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Monday, August 29, 2016

Geula Cohen, Israeli Heroine and Icon 90!

We've known Geula Cohen and her family, her late husband Emanuel (Adam, his underground Lechi name) Hanegbi and son Tzachi Hanegbi, pretty much ever since we came to Israel. My husband first met Emanuel before our aliyah when he had been a student in Machon Hamadrichei Chutz L'Aretz.

The Begin Heritage Center Auditorium and meeting rooms (set up with screens and speakers so people could see and hear the event) were packed, while many others found themselves even closed out of those extra venues, since there just wasn't enough space for all who wanted to attend this very special tribute/birthday celebrating Geula Cohen's 90th. It's so wonderful when someone who contributed so much to the Jewish People and the State of Israel is alive to hear what quite often just gets said at memorials.

Geula began her contribution to the Jewish People when still a teenager in what was then called Palestine, part of the Mandate the British were entrusted with to establish a Jewish State. When the British refused to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish State, a number of underground groups were formed to "convince" the British to leave. Among them, and the least compromising of all, was Lechi aka the Stern Group. As its iconic radio announcer Geula made her mark. At one point the British succeeded in arresting and trying her for the "crime." Actually, she was tried and sentenced for two crimes, her radio work and having a gun on her. They sentenced her for seven years for carrying a gun and two for broadcasting on the radio. She could not understand why they thought the gun was more a danger to their rule than her broadcasting, because she believed firmly in the power of words. No surprise that later on she made her mark as a journalist, and after that, when she was a Knesset Member, her speeches and phraseology were electrifying.

Geula has kept to her principles to this day, earning the respect of the Israeli establishment, even those who don't agree with her. In 2003 she received the coveted Israel Prize on Independence Day for her lifetime achievement and special contribution to society and the State.

Here are some photos I took at the celebrations:

We should all be thanking Geula Cohen, ad me'ah vi'esrim...


YMedad said...

I first met Geula in NY in, I think April 1968, when she came in to address a Madison Square Garden rally on behalf of Soviet Jewry and I am pretty sure you were there too.

Batya said...

Could be. That's the time period when we started dating.

Sara Cohen said...

Meeting Geula was a personal dream which I succeeded in doing a few years ago!

Was this event recorded? How can I gain access to it?

Saracohenmgr@gmail. Com

Batya said...

Yes she is an extraordinary and very nice person. Contact the Begin Center.