Silvan Shalom

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Silvan Shalom
Silvan Shalom.jpg
Date of birth (1958-08-04) 4 August 1958 (age 55)
Place of birth Gabès, Tunisia
Year of aliyah 1959
Knessets 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Party represented in Knesset
1992– Likud
Ministerial roles
1998–1999 Minister of Science & Technology
2001–2003 Minister of Finance
2001–2006 Deputy Prime Minister
2003–2006 Minister of Foreign Affairs
2009–2013 Vice Prime Minister
2009– Minister for Regional Development
2009– Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee
2013– Minister of Energy and Water

Silvan Shalom (Hebrew: ציון סילבן משה שלום‎, born 4 August 1958) is an Israeli politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Likud and Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee and Minister of Energy and Water. He previously served as the country's Foreign Minister, Finance Minister, Science Minister and Vice Prime Minister.

Early life[edit]

Shalom was born in Gabès, Tunisia on 4 August 1958[1] to a family that traced its roots to the Sephardic Beit Shalom dynasty. His family made aliyah to the city of Beersheba, in Israel's Negev in 1959. On 3 November 1964, while Shalom was six years old, his father, Shimon Shalom, a bank manager and a member of the Betar movement, was killed during the course of a bungled bank robbery. The murder was notoriously known as the first committed in a bank robbery in the history of the young state of Israel. At the age of 18, he was inducted into the Israel Defense Forces and achieved the rank of Sergeant.

Education and early career[edit]

After completing his service in the IDF, Shalom attended Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, from which he received a BA in Economics as well as a CPA. Certification. During that time, Shalom was elected as the chairman of the university's students' union and later as the vice chairman of the national students union. He later attended Tel Aviv University, from which he received an LLB law degree as well as an MA in Public Policy. Shalom started as a journalist. While working on his first degree, he began to work as a journalist at the Yediot Aharonot newspaper in the student section. After that he started working in the "Rosh Berosh" magazine and in the Negev's local newspaper. In 1980 he moved to Tel Aviv and started working at the now-defunct Hadashot newspaper. In 1984, he was appointed as its head political and economical correspondent.

Politics[edit]

In 1985, Shalom was appointed adviser to the finance minister, Yitzhak Moda'i, who was later appointed justice minister. At the age of 31, he was appointed as the CEO of the energy ministry and two years later, in 1990, he was appointed director in chief of the Israel Electric Company.

Knesset member[edit]

In 1992, at the age of 34, Shalom was elected as a Knesset member. He was elected on the 34th spot in the Likud list to the Knesset and the party received only 33 seats in the 13th Knesset. After former security minister Moshe Arens resigned, Shalom succeeded in becoming an MK. As a young MK, his first bill was in the academic field. In 1992 there was room for only 100,000 students, with no space for any more students. Shalom acted to allow all the students to get accepted when the reduction of the students would be made at the end of the first year. Due to his bill, awareness has been made to the problem and the Israeli colleges were established. In the year 2010, for the first time, more students started their degree in colleges. Shalom, during his first term was the first male MK to be a member of the committee on the status of women. He was also the chairman of the subcommittee regarding the capital market, chairman of the subcommittee of energy and a member of the economic affairs committee. In 1996, a year after the assassination of P.M. Yitzhak Rabin from the labor party, the Likud, headed by the opposition leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, was united with 2 parties: Gesher and Tzomet and ran in the election against the Labor party, headed by acting P.M. Shimon Peres. The Likud received 32 seats, 2 fewer than the labor party, but due to the direct election of the P.M. at the time of the election, Netanyahu won and became P.M.

Deputy to the defense minister[edit]

Shalom, who won the 18th spot in the combined list of the three parties, became deputy to the defense minister, Itzhak Morderchai. One of his biggest achievements was allowing Hareidi Jews to serve in the army, a step that they had been avoiding in doing for decades. The Hareidi battalion, "Netzach Yehuda", was established on February 1999.

Minister of science[edit]

After a rotation with MK Michael Eitan, Shalom, on July 13, 1998, became minister of science. During his year old term in office, he created the "science flowers" project, which helped universities get to the Israeli periphery and helped under privileged students to excel. Another main project Shalom was involved in, was in spreading the internet in Israel and enlarging the internet's bandwidth and as a result of it, its surfing speed.

MK in the opposition (1999–2001)[edit]

In the 1999 election, the Likud party, headed by the widely unpopular prime minister at the time, Benjamin Netanyahu, was running against the Labor party, headed by Ehud Barak. The labor party won 26 seats in the Knesset, while the Likud party received only 19 seats and lost the election. After the Labor party gained power in 1999 and the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu, Shalom who reached the 1st place, became part of the opposition, lead by Ariel Sharon.

Since 2001[edit]

After challenging Netanyahu for party leadership in late 2005 and achieving second place, Shalom was granted the second spot on the Likud list to the 2006 general election and thus did not compete in the 11 January 2006 primaries. He was placed seventh on the party's list for the 2009 elections.

In January 2010, he asked Pope Benedict XVI to open the wartime archives of the papacy of Pius XII.[2]

Shalom, as energy minister, led an Israeli delegation to Abu Dhabi on renewable energy in January 2014. The visit was controversial, as Israel and the United Arab Emirates do not have diplomatic relations and no Israeli leaders had traveled there since the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in 2010.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Shalom is married to Israeli talk show host Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes. The couple have five children and reside in Ramat Gan. On March 24, 2014, a woman reported that he sexually harassed her at work, 15 years ago.[5]

External links[edit]

References[edit]