Aharon Yadlin (right) receives a certificate of appreciation
Aharon Yadlin (right) receives a certificate of appreciation Photo by Gili Yaari/FLASH90

Former Minister Aharon Yadlin has passed away at the age of 96. Yadlin served in the Knesset from 1960-1979 for the Labor party, and as Education Minister from 1974-1977, and was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement in 2010.

Many of Israel's senior political figures expressed their sorrow at Yadlin's death. President Isaac Herzog paid tribute to former minister and Israel Prize laureate Aharon Yadlin, who passed away at the age of 96.

"The loss of Aharon Yadlin hurts," said Herzog. "More than anything, Aharon Yadlin was Mr. Education. Along with being one of the leaders of the Labor and settlement movement in Israel, a man of vision and action, Aharon was an educator and a teacher in all aspects. His many years of work in the Knesset and in the government for the education and future of the children of Israel will be a living monument to him for years to come."

"In his lifetime he won many awards - including the Israel Prize, but most of all we won him and his contributions. I loved and appreciated him very much. My condolences to his family, including my friend, his son, General (Res.) Amos Yadlin and to all his loved ones and those who cherish his memory. May his memory be a blessing," the president eulogized.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid paid tribute to the former Minister: "The State of Israel says goodbye today to Aharon Yadlin, a man of earth and spirit. He was an Israel Prize laureate, Minister of Education and a public advocate from head to toe. Yadlin, who led the concept that education must be the top priority of the State of Israel, cared for the children's future, and invested the best of his years in education, was one of the founders of Beit Berl, who continues his path in teaching studies."

"On behalf of the Government of Israel and the State of Israel, I send condolences to the entire Yadlin family. Dear Amos and Ruth, you have been blessed with a father and grandfather for many years, an example and a role model and you continue his path in your public mission. May he rest in peace," added Lapid.

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Yamina) commented, "I was sorry to hear about the passing of the former Minister of Education and winner of the Israel Prize, the late Aharon Yadlin. Aharon Yadlin was a man with a broad heart and a great Zionist. The importance of educating the younger generation burned in him. As the Minister of Education, I had the privilege of meeting him several times."

Opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) commented, "I would like to express my deep sorrow for the passing of the late Aharon Yadlin, one of the founders of the State of Israel, who passed away today. Aharon devoted himself to the building of the country even before the establishment of the state, with his contribution to the establishment of settlements in the Negev in order to include them in the territory of the future Jewish state. He was an energetic Minister of Education, winner of the Israel Prize, and a true public figure in whom the Zionist vision resonated. I send my condolences to his family. May he rest in peace."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) commented, "Aharon Yadlin was a man who cared about the citizens of Israel - from his youth to his last day. He dreamed of, established, realized, and settled in the Negev. In recent years I had the privilege of meeting him several times and one thing always stood out in him - his never-ending zeal to influence, to voice his opinion, to contribute to the country's prosperity and security.''

"A few years ago, when I spoke at the Sde Boker seminary about the need to adapt the education system and military service to the reality of the 21st century, Yadlin actually approached me and asked to go deeper into the subject. He reinforced in me the feeling that education is the beginning of the hinges for our continued security, economy, and existence. I wish we would all take from his educational and Zionist zeal, and carry on at least a little of his legacy. May he rest in peace, and my condolences to his dear family," said the Minister of Defense.

"His main advice was: to educate about the Zionist-Jewish heritage in the past, about the importance of contributing to the country, recruiting for the IDF in the present, giving tools to the youth, and navigating their future. He also emphasized time and time again that the Minister of Education must take care of all the children of Israel, of all types and of all ages. May he rest in peace."

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) expressed his grief: "Aharon was a Zionist person in every inch of his being, he cared about the future of the children of Israel, he contributed a lot to the country and won a lifetime achievement award. His legacy and his way will remain with us for many years to come."

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar (New Hope) said: ''I was sorry to hear about the passing of the former Minister of Education Aharon Yadlin. I had the privilege of presenting him with the Israel Lifetime Achievement Award and also having in-depth conversations with him about education in Israel. Yadlin was a model of a true public messenger, moral, Zionist, people-loving, and with a clear social perception that influenced his decisions in the position of Minister of Education. May he rest in peace."

Deputy Defense Minister Alon Shuster paid tribute as well: "I mourn the passing of Aharon Yadlin, a loyal member and one of the leaders of the kibbutz movement and the labor movement, Minister of Education in the Rabin government, winner of the Israel Prize, a man of spirit and vision, a humanist. He was a wise, dedicated, and good man,'' said ShuSadster.

Minister of Culture and Sports Hili Tropper (Blue and White) commented: "I am sad to hear of the passing of Aharon Yadlin. His memory is blessed. Yadlin was a Zionist leader and an exceptional educator, who worked hard to reduce gaps, and promote education and settlement. Yadlin was a model of a personal example, who throughout his life sought to do good for the State of Israel. May he rest in peace."

MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) commented: "The late Aharon Yadlin left us at a ripe old age. From the pioneers of settlement in the Negev and the founders of Kibbutz Hatzer to his contribution as a member of the Knesset in Israel and Minister of Education in the Rabin government, I remember very well the enthusiasm and the sparkle in his eyes when he hosted me as Minister of Finance during my visit to the Netafim factory in Kibbutz Hatzer, and he is 87 years old,'' said Steinitz.

MK Ram Ben Barak (Yesh Atid) commented "The passing of Aharon Yadlin, winner of the Israel Prize, is a great loss to the working settlement movement, to the world of Zionist education. He served as a moral and ethical compass who took care of the development of the Negev and the periphery. I send my condolences to Amos and Rotem and the whole family.”

Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon expressed his sorrow: "I had the honor and the privilege of knowing him in a joint activity to strengthen the relationship with the Jewish communities in the world. Aaron was a man of values who dedicated his life to public action out of mission and ideology. May he rest in peace."

Aharon Yadlin
Aharon Yadlin Photo by Flash 90