Avi Dichter

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee of the State of Israel

MK Avi Dichter Dichter served as head of the Israel Security Agency from 2000-2005. In March 2006 he was elected to the 17th Knesset on the Kadima list. Avi Dicter served as Minister of Public Security from May 2006 until March 2009.

MK Avi Dichter is Member of Knesset from the centrist Kadima party since 2006, serving until March 2009 as Israel’s Minister of Public Security and currently serving as the Chair of the Knesset Subcommittee for Defense Policy He was born in 1952 in Israel to parents who survived the Holocaust. Dichter joined the Israel Security Agency (ISA) in 1974 where he advanced to eventually become its Director of the ISA in 2000 till 2005. He began his career in the ISA as an Air Marshal. Afterwards he began working in the ISA’s Southern District—specifically in the Gaza Strip. In 1992, he was appointed as Director for the region. Following the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 Dichter was appointed Director of the Security and Protection Division. In 1999, he became Deputy Director of the ISA. In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak appointed Dichter as Director of the ISA.

During his tenure as Director, the Palestinians launched the deadly and aggressive terrorist campaign known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Under Dichter’s leadership, the ISA restructured its mission and duties and in doing so, the ISA is credited with drastically reducing the number of terrorist attacks, as well as helping to restore safety and morale to the public. During this period Dichter envisioned and planned with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon the West Bank security barrier. In September 2005, Dichter became a research fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. Several months later, he returned to Israel and announced his foray into politics with the newly-established centrist Kadima party. On May 4, 2006 Dichter was sworn in as the Minister of Public Security where he oversaw Israel’s law enforcement system including Israel’s Police Force and Prison Service. As Minister of Public Security, Avi Dichter led massive reform in the fields under the auspices of the ministry.

These included budgetary and organizational reform, the building of a Witness Protection Program, and the formation of a national crime fighting unit similar to the United States’ FBI. In the international arena former Minister Avi Dichter believed it to be essential to build a network of nations dedicated to counterterrorism and crime-fighting to confront the emerging network of international terror and crime. In this capacity Dichter led and signed cooperation agreements with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with Canada and countries in the EU. In May 2008 Dichter hosted an international forum with Ministers from 9 nations from North America and EU. MK Dichter holds a BA in Social Sciences from Bar Ilan University (’86) and an Executive MBA from Tel Aviv University (’99). He speaks Hebrew, English and Arabic.