Professor Moshe Brawer 1919-2020
Professor Moshe Brawer, Israel’s veteran and senior geographer passed away at the age of 101 on
December 28 th 2020.
Professor Brawer was responsible for the establishment of two of Israel’s five major Geography
Departments, at Tel Aviv and Bar Ilan Universities. At Tel Aviv he chaired the Department in its
formative years in the 1960s and 1970s, actively taught for fifty years, and also served as Dean of
the Faculty of Humanities in the 1980’s. He also served as the president of the Israeli Geographical
Brawer was renowned in two major areas of research and teaching. He established the vibrant
discipline of Political Geography and was a world renowned expert in the field of boundaries. He
continued to teach Political Geography, long after his formal retirement well into his nineties.
Moshe Brawer was also known for the publication of atlases which were used, and continue to be
used, in the school and university system throughout Israel. Generations of children grew up on his
atlases and there is barely a house in Israel which does not have these on their bookshelves. Many
of his atlases were published into English and other languages and are to be found in schools and
homes throughout the world.
Following a period as a war correspondent based in Israel and London, Brawer completed his Ph.D.
in the post WWII years at the LSE under the tutorship of the legendary British geographer, Charles
Fawcett. He was also present at the Rhodes Armistice Talks in 1948-49 which determined the
demarcation of the boundaries of the State of Israel. Prior to that he had also been present at the
liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, an event which left a major imprint on his
During the course of his geographic career, professor Brawer was involved in many of Israel’s
peace negotiations and was influential in determining the course of the Israel-Jordan boundary. His
book on Israel’s boundaries discussed in depth the role of geographers and cartographers in the
demarcation and delimitation of boundaries in general, and Israel’s boundaries in particular.
In recognition of his work, Brawer was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for lifelong
achievement in 2012.
Brawer was well known on the international scene and regularly attended IGU conferences,
lecturing on regional and political geography issues.
He continued working on new editions of atlases until just a few weeks prior to his death. A year
ago, the Israel Geographical Association held a special symposium in honour of his 100 th birthday.
I was privileged to work with professor Brawer following my appointment as a young lecturer in
the Geography Department at Tel Aviv University in 1982 and maintained a close relationship with
him, often seeking to benefit from his advice, his geographic knowledge and experience, until his
His loss will be deeply felt by his many colleagues and students, both in Israel and throughout the
Professor David Newman
Department of Politics and Government,
Ben-Gurion University, Israel.