Yohanan Plesner

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Yohanan Plesner
Yohanan Plesner.jpg
Date of birth (1972-01-17) 17 January 1972 (age 42)
Place of birth United Kingdom
Knessets 17, 18
Party represented in Knesset
2007–2013 Kadima

Yohanan Plesner (Hebrew: יוחנן פלסנר‎, born 17 January 1972) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Kadima between 2007 and 2013.

Life and career[edit]

Plesner is the son of Danish architect Ulrik Plesner and Israeli journalist and lecturer Tamar Liebes. The couple married in Colombo, Sri Lanka, had Yohanan in London, and moved to Israel when Yohanan was at a young age, settling in Jerusalem, where his father opened an office and became a city architect.

During his national service in the Israel Defense Forces, Plesner served as an officer with the Sayeret Matkal commando unit 1989 and 1994.[1] He went on to study at the prestigious Amirim Program of Excellence at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he gained a BA with distinction in economics. Plesner then spent several years in the business world, first as a consultant to major financial corporations in Britain, and then as co-founder and manager of an international software company. He moved on to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he gained an MA in political economics and security studies, and spoke regularly on behalf of Israel. Upon his return to Israel, Plesner assumed the position of Head of Special Projects in the Prime Minister's Office under then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. When the Kadima Party was founded in early 2006, Plesner was appointed the first Secretary-General of the nascent party, and led the formation of its organizational infrastructure. A Member of Knesset since 2007, Plesner is, as of 2012, Deputy Chairman of the Kadima Faction and a member of both the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and of the Defense and Foreign Relations Committee. Plesner founded the European Forum of the Knesset, a parliamentary group dedicated to improving relations between the Knesset and European legislators, and chairs the Knesset's permanent delegation to the Council of Europe. During his time in the Knesset, Plesner has spoken out on issues ranging from national security and electoral reform to preservation of the environment and excellence in education.

Placed third on the Kadima list for the 2013 elections,[2] he lost his seat when the party was reduced to two MKs.

In 2014 Plesner was appointed President of the Israel Democracy Institute, replacing Dr. Arye Carmon upon his retirement.

He lives in Hod HaSharon with his wife Shimrit and his two daughters, Michaela and Ayala.[3]

Plesner Committee[edit]

Main article: Plesner Committee

In 2012, Plesner chaired the Keshev committee, though widely known as the Plesner Committee, for revision in Haredi conscripting policy for the replacement of the Tal Law which was set to lapse on 1 August 2012. The committee was dissolved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to disagreements between coalition parties, yet Plesner publicized the recommendations which included aggressive draft goals, as well as criminal charges, fines, or loss of benefits for draft dodgers under the plan.[4]


  1. ^ Cohen, Shimeon. "'אין לוחם בסיירת מטכ"ל שלא נשבר, אבל לא כך'". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 25 July 2010. (Hebrew)
  2. ^ Kadima Central Elections Committee
  3. ^ Lansky, Naama (2 April 2008). "מלך הג'ונגל" [King of the Jungle] (in Hebrew). Haaretz. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Plesner report: Criminal files for haredim who don't serve". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 

External links[edit]