Yosef Serlin

Yosef Serlin (Hebrew: יוסף סרלין, 24 February 1906 – 15 January 1974) was a Zionist activist, lawyer and Israeli politician.

Yosef Serlin
Yosef Serlin.jpg
Ministerial roles
1952Minister of Transportation
1952–1955Minister of Health
Faction represented in the Knesset
1949–1961General Zionists
1961–1965Liberal Party
Personal details
Born24 January 1906
Białystok, Russian Empire
Died15 January 1974(1974-01-15) (aged 67)


Serlin was born in Białystok in the Russian Empire (now in Poland), where he attended a Hebrew High School. He studied law at the University of Warsaw and was certified as a lawyer in 1929. He was active in the Zionist Movement in Poland and was chairman of the Federation of Academic Zionists in Warsaw. He was made personal secretary to Nahum Sokolow in 1930. He was also a member of the Central Committee of Radical Zionists in Poland.

In 1933, he immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine and worked as a lawyer in Tel Aviv. He was one of the founders of the General Zionists and later deputy chairman of the World Confederation of General Zionists Association. He was also a member of the Zionist Actions Committee.

After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, he was a member of the Provisional State Council. He was then elected to the first through fourth Knessets for the General Zionists. In 1954, he joined Yosef Sapir and Simha Erlich to tighten their grip on the party. However, 1957 saw a schism between him and Sapir and a decline of his power within the party. In 1961, he became one of leaders of the Liberal Party, for which he was elected to the fifth Knesset. The Liberal Party then merged into Gahal, for which he was elected to the sixth and seventh Knessets. He was a member of the House, Labor, Constitution, Law and Justice, Economic Affairs, and Finance Committees. He was also deputy Speaker of the Knesset in the 5th and 6th Knesset.[1]

In 1952, he served as Minister of Transportation and from 1952 as Minister of Health until 1955. He sought to strengthen the national control over the health system at the expense of the Israel's sick funds.[2] He was a hawkish minister, and Moshe Sharett wrote in his diary that Serlin had asked him in 1954 to attack the Gaza Strip in reprisal to the Palestinian Fedayeen insurgencies.[3] In 1958, he proposed a mixed election system, according to which most MKs were to be elected from thirty voting zones.

He died in 1974.


  1. ^ "Knesset Member, Yosef Serlin". Knesset. State of Israel. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  2. ^ "The Founding of the University Medical Center - Soroka" (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  3. ^ "Who Called for Military Intervention in Lebanon?" (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2008-02-16.

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