Patt, Gideon

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PATT, GIDEON (1933– ), Israeli politician, member of the Seventh to Thirteenth Knessets. Born in Jerusalem, Patt received a national religious education and did his military service in the idf in the *Naḥal. In 1953–55 he was personal assistant to mk Joseph Sapir of the *General Zionists when he served as minister of transportation. In 1956 he traveled with his family to the United States, where he attended New York University, graduating in economics and international finance. During his stay in New York he served as director of the National Youth Department of the Zionist Organization of America and was a member of the joint zoa-Hadassah Youth Commission.

Returning to Israel with his family right after the Six-Day War in 1967, Patt served as bureau chief of Joseph Sapir, who was now minister without portfolio in the National Unity Government headed by Levi *Eshkol. He was elected to the Seventh Knesset in December 1969 on the Gaḥal list, and served as chairman of the Liberal Party Economic Council. In the government formed by Menaḥem *Begin in June 1977 he was appointed minister of construction and housing. In January 1979, he replaced Yigael *Hurwitz as minister of commerce, industry, and tourism. In that capacity he headed a committee that examined ways of increasing tourism to Eilat. In Begin's second government, formed in August 1981, he was appointed minister of industry and trade. In the National Unity Government of 1984–88 he served as minister of science and development, and in the governments of 1988–92 as minister of tourism. Patt was one of the members of the Liberal section in the Likud who objected to Yitzhak *Modai's leadership of the Liberals, which finally led Modai to leave the Likud in March 1990. Patt was not reelected to the Fourteenth Knesset in 1996. In 1997 he was appointed president of Israel Bonds in the United States by Prime Minister Binyamin *Netanyahu and Minister of Finance Dan *Meridor. He served in this position until 2002. In 2001 he was the first to cross the one-billion-dollar line in the raising of funds for the Bonds. In 2005 Patt unsuccessfully contested the post of chairman of the Jewish Agency in the World Likud Council.

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]