Sneh, Efraim


Sneh, Efraim
(1944- )
   Veteran Israel Labor Party member of the Knesset. He was born in Tel Aviv and trained as a physician at Tel Aviv University Medical School. For many years, he served as a career soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He served as medical officer of the paratroops corps during the Yom Kippur War (1973). He was chief medical officer of the paratroops and infantry corps (1974-78) and commanded the medical team in Operation Entebbe in July 1976. He served as commander of an elite IDF unit (1978-80), chief medical officer of IDF northern command (1980-81), commander of the south Lebanon security zone (1981-82), and head of civil administration in the West Bank (1985-87). He retired from active military service in 1987 with the rank of brigadier general. He became director of the Golda Meir Association for the education and promotion of democratic values.
   Sneh was first elected to the Knesset on the Labor Party list in 1992 and served as a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He was appointed minister of health by Yitzhak Rabin on 1 June 1993, remaining in that position in the government formed by Shimon Peres on 22 November 1995 following Rabin's assassination. In the 14th Knesset (1996-99), he sat on the influential Knesset State Audit Committee. He vied for the leadership of the Labor Party in June 1997 but was defeated by Ehud Barak. He was re-elected to the 15th Knesset (1999) on the Labor-One Israel list and appointed deputy defense minister in the governing coalition headed by Barak. He served in this capacity until Barak's government fell in February 2001. He served as minister of transportation in the Likud-Labor Government of National Unity formed by Ariel Sharon from March 2001 to October 2002.
   Sneh was reelected to the 17th Knesset in 2006 on the Labor Party list. On 30 October 2006, he was appointed deputy defense minister in the Kadima-led coalition government headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He held the position until 18 June 2007.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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