Former Philadelphian, University of Haifa Professor Steven Plaut Dies at 65

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plautSteven Plaut, who was born in Philadelphia in 1951 and emigrated to Israel in 1981, where he became an economics professor at the University of Haifa, died Jan. 17, according to his mother Ida Plaut.

Steven Plaut had suffered for years with cancer and wrote a book in 2002 called The Scout, which detailed his near-death experiences as a kidney cancer patient.

Before moving to Israel, he received an undergraduate degree from Temple University, worked at the Federal Reserve Bank and taught at numerous colleges and universities.

He also worked for the Jewish Exponent starting in 1968 as a student columnist, according to 2009 email correspondence with an Exponent employee. Plaut recalled that he was paid $10 per column.

Plaut was known as an outspoken critic of the Israeli-Arab peace process and often was critical of Israeli left-wing politicians.

A decade ago, he was sued for libel by a faculty member at Ben-Gurion University. A magistrate court ordered Plaut to pay 95,000 shekels in compensation and legal fees, but a district court reduced that amount to 10,000 shekels.