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Prof. Ephraim Katzir, who passed away this evening: "I regretted two things - the closing of the Corps of Science and the closing of the newspaper Mada"

Professor Ephraim Katzir, the fourth president of the State of Israel, and the founder of the IDF Science Corps even before the establishment of the state, passed away this evening at the age of 93. He passed away at his home in Rehovot. the corps

The late Ephraim Katzir, as photographed during his term as president of the country in 1977. From Wikipedia
The late Ephraim Katzir, as photographed during his term as president of the country in 1977. From Wikipedia

The fourth president of the State of Israel, Prof. Ephraim Katzir, died this evening (Motsesh) at his home in Rehovot. He was 93 years old when he died. Here are excerpts from one of his last performances.

"It's great to remember those days, days when we were all idealists and hoped that science would help us in every way." The late Ephraim Katzir said about two months ago at a conference on the occasion of the release of the book "In the Power of Knowledge" describing the history of the IDF's Science Corps, which even before the establishment of the state developed new weapons for the fighting forces that suffered from numerical inferiority. Later, the Corps, of which Katzir was the first commander upon the establishment of the state, became the infrastructure from which Rafael, the Biological Institute and the Kriya for Nuclear Research grew.

"I will never forget the fact that my late brother Aharon wrote a book about the importance of science and how to use science to protect us. Some time after my brother Aharon and I founded the infrastructure of the Science Corps, when I was in the USA, Aharon wrote to me that Ben Gurion had heard about Hamad, and wanted to know what they were doing there. Aaron told him what it was and how it was. Ben Gurion asked what you need now. We said that of course we need money to purchase materials. Ben-Gurion took ten Palestinian lira out of his pocket. And he said to Aaron: 'Start already.' Later this was a worthwhile investment from an economic point of view as well, Rafael, which was a continuation of Hamad, became an institution that manufactures drones and sells them for millions of dollars."

At the same conference, Katzir also mentioned a meeting with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. "After his speech in the Knesset, he was sweating profusely, I told him to rest a bit. When he rested, Ezer Weizman entered us. He says to Ezer Weizman that you cried for two hours. You bombarded us with tear gas and because of this gas I couldn't close my eyes and cried."

In conclusion, Prof. Katzir said that he regrets two things, the closing of the Corps of Science and the closing of the newspaper Mada. There was a science minister who decided to stop him, I was very sorry because we invested a lot of resources and he was very important for the education of future generations of scientists," said Katzir.

He founded the Center for Biotechnology in Tel Aviv after finishing his presidency

Prof. Ehud Gazit, Vice President of Tel Aviv University for Research and Development said about the death of Prof. Ephraim Katzir: "Prof. Ephraim Katzir's passing is a great loss to the world of science. Prof. Katzir was a trailblazer and exemplary figure both as a scientist and researcher and as a public figure committed to the security and prosperity of the State of Israel. Even in the last few months, Prof. Katzir was present in the details of the most innovative scientific research, and my conversations with him both about scientific research and the scientist's role as a public messenger were formed in my heart."

"Out of a deep commitment to applied biological science, Prof. Ephraim Katzir founded the Department of Biotechnology at Tel Aviv University after the end of his term as President of the State of Israel. This was the first department of biotechnology in Israel and it marked the beginning of the recognition of biotechnology as a central field in the Israeli academy."

5 תגובות

  1. Now I read a little about him - it turns out that his life was full of tragedies. His two daughters died young. His brother Aharon, who was a great scientist in his own right, was killed in the massacre attack at Lod airport in 72, and by a tragic coincidence exactly on the day of his death - May 30.

    To commenter 2: What mistakes are these?

  2. Apparently even great people make mistakes out of the necessity of the power of knowledge.
    I have little to understand in the meantime.

    May his memory be blessed.

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