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The Most Famous

WRITERS from Israel

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This page contains a list of the greatest Israeli Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,755 Writers, 22 of which were born in Israel. This makes Israel the birth place of the 49th most number of Writers behind Lithuania and South Africa.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Israeli Writers of all time. This list of famous Israeli Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Israeli Writers.

Photo of John the Evangelist

1. John the Evangelist (10 - 100)

With an HPI of 73.08, John the Evangelist is the most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages on wikipedia.

John the Evangelist (Greek: Ἰωάννης, translit. Iōánnēs; Aramaic: ܝܘܚܢܢ; Ge'ez: ዮሐንስ; Arabic: يوحنا الإنجيلي, Latin: Ioannes, Hebrew: יוחנן Coptic: ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ) is the name traditionally given to the author of the Gospel of John. Christians have traditionally identified him with John the Apostle, John of Patmos, and John the Presbyter, although this has been disputed by most modern scholars.

Photo of Amos Oz

2. Amos Oz (1939 - 2018)

With an HPI of 70.17, Amos Oz is the 2nd most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Amos Oz (Hebrew: עמוס עוז; born Amos Klausner; 4 May 1939 – 28 December 2018) was an Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and intellectual. He was also a professor of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. From 1967 onwards, Oz was a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He was the author of 40 books, including novels, short story collections, children's books, and essays, and his work has been published in 45 languages, more than that of any other Israeli writer. He was the recipient of many honours and awards, among them the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels, the Legion of Honour of France, the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature, the Heinrich Heine Prize, and the Franz Kafka Prize. Oz is regarded as one of "Israel's most prolific writers and respected intellectuals", as The New York Times worded it in an obituary.

Photo of Edward Said

3. Edward Said (1935 - 2003)

With an HPI of 67.93, Edward Said is the 3rd most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 65 different languages.

Edward Wadie Said (; Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد, romanized: Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd, [wædiːʕ sæʕiːd]; 1 November 1935 – 24 September 2003) was a Palestinian-American professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, and a founder of the academic field of postcolonial studies. Born in Mandatory Palestine, he was a citizen of the United States by way of his father, a U.S. Army veteran. Educated in the Western canon at British and American schools, Said applied his education and bi-cultural perspective to illuminating the gaps of cultural and political understanding between the Western world and the Eastern world, especially about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in the Middle East; his principal influences were Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Michel Foucault, and Theodor Adorno.As a cultural critic, Said is known for the book Orientalism (1978), a critique of the cultural representations that are the bases of Orientalism—how the Western world perceives the Orient. Said's model of textual analysis transformed the academic discourse of researchers in literary theory, literary criticism, and Middle-Eastern studies—how academics examine, describe, and define the cultures being studied. As a foundational text, Orientalism was controversial among scholars of Oriental Studies, philosophy, and literature.As a public intellectual, Said was a controversial member of the Palestinian National Council, due to his public criticism of Israel and the Arab countries, especially the political and cultural policies of Muslim régimes who acted against the national interests of their peoples. Said advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state to ensure equal political and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel, including the right of return to the homeland. He defined his oppositional relation with the status quo as the remit of the public intellectual who has "to sift, to judge, to criticize, to choose, so that choice and agency return to the individual" man and woman. In 1999, with conductor Daniel Barenboim, Said co-founded the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, based in Seville. Said was also an accomplished pianist, and, with Barenboim, co-authored the book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002), a compilation of their conversations and public discussions about music held at New York's Carnegie Hall.

Photo of Mahmoud Darwish

4. Mahmoud Darwish (1941 - 2008)

With an HPI of 63.44, Mahmoud Darwish is the 4th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Mahmoud Darwish (Arabic: محمود درويش, romanized: Maḥmūd Darwīsh, 13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008) was a Palestinian poet and author who was regarded as Palestine's national poet. He won numerous awards for his works. Darwish used Palestine as a metaphor for the loss of Eden, birth and resurrection, and the anguish of dispossession and exile. He has been described as incarnating and reflecting "the tradition of the political poet in Islam, the man of action whose action is poetry." He also served as an editor for several literary magazines in Palestine.

Photo of David Grossman

5. David Grossman (1954 - )

With an HPI of 59.56, David Grossman is the 5th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.

David Grossman (Hebrew: דויד גרוסמן; born January 25, 1954) is an Israeli author. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages. In 2018, he was awarded the Israel Prize for literature.

Photo of Ghassan Kanafani

6. Ghassan Kanafani (1936 - 1972)

With an HPI of 57.46, Ghassan Kanafani is the 6th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Ghassan Kanafani (Arabic: غسان كنفاني‎, 8 April 1936 – 8 July 1972) was a Palestinian author and a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). On 8 July 1972, he was assassinated by Mossad.

Photo of A. B. Yehoshua

7. A. B. Yehoshua (1936 - )

With an HPI of 55.56, A. B. Yehoshua is the 7th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Avraham Gabriel Yehoshua (Hebrew: אברהם גבריאל (בולי) יהושע; 9 December 1936 – 14 June 2022) was an Israeli novelist, essayist, and playwright. The New York Times called him the "Israeli Faulkner". Underlying themes in Yehoshua's work are Jewish identity, the tense relations with non-Jews, the conflict between the older and younger generations, and the clash between religion and politics.

Photo of Justus of Tiberias

8. Justus of Tiberias (35 - 100)

With an HPI of 54.50, Justus of Tiberias is the 8th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Justus of Tiberias (Tiberias, ca. 35 AD - Galilee, ca 100 AD) was a 1st century Jewish author and historiographer. All that we know of his life comes from the Vita which Flavius Josephus apparently wrote in response to the assertions made by Justus in his History of the Jewish War, published around 93/94 or shortly after 100. Josephus is moreover the only writer to mention this document, but without ever citing the slightest extract. This History published by Justus seems to have disappeared shortly after the publication of the Autobiography of Flavius ​​Josephus, because it is unknown to pagan authors and the Christian authors who mention it only quote what Josephus said. After the Great Jewish Revolt (66-70), Justus was the secretary of King Agrippa II and waited until his death to publish his History of this revolt. He is also known as the author of two other writings which disappeared much later. Thus in the ninth century, Bishop Photios of Constantinople was still able to access a copy of the Chronicle of the Jewish Kings' written by Justus.

Photo of May Ziade

9. May Ziade (1886 - 1941)

With an HPI of 52.84, May Ziade is the 9th most famous Israeli Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

May Elias Ziadeh ( zee-AH-də; Arabic: مي إلياس زيادة, ALA-LC: Mayy Ilyās Ziyādah; 11 February 1886 – 17 October 1941) was a Lebanese-Palestinian poet, essayist, and translator, who wrote many different works both in Arabic and in French.After attending school in her native city Nazareth and in Lebanon, May Elias Ziadeh immigrated along with her family to Egypt in 1908, and started publishing her works in French (under the pen name Isis Copia) in 1911. Gibran Kahlil Gibran entered into a correspondence with her in 1912. Being a prolific writer, she wrote for Arabic-language newspapers and periodicals, along with publishing poems and books. May Elias Ziadeh held one of the most famous literary salons in the modern Arab world in the year 1921. After suffering some personal losses at the beginning of the 1930s, she came back to Lebanon where her relatives placed her in a psychiatric hospital. However, she was able to get out of it, and then left for Cairo, where she later died.May Elias Ziadeh was one of the key figures of the Nahda in the early 20th-century Arab literary scene and a "pioneer of Oriental feminism."

Photo of Ahron Daum

10. Ahron Daum (1951 - 2018)

With an HPI of 52.45, Ahron Daum is the 10th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Ahron Daum (Hebrew: אהרן דאום; January 6, 1951 – June 27, 2018) was an Israeli-born Modern-Orthodox rabbi, educator, author, and former chief rabbi of Frankfurt am Main from 1987 to 1993. From 1995 until his death in 2018, he was a lecturer at the Faculty for Comparative Religion in Antwerp, Belgium.

Pantheon has 22 people classified as writers born between 10 and 1992. Of these 22, 10 (45.45%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include David Grossman, A. B. Yehoshua, and Meir Shalev. The most famous deceased writers include John the Evangelist, Amos Oz, and Edward Said. As of April 2022, 4 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Justus of Tiberias, Leigh Bardugo, and Dahlia Ravikovitch.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2022)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 10 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.