Biography of Yitzhak Navon (1921-VVVV)

Israeli politician, President of the State between April 1978 and May 1983, born April 19, 1921 in Jerusalem.

Belonging to the community of Sephardic (Judeo-Spanish), he/she studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he/she specialized in Arabic language, Islamic civilization and Hebrew literature. He/She later entered, already a Professor, on the strength of Jewish Defense (Haganah), which operated clandestinely in Palestine under the British mandate, and of which he/she was director of the Arab Department in Jerusalem (between 1946 and 1949). In 1949, the year after independence, was appointed Second Secretary of the diplomatic legations in Argentina and Uruguay. Since his return, in 1951, was for twelve years confidant of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, attended as political Secretary (between 1951 and 1952) and Chief of staff (between 1952 and 1963). Following the resignation of this in 1963, he/she returned to teaching and headed the cultural promotion of the Ministry of education and Culture Department (between 1963 and 1965).

In 1965 it was elected Deputy of the Party Ben-Gurion of Rafi, who that year had split from the MAPAI Government. In the Knesset (Parliament) Navon was spokesman of the parliamentary group and Chairman of the important Committee on defense. In 1968 both formations met in the new Labour Party (Avoda) and Navon was re-elected in their lists in 1969, 1973 and 1977. After being named Vice President of the Knesset, in 1975 he/she advocated negotiations with the Palestinians. Between 1973 and 1978, he/she presided over the World Zionist Council.

On April 19, 1978 he/she was elected by the Knesset President of the State, instead of Z. Shazar. When he/she assumed power on May 28, Navon became the fifth head of State since 1949, the first of Sephardic origin, the first also born in Palestine. As a sign of israeli compliance with the Camp David agreements decision, Navon paid a visit to Cairo, the first by a President of his country in 1980. He/She concluded his five-year term on May 5, 1983, when it gave its functions Herzog. Followed in the Executive as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of education and culture of the Labour Party (between 1984 and 1990).

Author of several works of literary and lexicographical, among them are the Sephardic ballads and Six Days and Seven Gates.