Journalist Uri Dan Dead of Lung Cancer at 71

The Israeli-born military correspondent - author, columnist, radio commentator, NY Post correspondent - was well-known for his close friendship with Ariel Sharon.

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 13:30

Dan began his career as a writer for the IDF journal BaMachaneh [In the Camp]. He later wrote for the extreme left-wing HaOlam HaZeh [This World] and the daily Maariv [Evening]. His friendship with Ariel Sharon began in 1954, when the young journalist met the young military commander. Dan later became Sharon’s trusted advisor and accompanied him, and other Israeli generals, during critical battles. He parachuted into the Mitleh Pass in the 1956 Sinai campaign, witnessed the battle tide-turning crossing of the Suez Canal in the Yom Kippur War, and was bombed together with Moshe Dayan by Syrian jets.

Dan wrote regularly for Maariv, Makor Rishon, The Jerusalem Post and The New York Post, and was a regular participant on Israel Radio's daily "It's All Talk" program. He authored over a dozen books on terrorism and security matters, including one that was just recently published on Ariel Sharon. A strong Land of Israel supporter, he was known to be a strong and outspoken opponent of Sharon's Disengagement, but never attacked Sharon personally.

Asked once if he was religious, he said, "Regretfully, I am secular." His grandfather was a rabbi in Salonika, and his parents met in Palestine; as the New York Sun's Gary Shapiro wrote, "His Polish-born mother could speak neither Ladino nor Greek, and his father spoke no Polish or Yiddish, and so the couple spoke Hebrew at home."

In an interview this past summer with Arutz-7 during the war in Lebanon, he expressed satisfaction that "Israel has now awoken from its dream of further withdrawals." He said that left-wing writers who criticize Israel for fighting are "literary microbes [that] sprout every time Israel fights for its existence."