SHIMON PERES

Was born in 1923 in Winiewa Poland (now Belorussia). In 1934 Peres and his family moved to Palestine (Tel Aviv).

After a number of years in Kibbutz Geva and Kibbutz Alumot, Peres was elected Secretary of the Labor youth movement in 1943. In 1947, Peres was conscripted into the Haganah Defense Forces and assigned responsibility for manpower and arms purchases, continuing this post during the early part of Israel's War of Independence. A year later, Peres was appointed head of Israel's navy and at the war's end assumed the position of Director of the Defense Ministry's procurement delegation in the United States. In 1953, at the age of 29, Peres was appointed by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to the post of Director General of the Defense Ministry, a position he held until 1959..

In 1959, Peres was elected to Israel's parliament, the Knesset, and has remained a member ever since. From that year, and unil 1965, he served as Deputy Defense Minister. The following year he was appointed Immigrant Absorption Minister and from 1970 served as Minister of Transportation and Communications. In 1974, after a period as Information Minister, Peres was appointed Defense Minister, a position he held until 1977. In 1977 Peres was elected Chairman of the The Labor Party, a post he held until 1992. During that period he was elected Vice President of the Socialist International.Upon the establishment of a National Unity Government, in September 1984, Peres served as Prime Minister and between 1986-88 as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. Between 1988-1990, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

In July 1992 Peres was appointed Foreign Minister. In 1994, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.On November 5, 1995, following the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Peres was appointed acting Prime Minister and Defense Minister. He served in these two posts until May 1996. During this trying period, Peres strove to maintain the momentum in the peace process, despite a wave of terrorist attacks by Palestinian suicide bombers against Israeli civilians.From 1996-1999, he served as a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and Minister of Regional Cooperation from 1999 until 2001. In March 2001, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. From 2002 he is the Chairman of the The Labor Party and leader of opposition in Knesset. He created the Peace Research Institute with the aim of promoting and implementing regional economic projects. Shimon Peres has authored ten books, including "The Next Step", "David's Sling", "Entebbe Diary", "The New Middle East", " For the Future of Izrael”, Battling for Peace: a Memoir”.

On 13 June 2007 Simon Peres was elected by the Knesset for the presidency for a seven-year term.

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