Itzik, Dalia

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ITZIK, DALIA (née Ballas ; 1952– ), Israeli politician and teacher, Knesset member since the Thirteenth Knesset (1992). Itzik was born in Jerusalem to a non-religious family of Iraqi origin, but was sent to religious schools and attended the Evelyna de Rothschild girls' school. She started her university studies at Bar-Ilan University, but then moved to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a B.A. in literature and history in 1980, and a teacher's diploma from the Efrata Teachers Seminary in Jerusalem. In 1999 she received a law degree from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliyyah.

She was one of the founders of the Katznelson School in the spirit of the values of the Labor Movement in Jerusalem, where she taught in 1973–89 and from 1984 to 1989 served as chairperson of the Teachers Association in Jerusalem. In those years she also served on the Administrative Committee of the Broadcasting Authority.

Itzik was elected to the Jerusalem Municipal Council as a representative of Teddy *Kollek's "One Jerusalem" list in 1989, serving as deputy mayor in charge of education. She was elected to the Labor Party list for the elections to the Thirteenth Knesset in the primaries in the Jerusalem region, and was elected to the Knesset. She served on the Knesset Finance Committee (1992–96) and on the Education and Culture Committee (1992–99), chairing the Committee in 1995–96. She was a member of the Committee on the Status of Women (1996–99) and chairperson of the Special Committee for Research and Scientific Technological Development (1997–99). In the government formed by Ehud *Barak in 1999 Itzik was appointed minister of the environment, and in the National Unity Government formed by Ariel *Sharon in 2001 was appointed minister of industry and trade, until the Israel Labor Party left the government in November 2002. In the Sixteenth Knesset, elected in 2003, she served as chairperson of the Labor-Meimad parliamentary group. She participated in the negotiations leading to the formation of the National Unity Government under the leadership of Ariel Sharon, and in January 2005 was appointed minister of communications. In 2005 she joined Sharon's new Kadimah party and was reelected, becoming speaker of the Knesset in 2006.

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]