(1948 - )
Shaul Mofaz is an Israeli politician, former Minister of Defense and former IDF Chief of Staff. He is currently the head of Israel's Kadima political party.
Mofaz (born November 4, 1948) was born in Tehran, Iran and immigrated to Israel in 1957 with his parents. A career soldier in the Israel
Defense Forces and a politician in Israel's Knesset for the past decade, Mofaz has played a very influential role in Israeli politics and society for many years.
Drafted into the Paratroopers Brigade of the IDF infantry corps in 1966, Mofaz served
in the 1967 Six-Day War and was quickly promoted to fill various command positions over the next decade.
During the 1982 War in Lebanon, Mofaz served as a battalion commander in the paratroopers and in 1984 he left Israel to attend the Command and Staff College of the United States
Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. Upon completing the course he returned to Israel where he briefly served as commander of the IDF Officers'
School before returning to active service in 1986 as the Paratrooper Brigade commander. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General
and held a senior position in the Ground Corps Command from 1988 to 1990.
From 1990 to 1992, Mofaz commanded the Galillee Formation
and following that he commanded IDF forces in the West Bank. In 1994, Mofaz was promoted to Major-General,
and for the next two years he served as the GOC
Southern Command. From 1996 to 1997, Mofaz was Chief of the Planning Branch
of the IDF General
Staff and Deputy Chief of General Staff. In 1998, he became the IDF's
sixteenth Chief of Staff.
In November 2002, then-prime minister Ariel
Sharon appointed Mofaz to be Israel's Minister of Defense.
In November 2005, Mofaz rejected Sharon's
offer to join his new centrist party, Kadima,
and instead announced his candidacy for the leadership of Likud.
But a month later, Mofaz withdrew his bid from the Likud race to join Kadima. From
May 2006 until April 2009, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister
of Transportation and Road Safety under Ehud
In the eighteenth
Knesset, Mofaz chaired the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
as well as the Joint Committee for the Defense Budget. He also served
as chairman of the Lobby for Direct Employment, as a member of the Lobby
for Eilat and the Lobby for Promoting the Two-State Solution and Separation
Between Israel and the Palestinians.
On March 27, 2012, Mofaz defeated Tzipi
Livni, the incumbent chairperson of the Kadima
Party. He received 61.7 percent of the vote compared to Livni's
37.2 percent. Upon his victory, Mofaz declared that "This evening, Kadima has won,"
and assured Livni that
"your place is with us." Livni, however, left Kadima to form a new party, HaTnuah ("the movement" in Hebrew).
Mofaz reiterated his
vision for Kadima's role
in the Israeli political landscape: "Three years of [Benjamin] Netanyahu have diverted
us from doing the right thing, but together we will return Israel to the right path," he said.
Despite Mofaz's vigor, Kadima barely passed the electoral threshhold in the January 2013 elections - garnering 74,735 votes (2.09%) - and winning only two seats in the Knesset.
Shaul is married to Orit Mofaz and they have four children.
Foreign Ministry; Knesset
website; Times of Israel (March 28, 2012); Wikipedia