Moshe Kahlon

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Moshe Kahlon
Moshe kahlon.jpg
Date of birth (1960-11-19) 19 November 1960 (age 55)
Place of birth Hadera, Israel
Knessets 16, 17, 18, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
2003–2013 Likud
2015–2016 Kulanu
Ministerial roles
2009–2013 Minister of Communications
2011–2013 Minister of Welfare & Social Services
2015– Minister of Finance

Moshe Kahlon (Hebrew: משה כחלון‎‎, born 19 November 1960) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Likud and as Minister of Communications and Minister of Welfare & Social Services. He heads the Kulanu party,[1] which he established in November 2014.[2] Since 2015 he has been Minister of Finance in the Netanyahu IV cabinet.

He is known for championing socioeconomic issues like the eradication of poverty and income inequality.[3]


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.[3] His father worked in construction.[4] 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 .[5] He later studied political science and general studies at the University of Haifa, receiving a Bachelor's degree before going on to gain a Bachelor of Laws from the Netanya Academic College.[6] He also studied in 2013 at the advanced management program at Harvard University.[7]

Political career[edit]

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 surprisingly won third place on Likud's list in the party's primaries.[8] 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.[9][10] Kahlon was also credited with leading the "Cellular Revolution", a set of moves that allowed new competitors to enter the cellular communications market in Israel, including Golan Telecom. This drastically reduced cellular communications prices in the market.[11] On 19 January 2011, he was appointed Minister of Welfare & Social Services after the resignation of Isaac Herzog.

Kahlon announced he would be taking a break from politics,[12] and did not run in the 2013 Knesset elections.[13] In response to reports that he was going to form a new political party, Kahlon announced on 3 November 2013 that he would not.[14] 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 Galant and Meir Dagan.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]


  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. ^ a b Aron Heller (March 17, 2015). "In close Israel vote, leader of upstart centrist party is kingmaker". Associated Press. 
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ "חדשות - תקשורת nrg - ...כחלון הזדמנויות: ראיון עם שר". Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Moshe Kahlon BICOM Biography Archived December 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Kachlon at Harvard University
  8. ^ "MK Kahlon wins Likud primaries" Haaretz, 13 January 2006
  9. ^ "New bill would give discounted electricity to poor families" Haaretz, 12 January 2007
  10. ^ "MK Kahlon fed up with banking fees" Haaretz, 15 November 2006
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Lubin, Annie (23 October 2012), Moshe Kahlon: 'Don't be So Sure Likud is Going to Win', Israel National News, retrieved 9 December 2013 
  13. ^ Yanover, Yori (1 November 2012), Moshe Kahlon Stirring Up the Next Earthquake in Israel's Elections, The Jewish Press, retrieved 9 December 2013 
  14. ^ Nachemi, Yossi (4 November 2012), "Kahlon: The not-running man", The Times of Israel, retrieved 8 December 2013 
  15. ^ "Former Likud political rock star to form new party", The Times of Israel, 8 December 2013, retrieved 9 December 2013 
  16. ^ "Popular ex-Likud Minister Slams Old Party, Plans Political Comeback", The Times of Israel, 8 April 2014, retrieved 8 April 2014 
  17. ^ Rachel Azaria joins Kahlon’s Kulanu party The Times of Israel, 6 Jan 2015

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New office Leader of Kulanu
Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Netanyahu
Minister of Finance