Shmuel Katz (politician)

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Shmuel Katz
Date of birth(1914-12-09)9 December 1914
Place of birthJohannesburg, South Africa
Year of aliyah1936
Date of death9 May 2008(2008-05-09) (aged 93)
Faction represented in Knesset

Shmuel "Mooki" Katz (Hebrew: שמואל "מוקי" כץ 9 December 1914 – 9 May 2008[1]) was an Israeli writer, historian and journalist.[2] Prior to the formation of the State of Israel, he was a Zionist activist and member of the Irgun High Command. He was a member of the first Knesset and is also known for his biography of Jewish leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky.[3]


Katz was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. His parents were Alexander and Luba Katz.[4] In 1930, he joined the Betar movement. In 1936, Katz immigrated to Mandatory Palestine as the secretary of Michael Haskel, the South African honorary consul.[5] Soon after his arrival, he joined the Irgun. In 1939, he was sent to London by Ze'ev Jabotinsky to speak on issues concerning Palestine. While there he founded the revisionist publication “The Jewish Standard” and was its editor, 1939–1941, and in 1945.[6]

In 1946, Katz returned to Mandatory Palestine and joined the HQ of the Irgun where he was active in the aspect of foreign relations. He was one of the seven members of the high command of the Irgun,[7] as well as a spokesman of the organization.[8][9] Katz also served as Irgun commander in Jerusalem during the War of Independence.[10] Menachem Begin writes in "The Revolt" that Katz "was the officer responsible for Jerusalem until the dissolution of the military regiments of the Irgun Zvai Leumi."[11]

Political career[edit]

Katz was one of the founders of the Herut political party and served as one of its members in the First Knesset. In 1951, he left politics and managed the Karni book publishing firm. He was co-founder of the Movement for Greater Israel in 1967; in 1971 he helped to create Americans for a Safe Israel.

In 1977, Katz became "Adviser to the Prime Minister for Information Abroad" to Menachem Begin. He accompanied Begin on two trips to Washington, D.C. and was asked to explain some points to President Jimmy Carter.[12] He quit this task on January 5, 1978 because of differences with the cabinet over peace proposals[13] with Egypt.[14] Katz was then active with the Tehiya party for some years and later with Herut – The National Movement after it split away from the ruling Likud.[15]

Literary career[edit]

Katz's Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine describes the roots of the Arab–Israeli conflict and attempts to refute anti-Zionist myths and Arab propaganda. Katz is the author of a two-volume biography of Jabotinsky entitled Lone Wolf, A Biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky.[3] In addition, he published a regular column for many years in The Jerusalem Post.[16]

Published works[edit]


  • Days of Fire (1966, Hebrew; 1968, English edition by Doubleday)[17]
  • Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine (1973)
  • Lo Oz Velo Hadar (No Courage and No Glory) (1981) In English: The Hollow Peace
  • Lone Wolf: A Two-Volume Biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky (1993)
  • Soldier Spies: Israeli Military Intelligence (1994) ISBN 978-0891415268
  • The Aaronsohn Saga (2007). ISBN 978-965-229-416-6


  • Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Story of the Jewish Legion; translated by Samuel Katz, with a foreword by Col. John Henry Patterson, New York: B. Ackerman, 1945
  • Menachem Begin, The Revolt: Story of the Irgun; translated by Shmuel Katz; edited by Ivan M. Greenberg, New York: H. Schuman, 1951


  1. ^ "Former Herut MK Shmuel Katz, 93, Passes Away - News Briefs Arutz Sheva". Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  2. ^ Library Journal
  3. ^ a b The Best Biography of Jabotinsky: The Lone Wolf Jewish Post
  4. ^ Shmuel Katz, an Opponent of Begin’s Peace Effort, Dies at 93
  5. ^ Katz memoir
  6. ^ Shmuel Katz on the Knesset website
  7. ^ 'France Accused Of Supporting Palestine Terrorists: Jewish Leader Tells Of Murder Plot', The Times, Friday, March 18, 1966; pg. 11; Issue 56583; col F.
  8. ^ Seliktar, Ofira (2002). Divided We Stand: American Jews, Israel, and the Peace Process. Praeger/Greenwood. ISBN 0-275-97408-1 (p. 39)
  9. ^ Terence Smith, New York Times, June 27, 1977
  10. ^ Shmuel Katz, Days of Fire, Steimatsky's Agency, 1966, p. 258
  11. ^ Menachem Begin, The Revolt, Steimatsky's Agency, 1951, p. 73
  12. ^ The New York Times, January 6, 1978, Adviser to Begin quits
  13. ^ Michael Knipe, 'Settlements continue to spring up in Sinai', The Times, Friday, January 6, 1978; pg. 4; Issue 60203; col G.
  14. ^ Masalha, Nur (2000). Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: The Politics of Expansion. Pluto Press. ISBN 0-7453-1615-8 (p. 80)
  15. ^ "The Loss of Shmuel Katz"
  16. ^ Jager, Elliot (May 10, 2008). "Shmuel Katz dies at 93". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  17. ^ "Exposing Allied perfidy," Medoff, Rafael. Jerusalem Post, 11 June 2008, p. 15.

External links[edit]