Chaim Herzog (1918-1997) was born and raised in Ireland. His father, Ireland’s Chief Rabbi, became Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine in 1936 and held that office in Israel until his death in 1959. Chaim Herzog moved to Palestine in 1935 and served in the Haganah during the 1936-39 Arab revolt. After earning his law degree from University College London in 1941, he served as an intelligence officer in the British Army during World War II, then returned to Palestine. He married Aura Ambache, the sister of Suzy Eban, in 1947. After fighting in the War of Independence, he headed Israel’s Southern Command and established Israel’s military intelligence. He retired from the Israel Defense Forces as Major-General in 1962, and then practiced law. After the 1967 Six-Day War, he returned to the military as governor of the West Bank.
In 1972, Herzog co-founded Herzog, Fox & Neeman, now one of Israel’s largest law firms. In 1975-78, Herzog represented Israel at the UN, where he fought the UN “Zionism is Racism” resolution, tearing it up symbolically before the General Assembly. In 1981, Herzog entered the Knesset as a member of Israel’s Alignment, the predecessor to the Labour Party. In 1983, he was elected President of Israel and served for two terms, until 1993, the maximum allowed by law. His son Isaac Herzog has led Israel’s Labour Party and the opposition to Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset since 2013.
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