Elazar Stern

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Elazar Stern
Launch of 'British Club' for Holocaust survivors (6885477889) (cropped).jpg
Stern; 2012
Date of birth (1956-08-25) 25 August 1956 (age 63)
Place of birthTel Aviv, Israel
Knessets19, 20, 21, 22
Faction represented in Knesset
2015–Yesh Atid
2019–Blue and White
Military career
Allegiance Israel
Service/branchHuman Resources Directorate
Years of service1974–2008
RankIDF aluf rotated.svg Aluf (Major General)
Commands held

Elazar Stern (Hebrew: אלעזר שטרן‎, born 25 August 1956) is an Israeli politician and former soldier. He served as a Major General in the Israel Defense Forces, and as Head of the Manpower Directorate. In 2013, he became a member of the Knesset for Hatnuah, served as an MK for Yesh Atid and is currently an MK for Blue and White.


Born in Tel Aviv, Stern attended Bar-Ilan University, where he received a BA in Economics and Land of Israel Studies. He also received a Master's degree in Business Administration from Tel Aviv University and Northwestern University.

Stern was drafted into the IDF in 1974. He volunteered as a paratrooper in the Paratroopers Brigade. He served as a soldier and a squad leader. In 1976, he became an infantry officer after completing Officer Candidate School and return to the Paratroopers Brigade as a platoon leader. Stern took part in various raids against terrorist camps in Lebanon, and served as a Company commander in the 890 "Efe" (Echis) paratroop company.[1] Stern fought in the 1982 Lebanon War, and later on commanded Paratroopers Brigade's training base and the 202 paratroop battalion in South Lebanon. During his career, Stern commanded a reserve Paratroopers Brigade and the IDF's Officer Candidate School (Bahad 1).[2] Afterwards, he served as the chief of the IDF's Education and Youth Corps and succeeded Gil Regev as head of the Manpower Directorate (a name he changed to Human Resources) in July 2004.[3]

As head of Human Resources, Stern oversaw a program to convert non-Jewish IDF troops to Judaism. He has also led the integration of hesder units, homogeneous units of Orthodox male soldiers combining yeshiva studies with military service, into mainstream units. While criticised by some religious Israelis that the action was meant only to prevent insubordination of religious troops during the Gaza pullout, Stern maintains that it is better for the troops.[4]

On 14 October 2005, Stern and his family were assaulted in Jerusalem while praying at the Western Wall in protest of his leading role in expelling Jews from the Gaza Strip during the disengagement plan.[5] In 2008, he is said to have "stormed the stage" to prevent teenage rock star Shira Gavrielov from performing at a military farewell party on the grounds that she had not served in the military.[6]

Stern completed his tenure as the head of the Human Resources Directorate in July 2008, and retired from the IDF. He was replaced by Avi Zamir, who received the Aluf rank.[7]

Prior to the 2013 Knesset elections, Stern joined the new Hatnuah party, and was placed fourth on its list.[8] He was elected to the Knesset after the party won six seats, but announced on 20 December 2014 that he had left the party.[9]

In the build-up to the 2015 elections, he joined Yesh Atid,[10] and was placed twelfth on its list. With the party winning only 11 seats, he lost his seat. However, he re-entered the Knesset on 4 September 2015 after Shai Piron resigned his seat.


  1. ^ Gal Perl Finkel, IDF promotes officers who think outside the box, but still follow the line, The Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Anshel Pfeffer, As a Religious IDF Officer, Which Version of Yizkor Do You Prefer?, Haaretz, June 21, 2011.
  3. ^ Amir Oren, More Power to the Politruks, Haaretz, December 09, 2003.
  4. ^ General Defends "Hesder" Disbanding The Jewish Week
  5. ^ Chris McGreal. "Wailing Wall mob stones general who oversaw expulsions". the Guardian.
  6. ^ "Saved from certain disaster". Haaretz.com. 23 March 2008.
  7. ^ "Brigadier General Avi Zamir Will Replace Aluf Stern as Head of the Human Resources Directorate". Israel Defense Forces. 2008-03-07. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  8. ^ "Tzipi Livni takes aim at Center-Right political bloc". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.
  9. ^ "MK Stern breaks from Hatnua, blames Livni". Times of Israel. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  10. ^ Safed mayor pulls out of Yisrael Beytenu list before swearing in as MK The Jerusalem Post, 24 March 2015

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