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Born Oct. 23, 1918 in Vilnius. Leader of the communist and workers’ movement in Israel.
A historian by education, Vilner went to Palestine in 1938, where he joined the Communist Party of Palestine (CPP) in 1940. From 1943 to 1948 he served as a member of the Politburo and as secretary to the Central Committee of the CPP. From 1948 to 1965, Vilner was a member of the Politburo and secretary to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI). In 1965-69 he was secretary to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Party, and since 1969 he has been general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPI. Since 1949 he has been an elected member of the Knesset (parliament). Vilner is the author of many articles on the communist and workers’ movement and on Arab-Israeli relations.