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Yosef Serlin
Yosef Serlin.jpg
Date of birth February 24, 1906(1906-02-24)
Place of birth Białystok, Russian Empire
Year of aliyah 1933
Date of death January 15, 1974 (aged 67)
Knessets 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
5th, 6th, 7th
Party Gahal
Former parties General Zionists
Liberal Party
Ministerial posts
(current in bold)
Minister of Health
Minister of Transportation

Yosef Serlin (Hebrew: יוסף סרלין‎, 24 February 1906 – 15 January 1974) was a Zionist activist, lawyer and Israeli politician.


Serlin was born in Białystok in the Russian Empire (now in Poland), where he attended a Hebrew High School. He studied law at the University of Warsaw and was certified as a lawyer in 1929. He was active in the Zionist Movement in Poland and was chairman of the Federation of Academic Zionists in Warsaw. He was made personal secretary to Nahum Sokoloff in 1930. He was also a member of the Central Committee of Radical Zionists in Poland.

In 1933 he immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine and worked as a lawyer in Tel Aviv. He was one of the founders of the General Zionists and later deputy chairman of the World Confederation of General Zionists Association. He was also a member of the Zionist Actions Committee.

After the establishment of the State of Israel In 1948 he was a member of the Provisional State Council. He was then elected to the first through fourth Knessets for the General Zionists. In 1954 he joined Yosef Sapir and Simha Erlich to tighten their grip on the party. However, 1957 saw a schism between him and Sapir and a decline of his power within the party. In 1961 he became one of leaders of the Liberal Party, for which he was elected to the fifth Knesset. The Liberal Party then merged into Gahal, for which he was elected to the sixth and seventh Knessets. He was a member of the House, Labor, Constitution, Law and Justice, Economic Affairs, and Finance Committees. He was also deputy Speaker of the Knesset.

From 1952 to 1953 he served as Minister of Transportation and then Minister of Health until 1955. He sought to strengthen the national control over the health system at the expense of the Israel's sick funds.[1] He was a hawkish minister, and Moshe Sharett wrote in his diary that Serlin had asked him in 1954 to attack the Gaza Strip in reprisal to the Palestinian Fedayeen insurgencies.[2] In 1958 he proposed a mixed election system, according to which most MKs were to be elected from thirty voting zones.

He died in 1974.


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