Photographer Alex Levac Born Alex Levac. Photo: Public Domain

June 23, 1944

Photojournalist Alex Levac, a 2005 winner of the Israel Prize, is born in Tel Aviv.

A 1967 graduate of Tel Aviv University with a degree in philosophy and psychology, Levac completes his studies in photography at the London College of Printing in 1971. He spends a decade working as a freelance photographer in Brazil, London and Los Angeles before making his home in Jerusalem in 1981. He joins the daily newspaper Hadashot as a staff photographer in 1983.

In April 1984 he photographs a bus hijacking for Hadashot. An Egged bus from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon is seized by four Palestinians in Ashdod and is halted in the Gaza Strip about 10 miles from Egypt. The official report is that the four terrorists are killed in a commando operation to free the hostages on the bus, and the government censors news stories saying otherwise. But Hadashot publishes a front-page photo by Levac that shows one of the terrorists alive and in custody, supporting a New York Times report that two hijackers have been captured, then executed in a field after being beaten. The resulting scandal is called the Bus 300 or Kav 300 affair.

After Hadashot closes in 1993, Levac joins the staff of Haaretz. That year the Tel Aviv Museum of Art presents him the Rita Poretzky Award of Photography. Galleries in Israel, Germany and the Czech Republic exhibit his work over the years, and he publishes five books between 1994 and 2008. In awarding him the Israel Prize for photography in 2005, the judges write, “No other photographer is as involved as Alex Levac in the Israeli experience.”