A Life Well Lived

Stand for Israel  |  July 25, 2022

Tamar Eshel in Jerusalem, 1977
(Photo: wikicommons)

As time passes, we have fewer and fewer voices to tell us of days gone by, both good days and bad ones. We have fewer Holocaust survivors, fewer WWII veterans, fewer founders of Israel. And this weekend, Israel lost another of its early leaders, when Tamar Eshel passed away on her 102nd birthday. The Jerusalem Post’s Greer Faye Cashman tells us about this Israeli You Should Know who as a young woman battled the Nazis and for the rest of her life stood for her homeland, Israel:

Born in London, only by virtue of the fact that her parents were Jewish Agency emissaries there, she came with them to British Mandate Palestine in 1923. Despite growing up in Haifa from a very early age, she retained her British accent when she spoke English, though it was not apparent in her Hebrew.  Eshel was an eloquent speaker in both…

Just as her parents’ generation had helped the British fight the Turks, Eshel also helped the British in their battle against the Nazis and their cohorts during the Second World War.

In the British Army, she served first as a driver and later as the supervisor for the establishment of educational libraries in the Middle East.

After the war, she went to Jerusalem, where she was appointed an officer in the political and military intelligence division of the Haganah.

Following the November 1947 UN resolution on the partition of Palestine, she was sent to Europe to purchase arms and work in illegal immigration.

Because she was fluent in Arabic, she was sent to Algeria in 1948 to help organize the mass emigration of Algerian and Moroccan Jews.

In 1950, Eshel joined Israel’s fledgling Foreign Ministry, initially working as a researcher and subsequently as bureau chief for the director general.

In 1955, she was sent to New York as a member of Israel’s permanent mission to the UN with the rank of ambassador, representing Israel at the UN General Assembly and in other UN bodies.

Her main areas of specialization were human rights and women’s rights…