Majalli Wahabi

Majalli Wahabi

Member Of The Knesset
Member Of The Knesset Less

Majalli Wahabi

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Majalli Wahabi (, , also spelt Majalli Wahbee, born 12 February 1954) is an Israeli Druze politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Kadima. He briefly assumed the position of President due to President Moshe Katzav's leave of absence and Acting President Dalia Itzik's trip abroad in February 2007, making him the first non-Jew to act as Israel's head of state.

Background

Wahabi was born on 12 February 1954 in the Druze village of Beit Jann. He earned a B.A. in the History of Islam from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an M.A. in the History of the New Middle East from the University of Haifa.

He served in the Israel Defense Forces. Initially assigned as an instructor at the intelligence school, he joined a Druze infantry battalion and became an officer. He served in the 1982 Lebanon War, and subsequently as a deputy brigade commander in the Golan Heights Division and as a senior Northern Command officer. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Wahabi is married with four children. Wahabi's son, Tomer is the first Druze member of Israel Army Radio. He is fluent in Hebrew, Arabic, English, and French.

Political career

Wahabi met then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon in 1981. Starting in 1996, he served as Sharon's personal ambassador to Israel's Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan.

He was elected to the 16th Knesset in 2003 on the Likud list. In March 2005 he was appointed Deputy Minister in the Ministry in the Prime Minister's Office, and became Deputy...
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