Hillel, Shlomo

Hillel, Shlomo
(1923- )
   Born in Baghdad, Iraq, the youngest of 11 children of a merchant. In 1933, Hillel went to Palestine and studied at the Herzliya High School in Tel Aviv. He was one of the founders of Kibbutz Maagen Michael. In 1946, he returned to Iraq to help organize the emigration of Iraqi Jews and was active in the "illegal immigration" (see ALIYA; ALIYA BET) from Arab countries to preindependence Israel. Following Israel's independence, he was involved in the arrangements for the emigration in the early 1950s of virtually all of Iraq's Jewish community. He became a Ma-pai member of the Knesset but resigned in 1959. He joined the Israeli diplomatic corps and served as Israel's ambassador to a number of French-speaking African countries and in 1963 became head of the African division of the Foreign Ministry. He became minister of police in December 1969 and served as minister of the interior and police from 1973 to 1977. In 1984, he was elected speaker of the 11th Knesset. He was reelected to parliament in 1988. Hillel's experiences in helping to bring the Jews of Iraq to Israel were described in his book, Operation Babylon.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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