Moshe Katsav -
Hebrew: משה קצב
) was born December 5, 1945) in Yazd, Iran.
His family moved to Tehran when he was an infant; in August 1951, they came on
Aliya to Israel. He graduated from the Ben-Shemen Agricultural School and
studied in Beer Tuvia. He is married to Gila Katsav.
army service, Katsav studied in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was
chairman of the Likud student organization there and graduated with a degree in
Economics and History. He was first elected Mayor of Kiryat Malachi in 1969 when
he was a 24-year old student, and was Israel's youngest mayor. He again was
elected mayor of Kiryat Malachi in 1974. Moshe Katsav was a Knesset
member since 1977. In 1977 to 1981, he was a member of the Knesset Committee on
Interior Affairs and the Environment, and the Committee on Education and
Culture. He also served as chairman of the Knesset Members' Lobby for
Development Towns. .
Katsav was Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction (1981-84), Minister of
Labor and Social Affairs (1984-88), and Minister of Transport (1988-92). In the
13th Knesset, from 1992, Katsav headed the Likud faction and was a member of the
Knesset House Committee and chairman of the Israel-China league of parliamentary
friendship. In the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, he was Minister of Tourism,
minister in charge of Israeli Arab affairs and Deputy Prime Minister from June
1996-July 1999. He was nominated for the position of President of Israel in
2000, running against
who was supposedly assured the election. Katsav defeated Peres to become the
Israel on July 31, 2000, getting
63 votes to 57 for Peres He is the first President of Israel to have been
sworn in for a seven-year term as well as the first candidate of the right wing
Likud party to be elected to the office, and the first to be born in a Middle
Eastern country other than Israel.
remain largely aloof from Israeli politics and represent the nation as a whole,
most presidents have expressed their views on matters they consider urgent.
Katsav spoke out in favor of the failed 2002 cease-fire initiative between
Israel and the Palestinians, that was spurned by Prime Minister
He refused to grant a pardon to Yigal Amir, the assassin of Prime Minister
In 2001, Moshe
Katsav asked Jewish communities to form a new Sanhedrin to deal with
modern halachic (Jewish Law) issues. The Sanhedrin was established in 2004.
On April 8, 2005
Katsav, sat near Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, also a native of Yazd,
during the funeral of Pope John Paul II, because all world leaders present were
arranged in alphabetical order by the name of their state. President Katsav
would later claim that he shook Khatami's hand and spoke to him in Persian,
though Khatami denied it. He also greeted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the
first political contact between Iran and Israel since 1979.
In June of 2007
Moshe Katsav left office in disgrace, following allegations and criminal
proceedings regarding sexual misconduct. In April of 2008, he announced he was
breaking a plea bargain agreement, and faced indictments on charges of rape.
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