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Biographies of Key Political Players

Kadima Labor Likud Other Parties


Ehud Olmert, Kadima

Acting Prime Minister

Born: 1945 Binyamina
IDF Rank: Intelligence Officer
Profession: LL.B in Law
Political Highlight: Mayor of Jerusalem, Finance Minister, Minister of Industry, Trade & Labor
Best Known For: Mayor of Jerusalem, youngest MK (28) when first elected in 1973

Full Biography >>

Shimon Peres, Kadima

2nd in Kadima

Born: 1923, Belorussia
IDF Rank: Naval Commander
Profession: Advanced Administration
Political Highlight: Prime Minister (3x)
Best Known For: Director General of Defense Ministry; architect of Israel Air Industries & nuclear program; Architect of Oslo Accords.

Full Biography >>

Tzipi Livni, Kadima

Foreign Minister

Born: 1958, Tel Aviv
IDF Rank: Lieutenant
Profession: LL.B in Law
Political Highlight: Justice Minister, Minister for Regional Cooperation
Best Known For: 2nd female foreign minister of Israel, former Mossad agent.

Full Biography >>


Amir Peretz, Labor

Labor Chairman

Born: 1952, Morocco
IDF Rank: Captain
Profession: Labor Leader
Political Highlight: Leader of Histadrut Labor Union ('94-'05)
Best Known For: Long-time mayor of Sderot; vocal and highly visible leader of Israel's largest labor union.

Full Biography >>

Isaac Herzog, Labor

Labor MK

Born: 1960, Tel Aviv
IDF Rank: Major (Res.)
Profession: LL.B in Law
Political Highlight: Minister of Housing and Construction
Best Known For: Son of former Israeli President Chaim Herzog

Full Biography >>

Ami Ayalon, Labor

Peace Activist

Born: 1945, Israel
IDF Rank: Admiral
Profession: Career Military
Political Highlight: Head of Shin Bet, Internal Security Service
Best Known For: Commander of Israeli Navy and Internal Security Service turned Peace Activist.

Full Biography >>


Binyamin Netanyahu, Likud

Likud Chairman

Born: 1949, Tel Aviv
IDF Rank: Captain
Profession: MS, Management Studies
Political Highlight: Prime Minister (1996-99)
Best Known For: Prime Minister; Finance Minister, where he initiated broad privatization reforms; 'Voice of Israel' during first Gulf War.

Full Biography >>

Silvan Shalom, Likud

Likud MK

Born: 1958, Tunisia
IDF Rank: Sergeant
Profession: LL.B in Law; MA
Political Highlight: Foreign Minister
Best Known For: Service as Foreign Minister and Finance Minister in the first Sharon administration.

Full Biography >>

Limor Livnat, Likud

Likud MK

Born: 1950, Haifa
IDF Rank: Sergeant
Profession: BA, Advertising
Political Highlight: Minister of Education
Best Known For: Enacting broad educational reforms in the Israeli educational system.

Full Biography >>

Other Parties

Yossi Beilin, Meretz-Yahad

Chairman, Meretz-Yahad

Born: 1948, Petach Tikvah
IDF Rank: Sergeant Major
Profession: PhD, Political Science
Political Highlight: Justice Minister
Best Known For: Architect of Oslo Accords and Geneva Initiative

Full Biography >>

Benny Elon, National Union

Chairman, National Union

Born: 1954, Jerusalem
IDF Rank: Officer/Chaplain
Profession: Rabbi/Educator
Political Highlight: Minister of Tourism
Best Known For: Chairman of National Union; author of the Right Road to Peace plan.

Full Biography >>

Eli Yishai, Shas

Shas Chairman

Born: 1962, Jerusalem
IDF Rank: Sergeant
Profession: Politician
Political Highlight: Deputy Prime Minister
Best Known For: Head of Shas Party; Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

Full Biography >>