti-Zionist Britain.

Van Paassen published many books, some of them autobiographical (Days of Our Years, 1943; To Number Our Days, 1964). He was the author of That Day Alone (1941), The Time is Now (1941), and Jerusalem Calling (1950) and the editor (together with J.W. Wise) of Nazism, an Assault on Civilization (1934).

[Getzel Kressel]

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