Yossi Sarid

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Yossi Sarid
File:Yossi Sarid.JPG
Date of birth (1940-10-24)24 October 1940
Place of birth Rehovot, Mandatory Palestine
Date of death Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Knessets 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
Faction represented in Knesset
1974–1984 Alignment
1984–1992 Ratz
1992–2006 Meretz
Ministerial roles
1992–1996 Minister of the Environment
1999–2000 Minister of Education

Yossi Sarid (Hebrew: יֹוסֶף "יֹוסִי" שָׂרִיד‎‎; 24 October 1940 – 4 December 2015) was an Israeli politician and news commentator. He served as a member of the Knesset for the Alignment, Ratz and Meretz between 1974 and 2006. A former Minister of Education and Minister of the Environment, he led Meretz between 1996 and 2003 and served as Leader of the Opposition from 2001 to 2003. Known for his determined moral stance and his willingness to pay the political price for that determination, Sarid was often referred to as Israel's moral compass.[1] [2]


Yosef (Yossi) Sarid was born in Rehovot, Sarid served in the Artillery Corps and as a Military Correspondent during his national service in the IDF. He earned an MA in political science from New School for Social Research in New York. He was a resident of Margaliyot in the Upper Galilee.[3]

Sarid was married to Dorit, with whom he had three children. He died on the evening of 4 December 2015 from an apparent heart attack.[4]

Political and journalism career

Sarid worked as a media aide to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. He was first elected to the Knesset in 1973 on the Alignment list. He was re-elected in 1977, 1981 and 1984. After the Alignment agreed to join a national unity government with Likud in 1984, Sarid left the party on 22 October to join Shulamit Aloni's Ratz.[5] He was re-elected on the Ratz list in 1988.

In 1992, Ratz merged with Shinui and Mapam to form Meretz. The new party won 12 seats in the elections that year and joined Yitzhak Rabin's coalition. Sarid was appointed Minister of the Environment, a position he kept when Shimon Peres formed a new government after Rabin's assassination in 1995.

In 1996, Sarid replaced Aloni as Meretz leader. Although the Labor Party won the most seats in elections that year, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu won the special election for Prime Minister and formed a right-wing government.

In the 1999 elections, Meretz won 10 seats. Although Sarid had vowed not to join a coalition that included the ultra-Orthodox Shas, Ehud Barak persuaded Sarid to join the government, making him Minister of Education. Sarid explained the breaking of his vow in the need to promote the peace process. However, in 2000 Sarid resigned from the government and Meretz quit the coalition after failing to agree on authority to be given for Shas deputy minister of education.

In the 2003 elections Meretz was reduced to 6 seats, after which Sarid resigned as party leader, to be replaced by Yossi Beilin. He remained a member of the Knesset until the 2006 elections, when Meretz was reduced to 5 seats, after which he retired from politics, a plan he had announced the previous year.[6]

Sarid wrote a weekly column for Haaretz newspaper.[4]


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  5. Mergers and Splits Among Parliamentary Groups Knesset website
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External links