Burg Abraham (1955 - )

Politician, former Knesset Speaker and Jewish Agency Chairman


Avraham Burg was born 1955 in Jerusalem, the son of Dr. Joseph Burg, chairman of the National Religious Party, Member of Knesset and Minister.

After his military service as officer of the Paratrooper Division, Burg joined the protest movement against the Lebanon War (1982). During a demonstration of Peace Now in Jerusalem in January 1983, where Emil Gruenzweig was murdered, he was wounded by a grenade. He has been active in the Peace Process since this period.

From 1985 -1988, Burg served as Advisor on Diaspora Affairs to Prime Minister Shimon Peres. In 1988, he was elected as member of the Knesset for the Labor Alignment list. He served as a member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, the Finance Committee and the State Comptroller's Comittee.

In 1992, he was again elected and placed in third slot on the Labor Party list. Until 1995, he served as Chairman of the Knesset Committe for Education and Culture.

In 1995, Abraham Burg was appointed Chairman of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization and resigned as a member of the Knesset. Under Burg's leadership, there were significant changes in the structure and role of these two National Institutions, which also entered several new areas of operation, such as the restitution of Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust; the battle for religious pluralism and tolerance among the Jewish people.

In 1999, Burg completed his term as chairman of the Jewish Agency and the WZO and ran with Ehud Barak's "One Israel" list in the May Israel General Elections. In July 1999, he was appointed Knesset Speaker. He lost his bid for leadership of the Labor Party after the resignation of Ehud Barak (2001), but remains one of Labor's young leadership contenders and active in the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.

Other References:
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs - biography -
Israel Knesset - biography - http://www.knesset.gov.il/mk/eng/mk_eng.asp?ID=137
On Zionism, Post-Zionism and tolerance http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/actual/burgb.html http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/100/act/21zion.html




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02 May 2005 / 23 Nisan 5765 0