Mordechai Virshubski, Veteran peacenik, advocate for disabled, dies at 81
Former Deputy Knesset Speaker Mordechai Virshubski (1930 - 2012) passes away in his sleep.
Former Deputy Knesset Speaker Mordechai Virshubski passed away in his sleep on Tuesday, a week before he would have celebrated his 82nd birthday.
Virshubski served as a Knesset member from 1977 to 1992 on behalf of the Shinui and Ratz parties, which later merged with Mapam to become Meretz. After leaving the Knesset, he chaired the umbrella organization of groups representing the disabled and was an active board member of the Association of Israelis of Central European Origin.
Born in Leipzig, Germany in 1930, he moved to Israel as a child in 1939. After obtaining his law degree, he began his career as legal advisor to the Water Commission.
From 1966 to 1977, he served on the Tel Aviv city council and was also the city's legal advisor. He then helped found the Shinui party, on whose behalf he entered the Knesset in 1977. In 1987, he switched to Ratz, which he in turn later abandoned for the Pensioners Party. Finally, after leaving the Knesset, he ended his political career by returning to the Tel Aviv city council on behalf of the Green Party.
Virshubski remained active until his dying day. Dvora Haberfeld, director of the Association of Israelis of Central European Origin, said that Monday evening he attended a meeting of the group's board.
"He volunteered and contributed until the last moment," she said. "Mordechai showed all of us, over the course of many years, the victory of the spirit over the body's limitations. He had a rare mix of liberalism and uncompromising principles alongside humanity ... We've lost a friend, a great scholar, a modest man with a sense of humor, an intellectual who was firmly tied to the reality of this world, and a valiant fighter for human rights."
Virshubski is survived by his wife, two children and grandchildren. He will be buried today at the Yarkonim cemetery.