Salah Tarif was born in 1954 in the Druze village of Julis in the Galilee.
He served in the IDF in parachute and tank units, and holds the rank of Captain (Res.). He holds a B.A. degree from Haifa University.
Salah Tarif is a member of the Labor Party Central Committee. He served as Deputy Chairman of the Haifa University Student Association, Deputy National Chairman of the Bnei Brith Youth Movement, Mayor of Julis, and Chairman of the Board of Druze and Circassian Mayors.
Tarif has been a Knesset Member since 1992. He served as a member of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. Until 1995 he served as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He was Chairman of the Israel-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Union. In the 15th Knesset, he was Chairman of the Knesset Committee, and a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the Special Legislative Committee for Not Renewing the Emergency Situation, and the Joint Committee for the Defense Budget.
From November 1995 until June 1996, Tarif served as Deputy Minister of the Interior.
In March 2001, Salah Tarif was appointed Minister without Portfolio, becoming the first non-Jewish minister in an Israeli government. He held the position through 2002.
Tarif lost his seat in Knesset in the 2003 elections but re-entered the Knesset in 2005 as a replacement for Amram Mitzna who resigned to become mayor of Yeruham. In March 2006, Tarif lost his seat again and retired from political life.
Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry