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Ron Huldai
Huldai in 2018
10th Mayor of Tel Aviv
Assumed office
November 10, 1998
Preceded byRoni Milo
Personal details
Born (1944-08-26) 26 August 1944 (age 76)
Hulda, Mandatory Palestine
Political partyLabor (1998-2020)
The Israelis (2020-present)
Military service
Allegiance State of Israel
Branch/service Israeli Air Force
Years of service1963–1989
Rank
Brigadier General (Tat Aluf)

Ron Huldai (Hebrew: רוֹן חוּלְדָּאִי‎; born 26 August 1944) is the current Mayor of Tel Aviv, since 1998. Before he entered his role as Tel Aviv mayor, Huldai served as a fighter pilot and a commander in the Israeli Air Force. After leaving the army as a brigadier general, he entered the business world and was later headmaster of the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium in Tel Aviv. He announced in late December 2020 that he would run in the 2021 Israeli legislative election as part of a new left-wing party called The Israelis.

Early life

He was born in 1944 in Hulda (his surname is taken from the name of the kibbutz), one of three brothers born to Polish immigrant parents who moved to Palestine from Łódź. His father Ozer (originally Obarzanski) was among the founders of the kibbutz and the principal of its school, while his mother Hanka was a teacher and headed the organization of plays and performances at the kibbutz.[1] Huldai grew up on the kibbutz. He studied at Tel Aviv University, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Military service

Huldai was conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces in 1963, and joined the Israeli Air Force, serving as a combat pilot and becoming a career officer. During the Six-Day War, he participated in Operation Focus, and he shot down three enemy aircraft and participated in numerous missions. He subsequently participated in the War of Attrition and Yom Kippur War. Huldai held several key senior command positions, including as the commander of Nevatim Airbase, Hatzerim Airbase, the Air Force Pilots Training School, and a coordinator of the government authorities and supervisor of civilian construction projects for the IAF. He left the IAF in 1989 with the rank of Brigadier General.

Following his retirement from active duty in 1989, he entered the private sector. After spending two years selling air conditioners in Nigeria, he returned to Israel and managed the closure of a construction plant in Ramla. He then became headmaster of the prestigious Herzliya Hebrew High School for six years until 1998.

Political career

Logo of The Israelis party
Logo of The Israelis party

A member of the Labor Party, Huldai was first elected mayor of Tel Aviv in early November of 1998,[2] was re-elected in 2003 with 62% of the vote,[3] again in 2008 with 50.6%,[4] in 2013 with 53%[citation needed] and yet again in 2018 with 47%.[citation needed] He planned to run for the Knesset in the 2021 Israeli legislative election as part of a new left-wing party named The Israelis.[5] The party was joined by Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn and MK Einav Kabla, both of whom had left the Blue and White party.[6] However, Nissenkorn left the party on 31 January 2021, reportedly as a prerequisite by Israeli Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli for a merger between both parties,[7] and on 4 February 2021 Huldai announced that the party would not contest the elections, having failed to reach an electoral agreement with other parties.[8]

References

  1. ^ קליין, יוסי (5 June 2002). "המירוץ אחר הגבינה". הארץ (in Hebrew). Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  2. ^ https://www.tel-aviv.gov.il/Transparency/DocLib/2008-%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%A2%D7%A6%D7%AA%20%D7%94%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%99%D7%94-%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%97%D7%95%D7%AA%20%D7%94%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A7.pdf
  3. ^ "Mayor of the Month for March 2012: Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv". City Mayors. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Somfalvi, Attila (12 November 2008). "Khenin Loses to Huldai, Promises to Continue Battle from Knesset". Ynetnews. Retrieved 12 November 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Staff writer (29 December 2020). "Veteran Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai launches new center-left party, 'The Israelis'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Segal, Amit; Liel, Daphna (29 December 2020). "רון חולדאי הכריז על הקמת מפלגה חדשה: "הישראלים"". N12 (in Hebrew). Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  7. ^ Wootliff, Raoul (31 January 2021). "Former justice minister leaves The Israelis as party seeks to unite with Labor". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Huldai announces he won't run either". Arutz Sheva. 4 February 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2021.