Shimon Tzabar, 81, Dies in London

Left-wing artist, author, poet and former Haaretz columnist Shimon Tzabar died of pneumonia and heart disease in London on Monday at the age of 81.

Tzabar, who was born in Tel Aviv in 1926, was a columnist for both Haaretz and Haolam Haze. He published 27 books in Hebrew. Among his most controversial works was his study of Israel's prisons titled, "Much Better Than the Official Michelin Guide to Israeli Prisons, Jails, Concentration Camps and Torture Chambers."

He was a fierce opponent of Zionism and the occupation, and criticized peace groups like Peace Now and Gush Shalom. He left Israel shortly after the Six-Day War over strong opposition to the occupation, and settled in London.

In September 1967, Tzabar published a short text in Haaretz signed by 11 other left-wing figures against the occupation. "Foreign rule leads to resistance. Resistance leads to oppression. Oppression leads to terror and counter terror...keeping the territories will turn us into a nation of murderers and murder victims," it said.

Tzabar, who was a member of the editorial board of Israel Imperial News - a magazine of "Israeli dissidents" - was a a self-described "Hebrew-speaking Palestinian." As a youth, he fought against the British Mandate and later fought in Israel's first three wars: 1948-50, 1956, and 1967.