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Peretz Naftali

Peretz Naftali

Israeli politician
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Israeli politician
A.K.A. Perez Naphtali
Countries Germany Israel
Occupations Economist Politician Journalist Pedagogue Writer University teacher Trade unionist
Gender male
Birth 29 March 1888 (Berlin)
Death 30 April 1961 (Tel Aviv)
Star sign Aries
Politics Social Democratic Party of Germany, Mapai
The details

Peretz Naftali (Hebrew: פרץ נפתלי‎, born Fritz Naftali, 19 March 1888 – 30 April 1961) was a Zionist activist and Israeli politician who served in several ministerial portfolios in the 1950s.


Born in Berlin in Germany, Naftali joined the Social Democratic Party in 1911. He served in the German Army between 1911 and 1912, after which he started to work as a journalist on economic affairs, returning to the army for a spell in 1917–18 to fight in World War I. In 1921 he became editor of the economics department of the Frankfurter Zeitung, a post he held until 1926, when he became head of the economic research department of a trade union. In 1921 he also published a book, How to read the Economic Section of the Newspaper, which was a bestseller.

In 1925 he had joined the Zionism movement, and in 1931 was a delegate to the Zionist Congress. He made aliyah in 1933, initially working as a lecturer at the Technion, before becoming director general of Bank Hapoalim in 1938, a post he held until 1949. Between 1941 and 1948 he served as a member of the Assembly of Representatives.

He was elected to the Knesset in 1949 on Mapai's list. After being re-elected in 1951, he was appointed Minister without Portfolio in David Ben-Gurion's government. In June 1952 he became Minister of Agriculture, a role he held until the 1955 elections, after which he reverted to being a Minister without Portfolio. In January 1959 he became Minister of Welfare, but lost his Knesset seat and place in the cabinet in the 1959 elections.


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