Ittamar (Itamar) Ben-Avi

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Ben-Zion Ben-Yehuda (1882-1943), who used the pen-name Ittamar/Itamar Ben-Avi (Ben-Avi means "son of my father"), was the first child in recent centuries to be use Hebrew as his vernacular. He was the son and first child of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda

In 1910, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda founded the first Jewish daily newspaper in Palestine, Ha'or (“The Light”). The responsible editor was Ben-Yehuda's son, Itamar Ben Avi, who had returned from France where he had been working as a journalist for some years. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda was often criticized for his “sensationalist” editing, expressed mainly in the form of large display headlines. However, such criticism paled in the face of that to which his son was subjected. Accused of gutter journalism and irresponsibility, Ben Avi did not flinch; indeed, the more he was attacked, the more he leaned toward sensationalism. He also introduced technical improvements in Ha'or and gave it an external appearance in line with modern papers abroad.

In 1933, he founded and edited Deror ("Freedom") , an unusual Hebrew weekly newspaper which was printed in Latin letters for a brief period in Palestine. Ben-Avi, a journalist, believed that Latin script should replace the Hebrew script (which itself was not Jewish at all but rather Assyrian) in order to ease the adjustment of new immigrants from Germany as well as to widen out the audience for Hebrew. "Only Latin letters, heirs to our ancient letters, will open the gates of the wide world around us to our language and to its rich literature," he wrote. The weekly, however, failed, and Ben-Avi was widely criticized for abandoning the Hebrew alphabet.

By 1936, he was publishing a daily paper called Doar Ha'Yom. In it, on 21 February 1936, he ran a piece approving of Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia (Meir Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews, pp.86-7). But from Italy’s practical point of view, Ben-Avi’s eager cooperation meant nothing. His paper had been a Revisionist organ, then he drifted away from them, and now had no personal following.

See this web-site, which is run by his nephew, Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Yehuda of Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida.

See this Wikipedia (English) article

Other entities whose entries refer to Ittamar (Itamar) Ben-Avi

Corrado Tedeschi   • Dvora (Deborah) Ben-Yehuda   • Abraham (Albert) Antebi

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