NEW YORK – Pro-Israel activist Herb Zweibon, 84, chair of Americans for a Safe Israel (ASFI) died on Jan. 20 in New York after a brief illness.
Zweibon founded AFSI in 1970. The organization promotes Jewish rights in the land of Israel, and defends Israel’s right to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. AFSI’s monthly publication, Outpost, is distributed free to thousands of politicians and other policy makers in the U.S. In addition to his love for Israel, he also spoke of his loyalty to the United States. He was a veteran of the American Army.
“Herb was a righteous man, and he will be sorely missed,” said David Wilder, spokesman for the Jewish community of Hevron. “Herb’s love for Israel, for the state of Israel, for Eretz Yisrael knew no limits.”
Wilder described AFSI as “one of those rare organizations which I can define as pure. Without any hidden agendas, without any need or desire for anything for itself.”
In a 2007 interview with The Jerusalem Post, Mr. Zweibon said, “It makes little difference to us whether the government of the United States or the government of Israel believe that they can somehow compromise with the Muslim community. This just will not happen.”
“Mere words do not seem adequate enough to describe the legacy of Herb Zweibon,” said Helen Freedman, executive director of AFSI in New York City. ” He was an exceptionally magnanimous man who lived and breathed the security and well being of Israel and he was totally dedicated to his beloved family, his friends and the entire Jewish nation. It is with a heavy heart that we must go on without his ebullient presence. He was a dear and loyal friend and I will miss him terribly.”
One of his last public appearances at an AFSI event was in the summer of 2010 in which he hosted the annual Ze-ev Jabotinsky yahrzeit commemoration at the Park East Synagogue in Manhattan. A follower of the teachings of Revisionist-Zionist Jabotinsky, he called upon Jews worldwide to support Jabotinsky’s message of a strong and unapologetic State of Israel. He initiated an essay contest dedicated to Jabotinsky’s memory for Israeli high school students. In December of 2010, awards were presented to the 15 winners of the 2010 Ze’ev Jabotinsky National Essay Contest at the Knesset building in Jerusalem.
Zweibon is survived by his wife, Sheila, his three sons, Kenny, Mark and Donald and five grandchildren.