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KATZNELSON, BERL (1887-1944).

Writer, editor, and Israel labor leader. Honored for many years as the “conscience” of Israel labor, Katznelson came to Palestine from Russia in 1909. In 1920, after working for many years as an agricultural laborer and serving in the Jewish Legion during World War I, he was instrumental in founding the Histadrut, the Israel Federation of Labor. Five years later he established Davar, the Histadrut daily which he edited to the end of his life. A founding member of Mapai, the Israel labor party, he was active in public life as a member of the executive committee of the Histadrut, the Jewish Agency, and the World Zionist Organization. During the late 1930’s Katznelson was a strong partisan of “illegal” immigration. Recognizing the imminent danger to European and world Jewry, he was an active supporter of the underground which smuggled Jews out of Europe and into Palestine.

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