Geulah Cohen

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Geulah Cohen
Geula Cohen 1948.jpg
Date of birth (1925-12-25) 25 December 1925 (age 89)
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine
Knessets 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Faction represented in Knesset
1974–1979 Likud
1979–1992 Tehiya

Geulah Cohen (Hebrew: גאולה כהן‎, born 25 December 1925) is an Israeli former Irgun and Lehi member, politician, and journalist.


Geulah Cohen was born in Tel Aviv during the Mandate era. She studied at the Levinsky Teachers Seminary, and earned a master's degree in Jewish Studies, Philosophy, Literature and Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[1]

In 1942 she joined the Irgun, and moved to Lehi the following year.[2][3][4] A radio announcer for the group, she was arrested by the British authorities in 1946. She was imprisoned in Bethlehem, but escaped from jail in 1947. She was also editor of the Lehi newspaper Youth Front. After Israeli independence in 1948, she contributed to Sulam, a monthly magazine published by former Lehi leader Israel Eldad.

Cohen married a former Lehi comrade, Emanuel Hanegbi.[5] From 1961 to 1973, she wrote for the Israeli newspaper Maariv and served on its editorial board.[6] While working as a journalist, she came to New York to visit the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Schneerson encouraged her to get involved with Israeli youth.[7]

Political career[edit]

In 1972 Cohen joined Menachem Begin's Herut party, then part of the Gahal alliance, and was elected to the Knesset the following year, by which time Gahal had become Likud. She was re-elected in 1977.[8]

Dissatisfied with Begin signing the Camp David Treaty and in particular the return of Sinai to Egypt as a land-for-peace deal, in 1979 Cohen and Moshe Shamir left Likud to found a new right-wing party Banai, later renamed Tehiya-Bnai, and then settling on Tehiya. The new party was strongly affiliated with the extra-parliamentary movement of Gush Emunim, and included prominent members of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza such as Hanan Porat and Elyakim Haetzni.[9]

Cohen retained her seat in the 1981 elections and despite their previous differences, Tehiya joined Begin's coalition. She retained her seat elections in 1984 and 1988, and in June 1990, following a coalition crisis, was appointed to the cabinet as Deputy Minister of Science and Technology.[10]

Cohen lost her seat in the 1992 elections in which Tehiya failed to win a seat. In the same year she rejoined Likud, for whom her son Tzachi Hanegbi had become a Knesset member. Cohen remains active in right-wing politics.

Criticism of territorial concessions[edit]

Cohen opposes all territorial concession. She was a vocal critic of the Camp David Accords in 1978 and of disengagement plan from Gaza in 2005.[11]


  • In 2003, Cohen was awarded the Israel Prize for her lifetime achievements and special contribution to society and the State of Israel.[12][13]
  • In 2007, she received the Yakir Yerushalayim (Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem) award from the city of Jerusalem.[14]

Published work[edit]

  • Story of a Fighter (1961) (Hebrew autobiography)
  • Geulah Cohen (1966). Woman of Violence: Memoirs of a Young Terrorist, 1943–1948. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.  (autobiography)
  • Historical Meeting (1986) (Hebrew)
  • Ein li koah lehiyot ayefa ("No Strength to be Tired") (2008)


  1. ^ Atkins, S.E. (2004). Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups. Greenwood Press. p. 66. ISBN 9780313324857. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  2. ^ BenDov, H. Nobody Wants To Die. PublishAmerica. ISBN 9781456081942. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  3. ^ Heller, J. (1995). The Stern Gang: Ideology, Politics, and Terror, 1940-1949. F. Cass. p. 265. ISBN 9780714645582. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Bowker-Saur (1991). Who's Who of Women in World Politics. Bowker-Saur. ISBN 9780862916275. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  6. ^ Viorst, M. (1987). Sands of Sorrow: Israel's Journey from Independence. Tauris. p. 216. ISBN 9781850430643. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  7. ^ "If I Forget Thee, Oh Jerusalem… - Program Three Hundred Twenty Seven - Living Torah – Geulah Cohen". Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  8. ^ Gorenberg, G. (2007). The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977. Henry Holt and Company. p. 281. ISBN 9780805082418. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  9. ^ Tessler, M.A. (1994). A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Indiana University Press. p. 646. ISBN 9780253208736. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  10. ^ Lochery, N. (1997). The Israeli Labour Party: In the Shadow of the Likud. Ithaca Press. p. 184. ISBN 9780863722172. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) – Recipient’s C.V.". 
  13. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) – Judges' Rationale for Grant to Recipient". 
  14. ^ "Recipients of Yakir Yerushalayim award (in Hebrew)".  City of Jerusalem official website

External links[edit]