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Mr. Yuli Edelstein

Mr. Yuli Edelstein
Yoel (Yuli) Edelstein was born in Czernowitz (former Soviet Union) in 1958. In 1979, while in his fourth year of studying at the Institute for Foreign Languages in Moscow, he applied to immigrate to Israel; an application that was rejected by the authorities. 
As a Russion refusenik, Edelstein was arrested by the KGB in 1984 on false charges of drug possession and was sentenced to three years in a Soviet labor camp. He was released in 1987 and immigrated to Israel with his family, where they currently live in Neve Daniel. 
Initially a member of the National Religious Party and a vice president of the Zionist Forum, Edelstein founded the Yisrael BaAliyah party together with fellow Soviet disssident Natan Sharansky. He was elected to the Knesset in 1996, and was appointed Minister of Immigrant Absorption in Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud-led government. He was reelected in 1999, and was appointed Deputy Immigrant Absorption Minister by Ariel Sharon in 2001.
He retained his seat in the 2003 elections, shortly after which Yisrael BaAliyah merged into Likud. Although Edelstein lost his seat in the 2006 elections, in which Likud was reduced to twelve seats (he was the fourteenth on the party's list), he reentered the Knesset as a replacement for Dan Naveh in February 2007. He retained his seat in the 2009 elections after being placed twelfth on the party's list, and was appointed Minister of Information and Diaspora in the Netanyahu government.
Following the 2013 elections, Yuli Edelstein became the Speaker of the Knesset.