Yossi Sarid, former Education Minister and Minister of the Environment, passed away Friday evening at his Tel Aviv home from a heart attack at the age of 75. Sarid was a member of Knesset from 1974 to 2006, as a member of Labor and then as a leader in Meretz, which he led from 1996 to 2003. He served in the government of Yitzhak Rabin which signed the Oslo accords with the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had high-praise for Sarid.
“Yossi Sarid was a unique voice in Israeli politics, an opinionated, sharp man. Although we differed on many issues, I appreciated his loyalty to his path, his broad education and the meticulous Hebrew expressed in his speech and writings.”
President Reuven Rivlin, who was frequently opposed to Sarid’s politics, described him as a “tough political opponent, challenging and loyal to his views. He was one of the greatest politicians of the State of Israel.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), also praised his former opponent.
“Despite the political debate I had with Yossi Sarid, I always appreciated his honesty and his integrity, his intelligence and sharpness of wit, and the fact that he followed the path he believed, according to his conscience and values, without having to deviate from or adapt to any passing fad.”
Yosef (Yossi) Sarid was born in Rehovot in October 24, 1940. He served in the artillery and then as a correspondent in the IDF. After leaving politics in 2006, he wrote a weekly column in Haaretz. Sarid was married to Dorit, with whom he had three children.
His son, Yishai, announced his father’s death:
“A brave leader, fighter for peace and justice and great Zionist has passed on. We are sad as a family and as part of the nation of Israel.”