Arie Eliav, Labor MK and Co-founder of Arad, Dies at 89

Arie "Lova" Eliav, a prominent Labor Party MK and activist, died yesterday at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. He was 89.

"Lova always sought out the most challenging places - the hardest and the most pioneering. He served as an example for younger generations, but also for adults," said President Shimon Peres of his friend and colleague in the Labor movement.

Eliav served as a Labor Party MK between 1965 and 1975.

He was born in Moscow in 1921 and came to Israel at the age of 3.

He joined the Haganah at 15, and during World War II served in the British military.

He later helped bring immigrants to Israel and commanded a ship harboring refugees from Europe.

In addition to his political career, he served at the Israeli embassy in Moscow between 1958 and 1960.

In 1961 he headed a team that established the Negev city of Arad and helped with efforts to populate the desert.

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Eliav toured refugee camps for six months, meeting with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza.

Once a month, he would file a report to the prime minister at the time, Levi Eshkol.

Eliav later proposed that a national authority be set up to resolve the Palestinian refugee problem, but Golda Meir turned him down.

Eliav published several books; he laid out his ideas on future peace with the Arabs and the future of Israeli society.

His 1972 book "Eretz Hatzvi" was translated into several languages and came out in nine editions in Israel.