Former deputy head justice of the Tel Aviv District Court, Hadassah Ben-Ato, has passed away at the age of 91. She wrote a bestselling book about the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
She will be buried on Monday in the Old Cemetery in Herzliya.
Ben-Ato served on the bench for many years, including as an acting justice in the Supreme Court, and contributed to fighting anti-Semitism and representing Israel in the Diaspora.
She dedicated her retirement to writing her 1998 bestseller book "The Lie That Will Not Die," which is based on her research about the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and their origin. The book was published and translated into nine languages and had a worldwide success.
Miriam Sanger, who translated the book into Portuguese, said Ben-Ato had understood that she had to study the subject. "Hadassah was interested in the subject for years and wanted to focus on it after she retired. She traveled to many countries to investigate and interview people, it was a very professional work that was written pleasantly," said Sanger.
Ben-Ato was born on May 16, 1926 in Brzeziny, Poland. She immigrated to Israel in 1935, lived in Kiryat Motzkin for a few years and later on moved to Jerusalem.
In 1935, she graduated law school at the High School of Law and Economics in Tel Aviv. In 1955, she served as an intern for four months at the Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office, passed the Bar exams and was admitted to the Israel Bar Association.
From 1955 to 1960, she worked in a private law firm, and in 1960 was appointed as judge at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Magistrate's Court. In 1964, she was appointed the deputy president of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. In 1965, she joined the Israeli delegation to the UN's 20th General Assembly.
Ben-Ato was later appointed acting judge at the Tel Aviv Jaffa District Court, and then was permanently appointed as a District Court judge. In 1980, she was appointed as acting justice in the Supreme Court. In 1989, she was appointed deputy chief justice of the District Court in Tel Aviv, and retired in 1991.
Since her retirement, she engaged in arbitration, giving her professional opinion, and served as the president of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.
Throughout her professional life and public work, she represented Israel in various conferences across the world.
In 2007 Ben-Ato was rewarded with the Chaim Herzog Prize for a unique contribution to the State of Israel in the field of Israel and the Diaspora, for her involvement in fighting anti-Semitism around the world, her representation of Israel in international forums such as UNESCO and the UN Assembly, and for representation of important Jewish Zionist bodies that followed.