David Bar-Illan, a concert pianist and journalist, died on Nov. 4 from complications of a heart attack. He was 73.
Born in Haifa, Israel, Bar-Illan spent his early years living in the United States. A talented pianist, he graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in 1950, recorded six albums and gave concerts all over the world.
Bar-Illan’s two other passions were journalism and politics. In 1990, he became the editorial page editor of The Jerusalem Post; two years later, the paper appointed him editor-in-chief. His weekly column, “Eye on the Media,” which often criticized American news organizations for their coverage of the Middle East, was widely read.
Bar-Illan left the newspaper in 1996 to serve as the media advisor to the Israeli government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was so impressed with Bar-Illan that he hired him to serve as his senior spokesman.
“David Bar-Illan was an Israeli Zionist patriot in his whole being. He was an outstanding artist who sacrificed years of wonderful musical creativity to engage in journalistic and public activity to help his land and his people,” said Netanyahu in The Jerusalem Post.