Yona Yahav

Yona Yahav (Hebrew: יונה יהב‎, born 19 June 1944) is an Israeli lawyer and politician. He was formerly a member of the Knesset for the Labor Party. Yahav was the mayor of Haifa between 2003 and 2018. In the 2018 Haifa mayoral election, he lost to Einat Kalisch-Rotem.[1]

Yona Yahav
Yona Yahav.jpg
Faction represented in the Knesset
1996–1999Labor Party
Mayor of Haifa
In office
Personal details
Born (1944-06-19) 19 June 1944 (age 77)
Haifa, Mandatory Palestine


Yahav was born in Haifa during the period of the Mandate era. During his national service he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Military Police Corps of the IDF.[2] He studied law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, gaining a LL.B, before continuing his legal studies at the University of London, where he served as secretary-general of the World Union of Jewish Students.

When he returned to Israel, Yahav became active in politics. He was an advisor to Minister of Transport Gad Yaacobi and the spokesman of Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem. In 1996 he was elected to the Knesset on the Labor Party list, and served as the chairman of the subcommittee for banking. However, he lost his seat in the 1999 elections.

Yahav later left Labour and joined Shinui. In 2003 he was elected mayor of Haifa on a joint Shinui-Greens ticket, having already served as deputy mayor. On 29 June 2006 he defected to Kadima, but remained mayor of the city. He is also chairman of the Haifa Economic Corporation and previously chaired the Haifa International Film Festival organisation and the city's theatre executive.

Published worksEdit

  • The Anatomy of the Fall of the Labor Party with Shevah Weiss (1977)
  • Libel and Slander (1987, updated and re-released in 1996)


  1. ^ https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Haifa-elects-first-woman-mayor-570729
  2. ^ Asher, Danny (April 2008). Red and Blue - A Corps's Story 1948–2008 (in Hebrew). Israeli Ministry of Defense. p. 53.

External linksEdit