Benjamin Tammuz, 70, a prominent Russian-born Israeli author, sculptor and proponent of Jewish-Arab coexistence. Tammuz was known as one of Israel's foremost modern writers whose books contained humorous and introspective portrayals of that nation's pioneer generation. He published dozens of books, short stories and satirical columns in the prestigious Haaretz daily. Among the most popular is a humorous sketch of pioneer days called "The Life of Elyakum." He was also among the leaders of the defunct Canaanite Movement, which left-wing poets and artists began before Israel's founding in 1948. The movement sought a way of forging Jewish-Arab cooperation. In his last televised interview about a week ago, Tammuz suggested that the 19-month Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories had reinvigorated his Canaanite beliefs. Tammuz studied history at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1950-51 and later edited Art in Israel, a survey of Israeli art trends in the 1960s. He was a sculptor who designed a monument to fallen Israeli pilots that is now at Tel Aviv's Independence Park. In Jerusalem on Wednesday of cancer.