Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Yehuda Avner, Speechwriter to Four Israeli Prime Ministers, Dies at 86

Yehuda Avner, a speechwriter and advisor to four Israeli prime ministers, has died.

Avner, who wrote a memoir about his government service called “The Prime Ministers,” died Tuesday in his home in Jerusalem at the age of 86.

Yehuda Avner’s son-in-law, David Sable, called Avner “Begin’s Shakespeare.” He also wrote in a statement sent to reporters that Avner “was a true servant of the Jewish people…in his role as advisor to the Generation of Legendary Leaders of Israel he was never political, never took personal gain, never shied from conflict…with his bag always packed… he went; listened, advised and wrote giving voice to the Prime Ministers he served and voice to our cause and our people.”

Avner emigrated from Manchester, England to British Mandate Palestine in 1947. He later served as Israeli ambassador to Australia and the United Kingdom.

As the speechwriter and advisor to prime ministers Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin, Avner was present at many of the most historical and most private moments of the state and its individual leaders.

He will be buried in Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.