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definition - Shaul_Mofaz

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Shaul Mofaz

                   
Shaul Mofaz
Date of birth (1948-11-04) 4 November 1948 (age 63)
Place of birth Tehran, Iran
Year of aliyah 1957
Knessets 17th, 18th
Party Kadima
Former parties Likud
Ministerial posts
(current in bold)
Vice Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Transportation
Minister of Defense*
*Whilst outside the Knesset

Lt. General (Res.) Shaul Mofaz (Hebrew: שאול מופז‎, born 4 November 1948) is an Israeli politician who serves as the Vice Prime Minister and a Minister without portfolio.

He joined the Israel Defense Forces in 1966 and served in the Paratroopers Brigade. He fought in the Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, 1982 Lebanon War, and Operation Entebbe with the paratroopers and Sayeret Matkal, an elite special forces unit.

Mofaz became the 16th IDF's Chief of the General Staff, and served as Israel's Minister of Defense, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transportation and Road Safety. He is the current Chairman of the Kadima Party, which is the largest party by seats in the current Knesset.[1]

Contents

  Biography

  Early life and military career

His birth name is Shahram Mofazzakar. He was born in Tehran (although his parents came from Isfahan), Mofaz immigrated to Israel with his parents in 1957. Upon graduating from high school he joined the Israel Defense Forces in 1966 and served in the Paratroopers Brigade. He participated in the Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, 1982 Lebanon War, and Operation Entebbe with the paratroopers and Sayeret Matkal, an elite special forces unit.

  The Chief of Staff Gen. Shaul Mofaz (right foreground) meets with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (left), and other senior U.S. Department of Defense officials in the Pentagon

Mofaz was then appointed an infantry brigade commander for the 1982 Lebanon War. Afterwards he attended the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia, USA. On his return he was briefly appointed commander of the Officers School, before returning to active service as commander of the Paratroop Brigade in 1986.

Mofaz served in a series of senior military posts, having been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General (1988). In 1993 he was made commander of the IDF forces in the West Bank. In 1994, he was promoted to Major General, commanding the Southern Corps. His rapid rise continued; in 1997 Mofaz was appointed Deputy Chief of the General Staff and in 1998 he was appointed Chief of the General Staff.

His term of Chief of Staff was noted for financial and structural reforms of the Israeli Army. But the most significant event in his tenure was the eruption of the Second Intifada in September, 2000. The tough tactics undertaken by Mofaz drew widespread concern from the international community but were broadly supported by the Israeli public. Controversy erupted over the offensive in Jenin, intermittent raids in the Gaza Strip, and the continued isolation of Yasser Arafat.

Mofaz foresaw the wave of violence coming early as 1999 and prepared the IDF for intense guerrilla warfare in the territories. He fortified posts at the Gaza Strip and due to advanced military tactics and intelligent use of bulldozers he managed to keep Israel Defense Forces casualties low. However, he drew criticism from leftist groups because of the methods he had undertaken (such as house demolitions).

  Political career

Following a government crisis in 2002, Shaul Mofaz was controversially appointed Defense Minister by Ariel Sharon.[2] Although he supported an agreement with the Palestinians, he was willing to make no compromise in the war against militant groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Tanzim, and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

The fact that he had only recently left his position as IDF Chief of Staff prevented him from participating in the 2003 election (by which time Mofaz had joined Sharon's Likud). Nevertheless, Sharon reappointed him as Defense Minister in the new government.

On 21 November 2005, Mofaz rejected Sharon's invitation to join his new party, Kadima, and instead announced his candidacy for the leadership of Likud. But, on 11 December 2005 he withdrew from both the leadership race and the Likud to join Kadima.

Following the elections in late March 2006, Mofaz was moved from the position of Defense Minister and received the Transport ministry in the new Cabinet installed on 4 May 2006.[3]

In 2008, with Israel's then prime minister, Ehud Olmert, being pressured to resign due to corruption charges, Mofaz announced that he would run for the leadership of the Kadima party.

On 5 August 2008, Mofaz officially entered the race to be leader of Kadima. That same day he received a blessing by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. On 17 September 2008, he lost the Kadima party election, losing to Tzipi Livni for the spot of the Prime Minister and leader of Kadima. Livni's narrow margin of 431 votes was 43.1% to Shaul Mofaz's 42.0%, a huge difference from the 10 to 12-point exit polls margins. She said the "national responsibility (bestowed) by the public brings me to approach this job with great reverence".[4][5] Mofaz accepted the Kadima primary's result, despite his lawyer, Yehuda Weinstein's appeal advice, and telephoned Livni congratulating her. Livni got 16,936 votes, with 16,505 votes, for Mofaz. Public Security Minister Avi Dichter and Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit had 6.5% and 8.5% respectively.

Placed second on the Kadima list, Mofaz retained his seat in the 2009 elections, but lost his cabinet position after Likud formed the government.

On 27 March 2012, Shaul Mofaz won the Kadima party leadership primaries by a lanslise, defeating party chairwoman Tzipi Livni.[6] Mofaz became Vice Prime Minister as part of a deal reached for a government of national unity with Binyamin Netanyahu.[7] Mofaz had said during the Kadima primaries that he would not join a government led by Netanyahu.[8]

  In popular culture

A fictionalized version of Mofaz appeared in the 2008 drama film Lemon Tree.[9]

  See also

  References

  1. ^ New Israel Partner Offers Moderate Voice on Iran May 8, 2012
  2. ^ Shaul Mofaz Biography at Jewish Virtual Library
  3. ^ Shaul Mofaz at the Institute for Middle East Understanding
  4. ^ abc.net.au, Livni declared winner of Kadima election. Abc.net.au (18 September 2008). Retrieved on 9 September 2011.
  5. ^ ukpress.google.com, Livni claims victory in Israel poll[dead link]
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Mofaz sworn in as minister, deputy PM". ynetnews.com. 9 May 2012. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4227035,00.html. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Verter, Yossi (30 March 2012). "After Livni, it's Mofaz's turn at the helm of Kadima". Haaretz. http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/after-livni-it-s-mofaz-s-turn-at-the-helm-of-kadima-1.421636. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  9. ^ LEMON TREE: Q&A with Eran Riklis. By Andre Soares. Alternative Film Guide. Published 1 May 2009.

  External links

   
               

 

All translations of Shaul_Mofaz


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