Ariel Mayor and former Knesset Member Ron Nachman died Friday at the age of 70 after battling cancer for the past several years.
Nachman was born in 1942. In 1978, he was elected as head of the Ariel Council, a role which he gave up a year later. He was reelected in 1985 and served as the Samaria city's mayor until his very last day.
He served as Knesset member on behalf of the Likud
party in the 13th Knesset and was a member of the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Immigration Absorption Committee and the committee on the Second Television and Radio Authority.
Nachman with Major-General Nitzan Alon, last month (Photo: Gur Dotan)
In his home. Did not abandon city for Knesset (Photo: Gil Lerner)
During inauguration of Ariel cultural center (Photo: Ido Erez)
Nachman was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, and while battling the disease he formed a close relationship with playwright Anat Gov,
who also died of cancer several weeks ago.
In 2010, after being released from hospital, where he underwent chemotherapy, Nachman told Yedioth Petah Tikva local newspaper, "I look good. I lost wait following the treatments but I feel very good."
Asked why he had chosen to remain in office despite his illness, Nachman replied: "I can only say one thing – I don't engage in the routine management of the Ariel Municipality. Director-General Chani Peer is responsible for that. We have a system that has won prizes and awards of excellence.
"I have raised the people in the system for decades so that they can maintain the city even when I'm not there. My functioning is complete. From the hospital I arranged the construction of new apartment after the end of the freeze plan. I did everything from my hospital bed… A mayor works with his mind, so it's possible."
Nachman fought for the recognition of the Ariel College as a university
and engaged in the matter intensively even in the last weeks before his latest hospitalization.
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar eulogized Nachman, saying that "Ron was a pioneer with a huge strength of vision and faith. In the power of his vision and special leadership, he built Ariel in the Samaria and turned it into a city in Israel.
"Ron was a clear Zionist, who loved the Land and State of Israel.
Ron Nachman was a determined person who worked and fought till his very last day for the way and values he believed in. He also fought a chronic illness courageously. Very few people have the privilege of leaving their mark, as Ron did, through a life's enterprise which remains standing even after they are gone."
The Yesha Council said in a statement, "Ron Nachman was the leader of council heads in Judea and Samaria, a Zionist settlement pioneer in his body and soul and an unstoppable builder of the Land of Israel. Ron Nachman's huge enterprise, the city of Ariel, will forever remain in his memory."
Ron Nachman was survived by his wife Dorit, four daughters and grandchildren. The date of his funeral has yet to be announced.