Israeli poet Natan Yonatan dies at 81

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jerusalem (ap) | Israeli poet Natan Yonatan, who won several Israeli literary awards with works that weaved together themes of nature and war, died Friday, March 12 near Tel Aviv. He was 81.

Yonatan won the Newman Prize for Hebrew Literature in 2001. His 20 books of poetry have been translated into several languages, including English, Russian and Spanish. His death was widely reported by Israeli media.

In one of his best-known poems, “That Man,’ Yonatan eulogized Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by an ultranationalist Jew in 1995. The poem was set to music, and was widely played.

Yonatan was born in 1923 in Kiev, Ukraine, and immigrated to Israel at age 2 with his parents. After receiving a graduate degree in Hebrew and general literature from Tel Aviv University, he served for 27 years as the chief editor of the Sifriyat Poalim publishing house.

Recently, he appeared in the documentary “Living in Conflict: Voices from Israel and Palestine’ in which he spoke about the loss of his son Lior in the 1973 Middle East war.