Photo: Yoav Galai
Yuri Shtern
Photo: Yoav Galai

MK Yuri Shtern dies of cancer at 58

Shtern first elected to Knesset in 1996 as part of Yisrael Be'aliyah party. In 1999, he joined Avigdor Lieberman's Israel Our Home. A staunch advocate of aliya, Shtern was founder of Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus

Knesset Member Yuri Shtern (Israel Our Home) died of cancer Tuesday at the age of 58.


Shtern has been battling the disease for the past year while he continued to serve as a member of Knesset and attended meetings at the Knesset.


His funeral will take place in Jerusalem at 4 p.m. Tuesday.


Shtern was first elected to Knesset in 1996 as part of the Yisrael Be'aliyah party. In 1999, he joined Avigdor Liebermans Israel Our Home party. When the party joined the coalition he served as chairman of the State Control Committee.


Shtern also served in the past as deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Office and a member of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora Affairs.


Shtern, who immigrated to Israel from Moscow in 1981, was a staunch advocate of aliya and the founder of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus, a group dedicated to coalescing support for Israel among Christian groups, particularly evangelicals.


Among Shtern's public posts: Activist in the movement for immigrants from the former Soviet Union and other organizations encouraging aliya to Israel, Chairman of the Union for New Entrepreneurs, member of the Presidency of the Zionist Forum, and member of the management of the Israel Forum.


Initiated bill on grants to Holocaust survivors

Shtern returned to politics in 2006, having been away for a while due of his cancer illness.


"Your concern helped me no less than medicines. I am continuing treatments and the illness has not been exterminated despite treatments. In the coming months I will check whether I can continue to be an active Member of Knesset," he told members of the Knesset's State Control Committee which he chaired.


Shtern submitted a number of key bills including bills for the protection of the environment. Two weeks ago the Knesset approved his bill on government grants to Holocaust survivors who arrived in Israel after 1953.


A month earlier a bill he submitted to make freelancers and independent employees eligible to unemployment allowances passed a first reading.


"I acted in the Knesset to mark the 60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany and to celebrate 60 years after the victory. It should be noted that this was the first official event in the state's history," he wrote on Israel Our Home party website.


Shtern's bill on Holocaust survivors pushes for government allowances for the 22,000 poor survivors living in Israel.


The party's website said that in the sixteenth Knesset, four of Shtern's many draft bills were approved and became law, he delivered 206 speeches, and attended 92 percent of parliamentary sessions.


פרסום ראשון: 01.16.07, 11:26
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