Ne'eman, Yaacov

(1940- )
   Prominent lawyer and Likud Party activist. Born in Tel Aviv to immigrants (see ALIYA) from Hungary, he was educated in law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at New York University (where he also taught). An expert in the field of tax law, in 1972, he joined the prestigious Tel Aviv law firm headed by Chaim Herzog and Michael Fox. In the early 1980s, he served as director general of the Finance Ministry under Finance Minister Yigael Hurvitz. Despite having not been nominated to any electoral list, he was appointed justice minister by Benjamin Netanyahu in June 1996. However, weeks later, he resigned amid allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice in the trial of Sephardi Torah Guardians (SHAS) member of the Knesset (MK) Arye Deri. After being acquitted of all charges in the spring of 1997, he was appointed finance minister, filling the cabinet position left vacant by the resignation of Likud MK Dan Meridor. As finance minister, Ne'eman moved aggressively to slash government spending and to reform Israel's tax system. He also served as the Netanyahu government's point man in efforts to find a workable compromise on the contentious issue of religious conversion. Ne'eman resigned as finance minister on 18 December 1998, citing disarray in Netanyahu's coalition that prevented passage of the 1999 state budget.
   See also Ne'eman Committee.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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