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Moshe Kahlon

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Moshe Kahlon
משה כחלון
Ministerial roles
2009–2013Minister of Communications
2011–2013Minister of Welfare & Social Services
2015–2020Minister of Finance
2016Minister of Environmental Protection
2016–2017Minister of Economy
Faction represented in the Knesset
Personal details
Born (1960-11-19) 19 November 1960 (age 63)
Hadera, Israel

Moshe Kahlon (Hebrew: משה כחלון; born 19 November 1960) is a retired Israeli politician. Between 2003 and 2013 he served as a member of the Knesset for Likud, and as Minister of Communications and Minister of Welfare & Social Services. After taking a break from politics, he founded the Kulanu party in 2014,[1][2] and returned to the Knesset the following year. In 2015, he was appointed Minister of Finance in the Netanyahu IV cabinet. On 12 January 2020, Kahlon announced that he would be retiring from politics.[3]

He is known for championing socioeconomic issues like the eradication of poverty and income inequality.[4]

Early life[edit]

Moshe Kahlon was born in the Givat Olga neighborhood of Hadera. He was the fifth of seven children born to Libyan Jewish parents who had immigrated from Tripoli.[4] His father worked in construction.[5] He served in the Israel Defense Forces from 1978 to 1986, in the Ordnance Corps. After completing his army service he started a business of importing car appliances.[6] He earned a BA in political science and general studies from the University of Haifa before going on to study law and gaining an LLB from the Netanya Academic College.[7] In 2013, he attended the six-week advanced management program at Harvard University.[8]

Political career[edit]

Kahlon became politically active in the late 1980s, when he helped Rami Dotan campaign for mayor of Haifa. It was in the context of this election campaign that he met Uzi Landau, who appointed him his Bureau Chief when he became Minister of Public Security in 2001. Kahlon served in this position for a year. Kahlon was first elected to the Knesset in the 2003 elections, and was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. In the run up to the 2006 elections, he won third place on Likud's list in the party's primaries.[9] He retained his seat again in the 2009 elections after being placed sixth on the Likud list, and was appointed Minister of Communications on 31 March.

In the Knesset, he worked to pass a bill to reduce electricity charges for poor families and headed an inquiry into bank fees.[10][11] Kahlon was also credited with leading the "Cellular Revolution"; a set of policies that allowed new competitors to enter the cellular communications market in Israel, including Golan Telecom. This drastically reduced cellular communications prices in the Israeli market.[12] On 19 January 2011, he was appointed Minister of Welfare & Social Services after the resignation of Isaac Herzog.

Kulanu election banner featuring Kahlon, 2015

Kahlon announced he would be taking a break from politics,[13] and did not run in the 2013 Knesset elections.[14] In response to reports that he was going to form a new political party, Kahlon announced on 3 November 2013 that he would not.[15] It was subsequently reported that Kahlon would initiate a new party to run in the next Israeli legislative election; possible running-mates were reported to include Yoav Gallant and Meir Dagan.[16] In April 2014, after a period of silence, Kahlon announced in an interview with the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth his intention to return to politics "imminently", but that he had not decided on a "framework" for his return; in the same interview, he criticised the socio-economic and diplomatic policies of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, adding to speculation that he would attempt to run against Netanyahu in the future elections.[17] In 2014, he indeed founded a new political party, the Kulanu party, ahead of the expected March 2015 elections. He announced several new members of his Knesset list: former ambassador to the US Michael Oren, Israel Prize winner Eli Alaluf, Yifat Sasha-Biton, a former deputy mayor of Kiryat Shmona and Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Rachel Azaria.[18]

Kulanu subsequently won ten seats in the 2015 elections. The party joined Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition government, with Kahlon appointed Minister of Finance on 14 May 2015. He also briefly served as Minister of Environmental Protection from 31 May 2016 to 1 August 2016 and as Minister of the Economy from 1 August 2016 until 23 January 2017.[19] He resigned from the Knesset on 29 January 2016 and was replaced by Akram Hasson, while retaining his ministerial portfolios under the Norwegian Law.[20]

In the April 2019 Israeli legislative election, Kulanu won 4 seats, losing 6. The party merged with Likud on 28 May 2020, with Kahlon placing fifth on the party slate for the following election.[21]

On 27 April 2020, a source close to Kahlon told Al-Monitor that Kahlon was speeding up his retirement and was planning to resign from Netanyahu's government before a new Israeli government was formed.[22] However, he subsequently announced that he would not retire until a new government was formed.[23] Kahlon officially left politics on 17 May 2020 when Israel Katz replaced him as Minister of Finance.

Career after leaving Knesset[edit]

In November 2020, it was announced that Kahlon was to head a new investment fund founded with members of the House of Al Falahi in the wake of the Israel–United Arab Emirates normalization agreement.[24]

Other activities[edit]


  1. ^ "Ex-Likud minister Kahlon to call his new party Kulanu". Times of Israel. 10 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Popular ex-Likud minister launches new party". Times of Israel. 3 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Moshe Kahlon to retire from politics", Jerusalem Post, January 12, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Aron Heller (March 17, 2015). "In close Israel vote, leader of upstart centrist party is kingmaker". Associated Press.
  5. ^ Naomi Zeveloff, Are Kahlon and His New Party Here To Stay or a Passing Fad?, The Forward (Published March 29, 2015, issue of April 03, 2015)
  6. ^ "חדשות - תקשורת nrg - ...כחלון הזדמנויות: ראיון עם שר". Nrg.co.il. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  7. ^ Moshe Kahlon BICOM Biography Archived December 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Kachlon at Harvard University
  9. ^ "MK Kahlon wins Likud primaries" Haaretz, 13 January 2006
  10. ^ "New bill would give discounted electricity to poor families" Haaretz, 12 January 2007
  11. ^ "MK Kahlon fed up with banking fees" Haaretz, 15 November 2006
  12. ^ Somfavli, Attila (14 October 2012). "Political Bomb: Moshe Kahlon Won't Be a Candidate for a Knesset Seat". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  13. ^ Lubin, Annie (23 October 2012), Moshe Kahlon: 'Don't be So Sure Likud is Going to Win', Israel National News, retrieved 9 December 2013
  14. ^ Yanover, Yori (1 November 2012), Moshe Kahlon Stirring Up the Next Earthquake in Israel's Elections, The Jewish Press, retrieved 9 December 2013
  15. ^ Nachemi, Yossi (4 November 2012), "Kahlon: The not-running man", The Times of Israel, retrieved 8 December 2013
  16. ^ "Former Likud political rock star to form new party", The Times of Israel, 8 December 2013, retrieved 9 December 2013
  17. ^ "Popular ex-Likud Minister Slams Old Party, Plans Political Comeback", The Times of Israel, 8 April 2014, retrieved 8 April 2014
  18. ^ Rachel Azaria joins Kahlon’s Kulanu party The Times of Israel, 6 Jan 2015
  19. ^ Government 34 Knesset
  20. ^ Kahlon resigns from Knesset, to be replaced by Hasson The Jerusalem Post, 27 January 2016
  21. ^ [1] Times of Israel, 28 May 2020
  22. ^ Mualem, Mazal (17 April 2020). "Netanyahu's right-wing bloc starts cracking". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Kahlon says he'll retire from politics when new government sworn in".
  24. ^ "Former finance minister to head investment fund with Abu Dhabi royals — report".
  25. ^ Board of Governors Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  26. ^ Board of Governors European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  27. ^ Board of Governors Archived 2018-11-04 at the Wayback Machine Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC).

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New office Leader of Kulanu