October 26, 1943
Ron Ben-Yishai, a famous war correspondent and recipient of the 2018 Israel Prize, is born in Jerusalem.
Ben-Yishai attends a military boarding school in Haifa and serves as an IDF paratrooper and in the Golani Brigade. After graduating from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he begins working in 1966 for Kol Yisrael, Israel’s leading radio station, as a financial reporter. He starts covering the military after fighting in the June 1967 war and becomes Kol Yisrael’s military correspondent during the three-year War of Attrition, in which he is wounded twice. He switches to Israeli Television in late 1969.
In 1973, after a unit he is covering comes under fire and incurs many casualties, including the medics, Ben-Yishai tends to the wounded. He receives the Chief of Staff Citation from IDF Chief of Staff Mordechai Gur in 1975 for his actions.
Ben-Yishai does his most famous work during the First Lebanon War. He is the first journalist to enter the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps after the massacres of Palestinians by Christian militias. Ben-Yishai lives in Beirut during the war to keep reporting on the ground despite the personal danger.
He reports on wars around the world the next two decades and works as a commentator for multiple television, radio and print media outlets in Israel and beyond. He serves as the chief editor of Israel Army Radio and Davar and produces multiple investigative documentaries.
Israeli newspaper editors name Ben-Yishai the Journalist of the Year in 1989.He receives the Israel Prize in 2018 for “in-depth and trustworthy defense, military and international coverage while displaying courage for decades.”