Sharansky, Anatoly (Natan)

(1948- )
   Born in Donetsk, Ukraine, he was one of the most famous of the prisoners of Zion who were denied the right to emigrate from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and persecuted and imprisoned by the Soviets because of their avowed commitment to Zionism. He graduated from the Physical Technical Institute in Moscow with a degree in computer science. In 1973, Sharansky's refusenik experience began—he applied for an exit visa to Israel but was denied for "security" reasons. In July 1974, he married Avital Shteiglitz whom Soviet authorities forced a few hours after their wedding to leave the country for Israel. In March 1977, Izvestia published an article in which Sharansky was accused of collaborating with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Within 10 days, he was arrested on charges of treason and espionage and imprisoned. Sharansky remained in complete isolation for 1/2 years before he was even brought to trial. He was denied counsel of choice and so served as his own defense. Although the government of the United States categorically denied any connection between Sharansky and the CIA, Sharansky was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment: 3 years in isolation and 10 years of hard labor. In his last words to the court in the face of persecution, Sharansky spoke of the 2,000 years of exile of the Jewish people: "Next year in Jerusalem." An international campaign calling for his release was waged by his wife in conjunction with organizations around the world.
   Finally released from the Soviet Union on 11 February 1986 (in exchange for a Soviet spy being held by the United States), Sharansky went to Israel, where he was reunited with his wife. In 1986, he was elected president of the Soviet Jewry Zionist Forum, an umbrella organization of groups lobbying on behalf of Soviet Jewish immigrants in Israel. Reluctant to enter party politics, he resisted pressure to lead the Russian immigrant DA (Democracy and Aliya, Yes) list that unsuccessfully contested the 1992 Knesset election, however in 1996, he agreed to head the Israel B'Aliya Party that won seven seats in the 14th Knesset and joined the governing coalition formed by Benjamin Netanyahu. In June 1996, he was appointed minister of industry and trade, served as a member of Netanyahu's "kitchen cabinet" on security policy and the peace process, and was Israel's point man on political, economic, military, and cultural relations with Russia and other areas of the former Soviet Union. Israel B'Aliya, under Sharansky's leadership, won six seats in the 15th Knesset in 1999. On 6 July 1999, it joined the coalition government headed by Ehud Barak, with Sharansky serving as interior minister. Sharansky and Israel B'Aliya left the coalition in 2000 to protest the territorial concessions Barak offered in negotiations with the Palestinians at Camp David, Maryland.
   Sharansky served as minister of construction and deputy prime minister in the Likud-Labor national unity coalition formed by Ariel Sharon in 2001. The failure of Israel B'Aliya to attract popular support in the election to the 16th Knesset in 2003 (it won only two mandates, down from six in 1999) led to its incorporation into Likud. Sharansky was not elected to the Knesset; he nevertheless served as minister without portfolio with responsibility for Jerusalem, social, and Diaspora Affairs. He resigned from the cabinet on 2 May 2005 to protest what he considered to be the asymmetrical nature of Sharon's Gaza unilateral disengagement plan, with the Palestinians receiving control over the territories from which Israel was disengaging but without having made any concessions of their own. Sharansky was reelected to the 17th Knesset in March 2006 as a member of the Likud Party. He retired from the Knesset in November 2006. He was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in December 2006. He currently serves as chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.
   See also Political parties.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SHARANSKY (Shcharansky), NATAN — (Anatoly; 1948– ), Jewish dissident in the Soviet Union and Israeli politician, member of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Knessets. Born in Donetsk, in Ukraine, Sharansky started studying mathematics and computer sciences in 1966, obtaining his… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Anatoly Shcharansky — Natan Sharansky Natan Sharansky ou Natan Borissovitch Chtcharanski (hébreu : נתן שרנסקי; russe : Натан Борисович Щаранский), né le 20 janvier 1948, est l un des plus célèbres dissidents soviétiques, anti communiste et sioniste. Aujourd… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Natan Sharansky — Date of birth 20 January 1948 (1948 01 20) (age 63) …   Wikipedia

  • Natan Sharansky — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Natan Sharanski, Sharansky, Shcharanski o Shcharansky (en hebreo: נתן שרנסקי), en ruso Натан Щаранский, nacido como Anatoly Borisovich Shcharansky (ruso: Анатолий Борисович Щаранский el 20 de enero de 1948) es un… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Natan Sharanski — Natan Sharansky Natan Sharanski, Sharansky, Shcharanski o Shcharansky (en hebreo: נתן שרנסקי), en ruso Натан Щаранский, nacido como Anatoly Borisovich Shcharansky (ruso: Анатолий Борисович Щаранский el 20 de enero de 1948) es un notable antiguo… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Natan Sharansky — (born 1948 as Anatoly Sharansky), Ukrainian born Israeli politician, head of the Yisrael Be aliyah political party, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Housing and Construction in Israel s 15th parliamentary cabinet, former Prisoner of Zion …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Nathan Sharansky — Natan Sharansky Natan Sharansky ou Natan Borissovitch Chtcharanski (hébreu : נתן שרנסקי; russe : Натан Борисович Щаранский), né le 20 janvier 1948, est l un des plus célèbres dissidents soviétiques, anti communiste et sioniste. Aujourd… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Shcharansky, Anatoly — ▪ Soviet Israeli human rights activist in full  Anatoly Borisovich Shcharansky,  also called  (from 1986) Natan Sharansky   born Jan. 20, 1948, Stalino, Ukraine, U.S.S.R. [now Donetsk, Ukraine]       Soviet dissident, a human rights advocate… …   Universalium

  • Shcharansky, Anatoly (Borisovich) — or Natan Sharansky born Jan. 20, 1948, Stalino, Ukraine, U.S.S.R. Soviet dissident and Israeli politician. He studied mathematics and computer programming at the Moscow Physical Technical Institute (1966–72) and then worked in Moscow as a… …   Universalium

  • Nathan Chtcharanski — Natan Sharansky Natan Sharansky ou Natan Borissovitch Chtcharanski (hébreu : נתן שרנסקי; russe : Натан Борисович Щаранский), né le 20 janvier 1948, est l un des plus célèbres dissidents soviétiques, anti communiste et sioniste. Aujourd… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.