Aridor, Yoram

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ARIDOR, YORAM (1933– ), Israeli politician. Member of the Seventh to Eleventh Knessets. Yoram Aridor was born in Tel Aviv. He received his B.A. in economics and a second degree in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He joined the Ḥerut movement in 1961 and entered the Knesset in 1969 on the *Gaḥal list. In the years 1972–77 he was chairman of the Blue-White faction in the *Histadrut, associated with the Ḥerut movement. In the government established by Menaḥem *Begin in 1977 Aridor was appointed as the minister responsible for the portfolios that Begin held temporarily for the dmc, which joined the coalition in October. In 1978 he was the *Likud's candidate for treasurer of the Jewish Agency, but lost to the Labor candidate. In 1979 he was appointed chairman of the Ḥerut movement secretariat.

In January 1981 Aridor served for a short period as minister of communications following the resignation of Yitzḥak *Moda'i, but soon after he was appointed minister of finance, in place of Yigal *Hurwitz. In response to Hurwitz's "I haven't got a cent" policy, Aridor announced that he would implement a "correct economy," adopting the slogan "for the people." He tried to contend with the problem of rising inflation by introducing savings plans with attractive terms and reducing taxes on consumer goods and imports to lower their prices. He intended to cut taxes and improve the taxation system while gradually reducing the subsidies on basic products and services. However, with the rate of inflation continuing to rise, it was rumored in October 1983, around the time of the collapse of the bank share market, that he was considering a dollarization plan, introducing the U.S. dollar as legal tender in Israel, which aimed among other things at reducing Israel's deteriorating balance-of-payments deficit. As a consequence of these rumors Aridor was forced to resign. The 1986 Bejski Report on the collapse of the bank share market found that he had not acted to stop their manipulation by the banks, even when he realized the gravity of the situation.

In 1990 Aridor was appointed ambassador to the un, but resigned after Labor won the 1992 elections. After retiring from politics, he served on the board of directors of numerous companies.

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]