Israeli Humanitarian and Peace Advocate to Speak at UH Manoa

Lova Eliav presents: Making the Desert Bloom

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Oct 23, 2002

Lova Eliav, a distinguished Israeli author who has dedicated his efforts towards humanitarianism and peace advocacy, will be giving the first in an annual series of lectures in Jewish Studies on Monday, October 28, at 7 p.m. at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s School of Architecture Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public. Eliav is currently in Hawaiʻi through October 30, and will also be speaking to various classes at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo, as well as at Temple Emmanuel on Oahu.

The first annual lecture series in Jewish Studies was established by the Martin Gruss Family Foundation. The foundation is sponsoring Eliav‘s trip along with Continental Airlines and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo‘s Office of Academic Affairs and Humanities Division.

A member of the Knesset from 1965-1979 and again from 1988-1992, Eliav served as Secretary-General of the Labor party in the early 1970s. He has participated in numerous diplomatic and humanitarian missions, including leading the Israeli teams that helped rehabilitate the Chazvin region of Iran and of Managua, Nicaragua, after devastating earthquakes, as well as negotiating an exchange of POWs during the Lebanon war. He has also been a major figure in the agricultural development of the Negev desert, where he directed the planning and development of 50 villages and a town, and where he founded Nitzana, a youth village and school that brings together young Israelis, Arabs, and overseas Jews.

In addition, Eliav has written more than a dozen books including "Between Hammer and Sickle" (on the plight of Soviet Jewry), "The Voyage of the Ulua" (an account of his blockade-running exploits with European refugees), "A New Heart and a New Spirit" (an analysis of biblical and Jewish ethics vs. post-1967 Israeli society) and "Come With Peace."

He has won several honors including the Ussishkin Prize for Zionist Literature, the Bruno Kreisky Peace Prize and the Prize of Israel, his nation‘s highest civilian honor.

Eliav was born in Moscow in 1921 and migrated to Palestine with his parents in 1924. He fought in the Jewish Brigade during World War II and commanded ships attempting to bring Holocaust survivors into Palestine through the British blockade following the war. A lieutenant colonel in the newly formed Israel Defense Forces during the war for independence, Eliav commanded an air and sea mission to rescue the Jews of Port Said, Egypt, during the 1956 war over the Suez Canal, and has been active in Israeli politics and diplomacy ever since the founding of the state.