Amos Kenan, pioneering Israeli satirist, dies at 82
Amos Kenan, a columnist, painter, sculptor, playwright and novelist, passed away yesterday. He was 82.
Kenan wrote the first anti-establishment column in Israel, the satirical "Uzi & Co.," which was published in Haaretz from 1951 to 1952.
Kenan was born in Tel Aviv in 1927. He was a member of the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement and in 1946 joined the Canaanite movement, where he helped found the magazine "Alef." He published his first book in 1949.
He fought in Israel's War of Independence in 1948, under the command of Yitzhak Sadeh. Kenan lived in Paris from 1954 to 1962, where he worked as a sculptor and published several plays. Pierre Alechinsky illustrated two of his books and Maurice Bejart adapted his plays, staged in Paris and Switzerland. During that time, he also wrote columns for Haolam Hazeh and Yedioth Ahronoth.
Upon his return to Israel in 1962, he began writing a weekly column in Yedioth, which ran for 40 years. He also contributed articles to The New York Times and The Nation.
Following the Six-Day War, the Foreign Affairs Ministry sent Kenan to interview intellectuals including Jean-Paul Sartre, Herbert Marcuse and Noam Chomsky on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. In 1970, he co-founded the Israeli-Palestinian Council, and later joined Ariel Sharon's Shlomtzion Party, named for one of Kenan's daughters.
His awards include the Sam Spiegel Prize in 1962, the Israel Cinema Council Prize in 1970, an award by the French Ministry of Culture in 1975, the International Theater Institute Award in 1995 and the Brenner Prize in 1998.
He is survived by his partner, the scholar Nurit Gertz, and two daughters, journalist Shlomtzion Kenan and singer Rona Kenan.