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Moshe Katsav


Title : President of Israel
Born: Katsav was born Yazd, Iran in 1945. Even as an adult he can speak fluent Farsi. Katsav was Israel's first President to have been born in an Islamic country.
Childhood: He immigrated to Israel with his family in 1951. Conditions in the immigrant tent-camp were difficult, and his baby brother was killed by a severe flood that hit the camp. Conditions in the transit camp improved over the years, and eventually the camp became the development town of Kiryat Malachi.
Education: Katsav was the first Kiryat Malachi resident to attend Hebrew University. He earned a B.A. in Economics and History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Military Career: Katsav enlisted into the Israel Defense Forces in 1964. He reached the rank of corporal in the Communications Corps.
Political Career: Katsav began his political career at age 24 when he became mayor of Kiryat Malachi - making him the youngest ever mayor of an Israeli city. In 1981, Katsav was elected to the Knesset representing the Likud Party. He remained in the Knesset until becoming president. As a member of the Knesset, Katsav served as the deputy Minister of Construction and Housing, the Minister of Labor and Welfare, the Transportation Minister, and the Minister of Tourism. He served as the Deputy Prime Minister under Benjamin Netanyahu.
Public Positions: The public positions filled by Moshe Katsav include Chairman of the Iranian Immigrants Organization, Chairman of the commission to determine higher education tuition, and Member of Ben-Gurion University Board of Trustees. In addition, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.
Presidency: Following the resignation of then-President Ezer Weizman in 2000, Katsav was selected as the Likud candidate for the presidency. Israeli Presidents are elected by a secret ballot of all members of the Knesset. In a surprise upset, Katsav defeated Labor Party candidate, Shimon Peres, by a vote of 63 to 57. He was sworn in as Israel's eighth president for his seven-year term of office on August 1, 2000.
Personal: Katsav is married to Gila. The couple has five children and many grandchildren.
Latest News: In July 2006, allegations of sexual harassment and rape were made against President Katsav. In January 2007, Israel's Attorney General decided that there was enough evidence - stemming from allegations from four women who worked for the president - to charge Katsav with rape, sexual harassment, breach of trust, obstruction of justice, harassment of a witness and fraud.
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