Haim Corfu

Haim Corfu
Date of birth (1921-01-06)6 January 1921
Place of birth Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine
Date of death 23 February 2015(2015-02-23) (aged 94)
Knessets 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Faction represented in Knesset
1969–1974 Gahal
1974–1992 Likud
Ministerial roles
1981–1988 Minister of Transportation

Haim Corfu (Hebrew: חיים קורפו; 6 January 1921 – 23 February 2015) was an Israeli politician.


Corfu was born in Jerusalem in 1921. He studied in religious schools and yeshivas and attended a religious teachers seminary. In 1937 he joined the Irgun and was a member of the Irgun command in Jerusalem. During that time he also played as a striker for Beitar Jerusalem.[1] He used his training as an electrician to design explosives. He was responsible for the assassinations of CID officers Ralph Cairns and Ronald Barker. Corfu, observing the two while hiding behind a stonemason's shack, pressed the detonator of the remotely-controlled mine that killed them.[2] He was in charge of mining the income tax offices on 26 February 1944.[3] He was subsequently interned in Sudan and Kenya by the British, where he also put his skills as an electrician to use in an attempt to escape.[4]

After the establishment of the State of Israel he studied law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was certified as a lawyer. From 1967 to 1969 he was a member of Jerusalem city council. In 1969 he was elected to the seventh Knesset for Gahal, and was subsequently elected to the eighth through twelfth Knessets for Likud. In the seventh and eighth Knessets he was a member of the finance committee and in the eighth he was also a member of the subcommittee for the defense budget. In the ninth and twelfth Knessets he was a member of the foreign affairs and defense committee and in the twelfth he was the chairman of the house committee.

Between 1981 and 1988 he served as transportation minister, supporting the consolidation of Israel Railways with the Ports Authority.[5]

In 1986 he was invited to attend a transportation convention in Morocco and thus became the first Israeli cabinet member to be asked to attend a conference in an Arab country other than Egypt.[6] In 1987 he voted for a bill to grant a blanket amnesty to the Jewish Underground prisoners.[7] In April 1992 he resigned from the Knesset to become chairman of the Israeli Airports Authority, a position he held until 1996.


  1. Dayan, Shai. "Team history". Betar.net (in Hebrew). Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  2. Golan, Zev (2003). Free Jerusalem: Heroes, Heroines and Rogues Who Created the State of Israel. Devora Publishing. pp. 136–137. ISBN 1-930143-54-0.
  3. Lapidot, Yehuda. "The beginning". Daat (in Hebrew). Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  4. Lapidot, Yehuda. "The Latrun detention camp". Daat (in Hebrew). Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  5. Etzioni, Amir. "Reforming Israel's seaports" (PDF). Policy Studies (41). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 15, 2000. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  6. Mahler, Gregory S. (1990). Israel after Begin. SUNY Press. p. 165. ISBN 0-7914-0367-X.
  7. Lustick, Ian (1988). For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. Council on Foreign Relations. p. 11. ISBN 0-87609-036-6.

External links

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