Ran Cohen (Hebrew: רן כהן, born 20 June 1937) is an Israeli politician and former Knesset member for Meretz. He is a resident of Mevaseret Zion. he is married and has four children.

Ran Cohen
Ran Cohen.JPG
Date of birth (1937-06-20) 20 June 1937 (age 82)
Place of birthBaghdad, Kingdom of Iraq
Year of aliyah1950
Knessets11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Faction represented in Knesset
Ministerial roles
1999–2000Minister of Industry and Trade


Born Said Cohen in Baghdad, Iraq, Cohen was 13 years old when he immigrated to Israel through Iran. He hebraized his first name after his arrival in Israel, renaming himself "Ran".[1] He grew up in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, where he absorbed Socialist and Zionist ideologies.[citation needed] During his military service he rose to the rank of Colonel (Aluf Mishne). After the military he obtained a B.A. in philosophy and Economics at Tel Aviv University.

Political careerEdit

In 1970 he was elected as Secretary of Kibbutz Gan Shmuel.

In 1984 he was first elected to the Knesset as a member of Ratz (headed by Shulamit Aloni) after he headed the Left Camp of Israel peace movement.

Starting in 1992, he served as a member of Meretz, a dovish left wing party which resulted from the merger of Mapam, Ratz and Shinui. He was Minister of Industry and Trade in Ehud Barak's government. He headed several Knesset committees, including the Security and Foreign Affairs committee.

Cohen is most identified with "Law of Public Housing", which allowed residents of houses supplied by the state to assume ownership on the house. He also managed to pass a law regulating minimum wages.

Cohen's political focus is on social-economic issues rather than foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

After Meretz merged with Yossi Beilin's Shachar movement and renamed itself Yachad in 2004, Cohen ran for the chairmanship of the new party, but lost to Beilin. Supporters of Cohen blamed his defeat on anti-Mizrahi racism within the party and pointed out that he was the only non-Ashkenazi to reach a senior position within it.[citation needed]

On 1 November 2008, following Beilin's resignation, he announced his intention to retire from political life and not to seek a spot on the party's list ahead of the upcoming general elections. He said "I want to start chapter three of my life, to do things for my soul: writing, lecturing, taking part in social and public initiatives that interest me".[2]


As of 2011, Ran Cohen is the Chairman of the Standards Institute of Israel(Sii)[3]


  1. ^ Cohen, Ran (2016). Said. הקיבוץ המאוחד.
  2. ^ Meranda, Amnon (2008-11-01). "Ran Cohen to resign from politics". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  3. ^ Ran Cohen - The Standards Institute of Israel

External linksEdit