NAME: Tzanua, Shlomo Edmond


DATE OF BIRTH: November 11, 1904

DATE OF DEATH: October 11, 1987

Shlomo was born on 11.11.1904 in Cairo to Yitzhak, a member of the Yosef Tzanua-Abo family, who was the first Jewish journalist in Egypt. In 1882, he founded the Egyptian Nationalist Party in order to fight Britain and liberate Egypt.

Edmund studied in English and French schools and at the Egyptian University (now called Cairo University). Simultaneously, he received a traditional and nationalist education and studied Hebrew.

From 1922 to 1934, he was one of the founders of Young Maccabee and one of the organizers of the Global Union of Hebrew Youth. In 1933 and 1934, he was the Bnai Brith secretary in Cairo. He fought antisemitic propaganda from Germany that was being disseminated in Egypt.

During World War II, he was very active for the JNF and Keren HaYesod. Throughout that period, he published articles in Jewish media in Egypt, as well as in French and English publications in Egypt and United States. From 1928 to 1934, he was one of the organizers of the Revisionist Party and the Beitar Movement in Cairo. The first congress of the Revisionist Party took place in his parents’ home. He worked for years to promote illegal aliyah, as Egyptian Jews made their way to Europe, and from there to the Land of Israel, by sea and land. He helped the new immigrants settle in Gush Etzion and various kibbutzim.

In April 1934, he made aliya. In 1935, he married Rivka Hasidov, who died in 1949. In 1950, he married Margalit Gedaliah. They had two daughters.

Upon arriving in the Land of Israel, he presented the incalculable sum of five thousand Egyptian pounds to the Yishuv — a gift from Bnai Brith Cairo. The money was given to Kfar Yedidya, many of whose residents were Egyptian immigrants; then to the David Yellin Teachers Seminary; then to the residents of Tiberias, severely effected by floods that year. He found a job as a senior clerk with Shell Transport and Trading Company Limited of the United Kingdom in Tel Aviv.

He joined the Hagana upon making aliyah, but his ideology compelled him to leave. Together with David Raziel and Yair, he established Hagana Bet, which eventually became the IZL in 1936; in 1942, he joined Lehi. He used his position to acquire vital information, and when the decision was made to assassinate Lord Moyne, he took an active role in the operation, training Eliyahu Hakim and Eliyahu Beit-Zuri.

Shlomo died in Tel Aviv on 11.10.1987, 18 Tishrei 5748, and he was buried in Holon.