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Yuli Tamir

Yuli Tamir
File:Yuli Tamir (2).jpg
Date of birth (1954-02-26) 26 February 1954 (age 61)
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Israel
Knessets 16, 17, 18
Faction represented in Knesset
2003–2010 Labor Party
Ministerial roles
1999–2001 Minister of Immigrant Absorption
2006–2009 Minister of Education
2006–2007 Minister of Science, Culture & Sport

Yael "Yuli" Tamir (Hebrew: יולי תמיר‎, born 26 February 1954) is an Israeli academic and former politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Labor Party between 2003 and 2010, and as Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Education.


Born in Tel Aviv (some sources state Ramat Gan), Tamir served in Aman's 848 Unit during her national service, and during the Yom Kippur War, she served as an officer in an outpost on the Sinai. She received a BA in Biology and an MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received a PhD in Political Philosophy from Oxford. Between 1989 and 1999, she was a philosophy lecturer in Tel Aviv University and a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem, Princeton and Harvard universities.

Tamir was one of the founders of Peace Now in 1978, and between 1980 and 1985, she was an activist for Ratz. From 1998 until 1999, she was chairwoman of the Israeli Association for Civil Rights. From 1995, she became active in the Labour Party. Although Tamir failed to win election to the Knesset in the 1999 election, she was appointed Minister of Immigrant Absorption by Ehud Barak. She was elected to the Knesset in the following 2003 election, and served on the finance, constitutional, law and order, public input, and culture and sport committees. She also served on the investigatory parliamentary committee into government corruption.

She was elected to the Knesset again in the 2006 elections, and as of 4 May 2006, is the Education Minister in Ehud Olmert's Kadima-led coalition government. Tamir also served as acting Science, Culture and Sport minister following Ophir Pines-Paz's resignation in November 2006 until March 2007 when Raleb Majadele was appointed. Placed ninth on the party's list, she retained her seat in the 2009 elections. However, she resigned her seat in 2010, and was replaced by Majadele.

Tamir has been a controversial figure in Israel. As Minister of Education, she approved a history textbook for Arab children, wherein Israel's War of Independence is described as the nakba – the disaster. This led the opposition leaders to demand her dismissal, while Member of Knesset Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), a former director general of the Education Ministry, said the "wretched" decision "is not justified from a pedagogic standpoint and is not a matter for political intervention." Tamir defended her act as a way of giving "expression to [the Arab's] feelings as well."[1] On 11 August 2008, it was reported that Tamir had announced plans to remove Ze'ev Jabotinsky's work from the national education curriculum, causing a furor among rightists.[2] Tamir denied the report.[3]

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