Yisrael Kessar
Ministerial roles
1992–1996Minister of Transportation
Faction represented in the Knesset
1991-1995Labor Party
Personal details
Born(1931-05-20)20 May 1931
Sana'a, Yemen
Died8 September 2019(2019-09-08) (aged 88)
Holon, Israel[1]

Yisrael Kessar (Hebrew: ישראל קיסר‎, 20 May 1931 – 8 September 2019)[2] was an Israeli politician who served as a Knesset member for the Alignment and Labor Party between 1984 and 1996.

Life and politics

Kessar was born in Sana'a, Yemen in 1931 and immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1933. He served in the IDF as a captain. He studied economy and sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University.[3]

In 1966 he began his public career in the Histadrut, as treasurer (1973–1977), chairman of the Worker's Company (1977–1984) and secretary general (1984–1992).[3] He was also chairman of the Division of the Professional Union and the Division of Youth, Sports, Manpower, and Students.

In 1984 he was elected to the Knesset for the Alignment. He was re-elected in 1988. He ran for the Labor Party leadership in 1992, losing to Yitzhak Rabin. After being re-elected to the Knesset in the 1992 Knesset elections, Rabin appointed him Minister of Transportation, a position he held until 1996.[3] He was one of the early initiators of the Tel Aviv Light Rail.[4] He lost his seat and ministerial post following the 1996 elections.

He died on 8 September 2019, aged 88, at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon[1] and will be buried in his hometown, Rishon LeZion.


  1. ^ a b "הלך לעולמו מזכ"ל ההסתדרות המיתולוגי, ישראל קיסר". 8 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Former minister, labor union head Yisrael Kessar dies at 88".
  3. ^ a b c Malin, Martin. "Israel Kessar". Answers.com. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  4. ^ "British-style rail transit proposed". Israel Business Today. 1993-04-16. Archived from the original on 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2008-06-27.