Lieberman, Avigdor

(1958- )
   Born in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Lieberman immigrated (see ALIYA) to Israel from Moldova (then part of the USSR) in 1978 and became a right-wing student activist in Israel. Chief of staff (actually director general of the prime minister's office) of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he resigned on 23 November 1997 under pressure from elements of the Likud Party. He was accused of improperly influencing a party conference to strengthen Netanyahu's control of the party. He was a founder of the Israel Beiteinu political party and became a member of the 15th Knesset in the 1999 election.
   Reelected to the 16th Knesset in 2003 as head of the National Union-Israel Beiteinu Party, Lieberman was appointed minister of national infrastructure in March 2001 and became minister of transportation in February 2003. He quit the government in June 2004 to protest the evacuation of settlements as part of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza unilateral disengagement plan. He was reelected to the 17th Knesset in 2006 as head of the Israel Beiteinu Party. IB joined the Ehud Olmert-led coalition government on 23 October 2006, with Lieberman serving as deputy prime minister and minister of strategic threats in the prime minister's office. On 16 January 2008, Lieberman resigned from the Cabinet and Israel Beiteinu withdrew its support in the Knesset for the Olmert government in a dispute over negotiations with the Palestinians.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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