Former MK and Israel Prize Laureate Geulah Cohen passed away on Wednesday evening at the age of 94.
Cohen served in the Knesset for nearly 20 years as a member of the Likud and Tehiya parties.
In 1942, she joined the Lehi underground movement. A radio announcer for the group, she was arrested by the British military authorities in 1946 while broadcasting in Tel Aviv. She escaped in May, shortly before her trial, but was recaptured by a group of Arabs.
On June 6, 1946, Cohen was sentenced to seven years in prison after being charged with being in possession of a wireless transmitter, four pistols and revolvers and ammunition. She was imprisoned in Bethlehem, but escaped from jail in 1947 and returned to the underground movement.
She served in the Knesset for almost 19 consecutive years. During her time in the Knesset, she was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and her greatest achievement was the enactment of the “Basic Law on Jerusalem”, which was enacted in 1980 with a sweeping majority.
The law states that “united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.” Together with Knesset Member Moshe Shamir, Cohen also worked to enact the “Golan Law”.
During the days of the fight against the displacement of the residents of the community of Yamit in the Sinai, she moved to Yamit to assist the residents. Along with MK Edna Solodar she founded the Lobby of MKs for Jonathan Pollard in 1987, and both became the first to visit Pollard and his wife in the US prison and brought up in the Knesset in 1990 the demand to grant them Israeli citizenship – a demand that was answered only five years later.
In December 1994, when the murders increased in the Hevron area, she moved to Kiryat Arba to be with the local residents.
Cohen was also the mother of Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi.
Prime Minister and Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu commented on the death of former MK Geulah Cohen.
“Geulah Cohen’s voice will not go silent. We will always remember her great actions for Israel’s freedom and her dedication and love for the Land of Israel. Sara and I mourn with Tzachi and Randi and the entire family of Geulah, and with the entire house of Israel, over the great loss.”
President Reuven Rivlin eulogized Cohen as well.
“The burning fire of Geulah was extinguished tonight. A warrior for Israel’s freedom who was an inspiration to me and to all of us. Inspiration of power, of dedication, of love for a people for their country. We will walk in the light of this fire in the paths that she paved and in those that were paved through her powers and in her work – in the underground, in the activity for settlement and as a legislator and parliamentarian.”
“Rest in peace, dear Geulah. I embrace your family and send our condolences to them in great sorrow, a true national sorrow,” the president said.
The Rebbe’s Letter to MK Geulah Cohen