Moshe Katsav

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Moshe Katsav (Courtesy: Israeli Knesset)
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Moshe Katsav (Courtesy: Israeli Knesset)

Moshe Katsav (Hebrew מֹשֶׁה קַצָּב Mōšeh Qaṣṣāḇ), born December 5, 1945) is the current President of Israel (since 2000).

Moshe Katsav was born in Yazd, Iran. He moved with his family to Tehran when he was an infant; in August 1951, they emigrated to Israel. He remained fluent in Persian. He joined the Likud party and became the mayor of Kiryat Malachi, a small town in Israel. He was subsequently elected as a Member of the Knesset.

After serving as Deputy Prime Minister in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, Katsav vied for the position of President, running against Shimon Peres. In a surprising upset, he defeated Peres to become the president of Israel, being elected by the Knesset on July 31, 2000. He took 63 votes (over 57 for Peres), two more than the required majority of 61, and was sworn in on August 1. He is the first President of Israel to have been sworn in for a seven-year term as well as the first candidate from the right wing Likud party to be elected to the office.

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Khatami_Katsav.jpg
President Khatami, President Assad and President Katsav sat near each other during Pope John Paul II's funeral.

He is married to Gila Katsav. The Office of the Israeli President is largely ceremonial, with no executive powers, save for pardoning prisoners and commuting sentences. Nevertheless, each president emphasizes different aspects of the role during his tenure. Though expected to remain neutral from Israeli politics and represent the entire nation, most presidents have expressed their views in statements or actions. Katsav supported the unsuccessful 2002 cease-fire plan between Israel and the Palestinians (rejected by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon) and refused to pardon Yigal Amir, the assassin of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

On April 8, 2005 Katsav sat near Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (born in the same city as Katsav) during the funeral of Pope John Paul II because of alphabetical order and later President Katsav claimed that he shook hands and spoke with President Khatami and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, during the funeral service's traditional "exchange of peace". That was the first political contact of Iran and Israel since 1979.[1] (http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050408/325/ffxz7.html) [2] (http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=143&sid=5668289&cKey=1112966485000) Khatami however denied that such a meeting ever took place. [3] (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050409/wl_nm/pope_iran_handshake_dc_1)

See also


Template:Israelpresde:Mosche Katsav et:Moshe Katsav fr:Moshe Katsav gl:Moshe Katsav id:Moshe Katsav he:משה קצב nl:Moshe Katsav ja:モシェ・カツァブ no:Moshe Katsav pl:Mosze Kacaw ru:Кацав, Моше

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