Lahat Was 'Tel Aviv's Herod,' Says Rivlin

President eulogizes ex-mayor Shlomo Lahat and says he designed its 'special bi-national character.'

Gil Ronen ,

Shlomo Lahat z"l
Shlomo Lahat z"l
Flash 90

President Reuven Rivlin eulogized on Wednesday the former 20-year Tel Aviv mayor Shlomo “Chich” Lahat, who passed away Tuesday night. He left behind his wife, Ziva, and his son Dan.

"Chich was Tel Aviv's Herod,” said Rivlin. “He was among the city's prominent builders and a designer of its binational and unified character.”

The municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo includes the Arab sections of Yafo (Jaffa).

Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai expressed sorrow over Lahat's passing and said that he was “not just one of the city's most beloved figures, but also one of the people who made Tel Aviv-Yafo what it is today.”

"Chich was not just one of the best and finest mayors that Tel Aviv had in its 105 year history – he was also one of the most important ones,” added Huldai. “I see myself as committed to preserve and maintain the heritage that Chich left behind him in the city. He was a man full of fiery passion [“lahat” means “fiery passion” in Hebrew – ed.], a passion for getting things done and a passion of love for the city and its people. This passion was contagious and affected all those who worked with him. This was also a secret of his success.”

“I'm sad about Chich,” wrote Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) on Facebook. “He was a great person and a mayor who turned Tel Aviv into what it is. A big hug to Ziva, Dan, the entire family.”

Ziva Lahat told IDF Radio that his father had a lot of charisma, and people loved working with him. “He always thought that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world, the best thing in the world,” she said. "He did what he did with his entire heart and with all possibe devotion, that was a great quality of his.”

She noted that the Tel Aviv boardwalk is named for Lahat and said that the boardwalk was “a huge project. People forget that swimming in the sea of Tel Aviv was forbidden. One of the things he did was to clean the sea and create the Shafdan plant [which cleans Tel Aviv's waste water].”

Lahat died in Ichilov Hospital after being hospitalized there Tuesday in critical condition with penumonia. He was taken to the ICU and died following a severe infection.