RAMON, Haïm

Israeli lawyer and politician  born in Jaffa in 1950 Haïm Ramon started his political career as National Secretary of Labour Party’s Young Guard in 1978. Coordinator of Labour Party’s Finance Committee in 1984, he was chairman of the Party from 1988 until 1992 when he became Health Minister.

In March 1994, he resigned from his office when the governement dropped his proposal for a radical new health insurance bill. One month later, he was expelled from the Labour Party. He then created the Histadrut List with two other breakaway Labour members. After Rabin’s assassination in November 1995, this party decided to rejoin the Labour federation.

He is not considered as a « dove » and his views on the peace process are on some points similar to Sharon’s. He declared in December 1997 that « within a few years Jordan will naturally become the Palestinian State ».

Presented as one of the brightest elements of Labour’s new generation, Ramon has been Member of the Knesset since 1983.

When the Labour Party came to power in 1999 with Ehud Barak, Ramon was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs until the fall of Barak’s government in 2001. He ran for presidency at the Labour Party in November 2002 and lost the elections against Amram Mitzna.

In 2005, the Labour Party entered the government of Ariel Sharon and Ramon became minister without portfolio until November of that year.

Following the demerger of Sharon with the Likud and the formation of the centrist Kadima party, Ramon left the Labor Party to join Kadima

In the government of Ehud Olmert in 2006, he was appointed Minister of Justice. That same year he was involved in a case of sexual harassment for having kissed a young soldier who wanted to make a photo with him to celebrate the end of his military service.

He resigned. After being found not guilty of harassment he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in July 2007.