Meir Har-Zion – ‘The Elite of the Elite’

Stand for Israel  |  March 17, 2021

Meir Har Zion, 1954
Meir Har Zion, 1954

Born in Herzliya, then a farming community named after the father of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, Meir Har-Zion loved the Holy Land, often exploring it with his younger sister, Shoshana.

A Young Israeli Explorer

Two of these excursions, as young teens, resulted in the siblings caught and detained by Syrian authorities. The second instance found them imprisoned in Damascus, only released after help from the Israeli government and the United Nations. During this same time, Israeli youth considered trekking to the ancient city of Petra an impossible feat. Meir and his girlfriend, equipped only with a compass and a small map, reached and explored Petra, making the young couple legends in Israel.

The IDF’s Finest Commando

Meir carried this sense of adventure and love of the Holy Land into adulthood. One of the original members of the legendary IDF Commando Unit 101 founded and commanded by Ariel Sharon, he carried out many dangerous and covert missions to protect the young state of Israel.

In 1955, Bedouins murdered Meir’s beloved sister Shoshana while she hiked in the Judean desert, a murder which Meir avenged. Wounds cut short hiis military career the next year during a battle against Jordan. Injured in the throat and arm, a battlefield tracheotomy saved Meir’s life. Due to his wounds, however, left the IDF, being awarded the Medal of Courage and having reached the rank of Captain.

A Holy Land Hero

Over a decade later, though, Israel again required Meir Har-Zion’s service. This time, during the Six-Day War in 1967, he served alongside the paratroopers with only the use of one arm. At one point, a Jordanian sniper targeted Israeli soldiers. On his own, Har-Zion stalked the sniper across rooftops and neutralized him with hand grenades.

Six years passed, and Har-Zion again served his country in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This time, he fought deep within Syrian territory, rescuing wounded IDF soldiers caught behind enemy lines.

Meir Har-Zion lived the rest of his life on the farm he named for his sister, Ahuzat Shoshana, where he passed away peacefully at the age of 80, a true Israeli hero and an Israeli You Should Know.