Yair Tsaban was born in Tel Aviv in 1930. Tsaban is an educator and a journalist, and holds a degree in philosophy. He was one of the founding members of Kibbutz Tzorah.
Tsaban was a member of the political bureau of Maki (the Israel Communist Party) from 1965 to 1973 and its Chairman in 1972-3. In 1977 he was a co-founder of Sheli, a peace list which ran for the Knesset and Histadrut elections. In 1980 he joined Mapam (United Workers' Party), and served as its Political Secretary and the head of Mapam's faction in the Histadrut. As Mapam's Chairman, he was instrumental in the party's decision to join with Shinui (Center Party) and CRM (Civil Rights Movement) to form Meretz for the 1992 elections.
As a Member of Knesset since 1981, Tsaban has served on the Committees on Labor and Social Welfare (1981-84, 1988-92); State Audit (1984-88); Finance (1984-88); Foreign Affairs and Defense (1988-92); and the House Committee (1988-92).
From 1992-1996 he served as Minister of Immigrant Absorption.
Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs