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Nathan Yellin-Mor

Nathan Yellin-Mor

Israeli politician
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Israeli politician
Countries Israel
Occupations Politician
Gender male
Birth Grodno
Death 19 February 1980 (Israel)
The details

Nathan Yellin-Mor (Hebrew: נתן ילין-מור‎‎, Nathan Friedman-Yellin; 1913 – 19 February 1980) was a Revisionist Zionist activist, Lehi leader and Israeli politician. In later years, he became a leader of the Israeli peace camp, a pacifist who supported negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization and concessions in the Israeli-Arab conflict.


Police poster offering rewards for the capture of Stern Gang members: Jaacov Levstein (Eliav), Yitzhak Yezernitzky (Shamir), and Natan Friedman-Yelin

Friedman-Yellin (or Yalin ) was born in Grodno in the Russian Empire (now Belarus). He studied engineering at the Warsaw Polytechnic. He was active in Betar and Irgun in Poland. Between 1938 and 1939 he was the coeditor, along with Avraham Stern (Yair), of Di Tat ("The Action "), the Irgun's newspaper in Poland. He immigrated clandestinely to the British Mandate of Palestine and joined Lehi, a Jewish paramilitary group, Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Hebrew acronym LHI - in English, Fighters for the Freedom of Israel; derogatorily called by the British the Stern gang).

In December 1941, Yair Stern assigned Yellin-Mor to travel to Turkey and the Balkans to recruit Jews living there for the underground in Palestine. He was arrested near Aleppo,Syria and brought back to Palestine, where he was put into detention by the British first at the Mizrah detention camp and then transferred to Latrun. .There Yellin-Mor masterminded digging a 74 meters long tunnel, and together with 19 comrades, escaped in 1943. After Stern's murder, he became a member of the Lehi's guiding triumvirate, with Israel Eldad as chief of Lehi's propaganda and Yitzhak Shamir as chief of operations . Yellin-Mor was in charge of Lehi's political activities.

Nathan Yellin-Mor (center) and Matityahu Shmueliwitz in front of the Acre prison, after their release in 1949

He was one of the planners of the assassination of Lord Moyne. He saw the struggle against the British in an international context, and advocated collaboration with other anti-colonialist forces, including Palestinian and other Arab forces. After the Deir Yassin massacre, he privately confronted Eldad.

In 1948 he formed a political party, the Fighters List, and was elected to the first Knesset, and served from 1949 to 1951, where he was a member of the Internal Affairs committee.

After the assassination in September 1948 of United Nations mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, he was arrested along with Lehi member Matityahu Shmuelevitch and charged with leadership of a terrorist organization. They were found guilty on January 25, 1949, the day on which Yellin-Mor was elected to the Knesset. On February 10, 1949, Yellin-Mor was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment. Though the court was confident that Lehi was responsible for Bernadotte's death, it did not find sufficient evidence that the murder had been sanctioned by the Lehi leadership. The court offered to release the defendants if they agreed to certain conditions that included forswearing underground activity and submitting to police supervision, but they rejected the offer. However the Provisional State Council soon authorised their pardon.

In 1949, he denounced the Partition of Palestine as "bartering with the territory of the homeland" and opposed the Palestinian right of return. Later, he moved increasingly to the left, in a return to the pro-Soviet position of some Lehi militants in the 1940s, by advocating a pro-Soviet foreign policy. In 1956 he helped found the group Semitic Action, whose journal Etgar ("Challenge") he edited.

In his later years, he dedicated himself to working for reconciliation with the Palestinians, promoting negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation.


  • Yellin-Mor, Nathan (1974). Fighters for the Freedom of Israel – Personalities, Ideas, and Adventures (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Shiḳmonah. 
  • Yellin-Mor, Nathan (1990). Shnot BeTerem (in Hebrew). Tel Aviv: Kinneret. ISBN 978-965-286-237-2. 

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