Mordechai Gazit

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Mordechai Gazit (Hebrew: מרדכי גזית‎‎) is a retired Israeli diplomat. He served as an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir., ambassador to France, and as Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.[1]

Early life[edit]

Gazit was born Mordechai Weinstein in Istanbul, Turkey to a family of Ukrainian Jews. His younger brother is Shlomo Gazit. In his youth, the family came to Palestine.

At 14, he joined the Haganah, and completed an officer's course in 1943.

During the 1947-48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine, Gazit commanded a Haganah unit that was sent to hold Al-Qastal after its capture by Palmach commandos on April 3, 1948. During a lull in the fighting, a Haganah sentry under Gazit's command shot and killed Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, the commander of the Army of the Holy War. Gazit personally examined the body and took his papers. Although Gazit's Haganah unit was later pushed out of Kastel by an Arab counterattack, Husayni's death had a devastating effect on Arab morale.[2] He fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War as an intelligence officer and company commander in the Etzioni Brigade, participating in fighting in the Jerusalem area. He led an effort to resupply the besieged Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City, and was severely wounded in the fighting.[3]


Gazit received a master's degree in archaeology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[1] In 1949, he joined the Israeli Foreign Ministry and was posted as a secretary at the Israeli Embassy in London. He later served in Rangoon, and in various senior positions within the Israeli Foreign Ministry. He was Deputy Director-General of the Immigrant Absorption Ministry from 1969 to 1970, and ambassador to France from 1976 to 1979.

Gazit has rejected the argument that Israel missed an opportunity to make peace with Egypt from 1970-1973 after Anwar Sadat became Egypt's president. He has also rejected the claim that Jordan's King Hussein warned Meir about the impending Arab attack on Israel in 1973.[4]


  1. ^ a b Mordechai Gazit Returns to Academe The Harvard Crimson, 28 October 1980
  2. ^ Bell, Bowyer J.: Terror out of Zion (1976)
  4. ^ Was There a Warning? Haaretz, 12 June 1998

Selected publications[edit]

  • Israeli Diplomacy and the Quest for Peace (London: Frank Cass, 2002)
  • “The Genesis of US-Israel Military – Strategic Relationship and the Dimona Issue,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 35, No. 3 (July 2000), pp. 413-422.
  • The Peace Process 1969-1973: Efforts and Contacts (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1983)