Biography: Yossi Sarid

Yossi Sarid was born in Rehovot, Israel in 1940. He served in the IDF Artillery Corps and as a military correspondent. Sarid holds an M.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York. A journalist by profession, Yossi Sarid, writes columns, as well as articles for the local and international press. He has also published an anthology of poetry. Sarid was elected to the Knesset for the first time in 1974, as a member of Labor. In 1984, he left Labour to join RATZ, headed by Shulamit Aloni. In 1992, RATZ merged with Amnon Rubinstein's Shinui, and MAPAM to form Meretz - the social democrat left wing party of Israel. In 1996, Sarid overthrew Shulamit Aloni and became the leader of Meretz. He resigned from the leadership following the humilating defeat in the 2003 elections, in which Meretz recieved only six mandates. Sarid served as minister of the environment from January 1, 1993, until June 1996. He was also education minister from July 1999 until his resignation in June 2000. Sarid has served on the following Knesset committees: Education and Culture (1974-77), House (1974-92), Immigration and Absorption (1996-99) and Foreign Affairs and Security (1977-92, 1996-99). Sarid is married and the father of three. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs