Mordechai Bentov

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Mordechai Bentov
Date of birth 28 March 1900
Place of birth Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Russian Empire
Year of aliyah 1920
Date of death 18 January 1985 (aged 84)
Knessets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Faction represented in Knesset
1949–1965 Mapam
Ministerial roles
1948–1949 Minister of Labour & Construction
1955–1961 Minister of Development
1966–1969 Minister of Housing

Mordechai Bentov (Hebrew: מרדכי בנטוב‎, born Mordechai Gutgeld on 28 March 1900, died 18 January 1985) was an Israeli journalist and politician, and was one of the signatories of the Israeli declaration of independence.


Born in Grodzisk Mazowiecki (then part of the Russian Empire, today Poland, Bentov studied law for two years at the University of Warsaw and was one of the founding members and leaders of Hashomer Hatzair in Poland. He immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1920, and continued studying law in Jerusalem.

He was amongst the founders of Kibbutz Artzi, and was a member of Mishmar HaEmek kibbutz. By this time he had risen to the leadership of Hashomer Hatzair, and was one of its representatives in the Histadrut and the World Zionist Organization. He was also one of the Jewish Agency delegation to the United Nations in 1947.

Political career[edit]

On 14 May 1948 Bentov was one of the 37 people to sign Israel's declaration of independence, and was appointed Minister of Labour and Construction in the provisional government. In 1949 he was elected to the first Knesset as a member of Mapam. He was re-elected in 1951 and 1955, after which he was appointed Minister of Development, a post he held until 1961.

Although he lost his seat in the 1965 elections, he was appointed Minister of Housing by Levi Eshkol, remaining in the position until 1969.


  • Israel’s Economy at a Crossroads (1962) (Hebrew)
  • Israel, the Palestinians and the Left (1971) (Hebrew)
  • Days Will Tell: Memories from the Decisive Period (1984) (Hebrew)

External links[edit]