Moshe Sneh Is Born
Moshe Sneh campaigning in 1959. Photo: National Photo Collection of Israel

January 6, 1909

Moshe Sneh, known for his left-wing politics and resistance to British rule in Palestine, is born Moshe Klaynboym in Radyzn, Poland.

Sneh serves as the chairman of the Yardinia Zionist student group and the Medical Jewish Students Union in Poland. He is chosen for the central committee of the Zionist Federation of Poland and represents Poland at the World Zionist Congress. He works as a doctor in the 1930s and serves with the Polish army at the outbreak of World War II, then in 1940 immigrates to Mandatory Palestine, where he joins the Haganah, the Jewish National Council and the Jewish Agency. He leads the Haganah general staff from 1941 to 1946, then escapes to France to avoid arrest by the British for his efforts to smuggle in immigrants.

He joins the left-wing Mapam party in 1947 and is elected to the Knesset on the Mapam list in 1949 and 1951. Amid a controversy over the party’s ties to the Soviet Union, Sneh splits from Mapam and forms the Left Faction in 1953. Sneh joins Maki, the Israeli Communist Party, in 1954 and, with the exception of a four-year period in the 1960s, represents it in the Knesset until his death March 1, 1972. He gains widespread support in Israel in 1967 when he expresses his disenchantment with the Soviet leadership.