Israel Kleiner was born in Kyiv in 1935. In 1971, he emigrated to Israel. His struggle with the Soviet authorities for permission to leave the country, which lasted more than two years, is described in the seriocomic Anekdotychna trahediia (An Anecdotal Tragedy), published in 1973. From 1972 to 1978, Kleiner worked at the Ukrainian section of Radio Liberty in Munich. While there, he completed master's and doctoral dissertations on the nationality question in the USSR at the Ukrainian Free University. His doctoral dissertation was published in 1978 under the title Natsional'ni problemy ostann'oï imperiï (Nationality Problems of the Last Empire). After returning to Israel, Kleiner worked as a journalist and pursued his interest in the history of Ukrainian-Jewish relations, doing research in European and American libraries and archives. For a time he worked at the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv. He was the Israel correspondent of the Munich-based Ukrainian journal Suchasnist'. Kleiner's annotated Ukrainian translation of Vladimir Jabotinsky's selected articles on the nationality question was published in New York in 1983 and reprinted in Kyiv in 1991. The Ukrainian version Владімір (Зеев) Жаботинський i українське питання was published in Kyiv in 1995 and nominated for the Shevchenko Prize, Ukraine's major literary award. It won the award of the Ukraine-Israel Association in 1998. From 1984, Israel Kleiner worked at the Ukrainian section of the Voice of America. He passed away in 2008 in Jerusalem.