Pinchas Sapir

Pinchas Sapir


Date of birth = 15 October 1906
Place of birth = Suwałki, Russian Empire
Year of Aliyah =
Date of death = Death date and age|1975|08|12|1906|10|15|df=yes
Place of death = Nevatim, Israel
Knesset(s) = 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Party = Alignment
Former parties = Mapai
Gov't roles = Minister of Finance
Minister of Trade and Industry
Minister without Portfolio|

Pinchas Sapir ( _he. פנחס ספיר, born Pinchas Kozlowski on 15 October 1906, died 12 August 1975) was an Israeli politician during the first three decades following the country's founding. He held two important ministerial posts, Minister of Finance (1963-1968 and 1969-1974) and Minister of Trade and Industry (1955-1965 and 1970-1972) as well as several other high-ranking governmental posts. He is often considered to be 'the father' of the Israeli economy for his unwavering efforts to foster economic development during the country's formative years.

At the time he served, the young state was isolated economically from its neighbors while having to contend with significant defense expenditures and struggling to absorb and provide for the many Jewish immigrants who entered its borders. Sapir worked tirelessly to attract foreign investments to the country, often by personally encouraging and enticing businessmen from around the world to set up factories and businesses in the young nation.cite news| title=Milestones| url=,9171,913437,00.html| publisher=Time Magazine| date=1975-08-25| accessdate=2007-10-26] He is known for always carrying with him his famous "black notebook" in which he kept his notes and observations pertaining to economic matters as he traveled around the country. [cite book| title=Political Lexicon of Israel| url=| author=S. Hattis-Rolef| publisher=Keter| language=Hebrew|date=1998] It was often said that in those days that the entire economy of the state of Israel was managed from that famous black notebook.

While he is sometimes criticized for perhaps providing undue protection to wealthy investors and practicing too much centralized control (as in the "black notebook"), [cite web| title=Sapir Pinchas| url=| publisher=THe Israeli Labour Movement website| language=Hebrew| accessdate=2007-10-26] he is nevertheless recognized as a man of action who always had the best interests of the Israeli economy and society on his mind. Indeed, during his tenure the country experienced very high economic growth rates, sometimes exceeding 10% despite the many challenges it faced from both outside and within. For this he is often considered one of the best finance ministers in the state's history.

Sapir was a long-time resident of the city of Kfar Saba where he lived in a modest apartment until his death. He died from a heart attack while attending a ceremony in moshav Nevatim, in 12 August 1975. [cite news| title=Pinhas Sapir, 68, of Israel, Ex-Cabinet Minister, Dies| url=| last=Whitman| first=Alden| publisher=The New York Times| date=1975-08-13|page=36| accessdate=2007-10-26] Moshav Sapir, founded in 1978, was named in his honour.


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