Edelstein, Yuli (Yoel)

(1958- )
   Born in Chernovitz, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, he studied foreign languages at the Moscow Institute for Teacher Training. In 1977, he asked for an exit visa from the USSR but was refused. Eventually, he was sent to prison as a prisoner of Zion. He was set free on the eve of Israeli Independence Day in 1987, and he immigrated to Israel. In 1990, he graduated from the Jerusalem Fellows Program, and from 1990 to 1993, he was a department head at the Melitz Center for Zionist Education. In 1993-94, Edelstein served as an adviser to then opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. A founding member of the Israel B'Aliya Party in 1996, he was first elected to the 14th Knesset (1996) on the party's list. He served as minister of immigrant absorption under Netanyahu from 1996 to June 1999. He was reelected to the 15th Knesset (1999) and the 16th Knesset (2003; along with Marina Solodkin) on the Israel B'Aliya list but then chose to amalgamate with the Likud Party; from March 2001 to February 2003, Edelstein served as deputy minister of immigrant absorption in the governing coalition headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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