Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development - Knesset member Mr. Uri Ariel
About the Minister:
Uri Ariel was born on 3 of Tevet 5713 (December 22, 1952) in Afula, to his father Itzhak, who was one of the founders of Tirat Zvi, and his mother, Naomi, a holocaust survivor who joined the kibbutz. He studied at the regional school of the kibbutzim at Sde Eliyahu and joined the Armored Reconnaissance unit in 5731 (1971).
Two years later, he fought against the Egyptian army at the Sinai front during the Yom Kippur war. He met his wife Hagit, a member of the Ma’agan Michael kibbutz, during his military service (“I fell in love with her kindness”), and as a result of their relationship she became a Baalat Tshuva.
Immediately after his military service, upon his release from the army in 1975 as a major and company commander in the armored infantry unit, Ariel joined the Mishor Adumim Gar’in, and lived by himself for a year and a half as the sole resident of the new village.
He married Hagit in 5737 (1977) and they went on to establish a new village: Kfar Adumim – which offered a shared communal life for both religious and secular Jews. This community continues to reap the fruits of its success even today.
Afterwards he began working for Amana, the Gush Emunim settlement movement, first as an instructor, then as a regional coordinator, and continued moving up the organizational ladder to the position of Secretary General.
Between 5749 (1989) and 5759 (1999) he served in various positions related to the field of settlement: Secretary General of the Yesha Council, during times in which the number of settlers and new construction projects started boomed, and during more difficult times of unbearable government decrees; as head of the Settlement Division at the Ministry of Defense (for about one year); and as the first appointed head of the Beit El council. He served in this last role for about three years, and after the murder of Rehavam Ze’evi (Gandhi) by terrorists in Tishrei 5761 (2001), he took his place in the Kneset.
Since then, he has served in several positions in the Kneset: as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, a member of the Finance Committee, a member of the Internal Affairs Committee, a member of the State Control Committee, a member of the Education Committee, Chairman of the Defense Budget Committee, a member of the Judge Appointing Committee, and chairman of the Sub-Committee for the Rehabilitation of the Gush Katif Evacuees.
In addition, Ariel served as chairman of the Lobby for the Gush Katif and Northern Samaria Evacuees, chairman of the Lobby for Jerusalem, chairman of the Lobby for Jonathan Pollard and as a member of the Lobby for the Land of Israel.
During the evacuation of Gush Katif, Ariel moved to Kfar Darom and lived there, as a show of solidarity with the residents. He did the same before the homes in Amona were destroyed.
As an MK, Ariel acted on behalf of the prisoner of Zion Jonathan Pollard, the Lobby for Agriculture, in favor of the monthly walk around the gates of the Temple Mount, acted greatly for the communities in Judea and Samaria and in favor of the various types of religious education, and has also managed to enlist the support of most parties in the Knesset in favor of the Jewish National Fund Law he initiated, a law that will help keep our nation’s lands in Jewish hands.
In the annual ranking of the best nationally oriented Members of Knesset, Ariel had the honor of being ranked first in 2011 and second in 2012.
In the elections for the 19th Knesset, the National Union party ran together with the Jewish Home party. Ariel was placed as second in the joint list. With the swearing in of the new government, Ariel was nominated as the new Minister of Construction in the Israeli government.
In the elections for the 20th Knesset he was nominated as the new Minister of Agriculture.
Ariel ends every document he authors with the phrase “with the blessing of the people, the Torah and the land”.