Simon Sheves

Simon Sheves, born on March 16, 1952, is a businessman and political consultant. He served as the CEO of the Office of the Prime Minister during the second term of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin from 1992 to 1995. He is one of the founders of Kibbutz Afik in the Golan Heights. Sheves has also held positions as the chairman of the Golan Regional Council and the chairman of the Golan Heights Development Company.

Early Life

Simon Sheves was born in Petah Tikva and grew up in Givatayim. He was the younger of two sons. His father, Faivel (Shraga), served in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army and was a member of "Hagana," and he was sent to assist the Zionist movement in Baghdad. His mother, Rena (née Niskar), was a Holocaust survivor. Sheves was active as a youth leader in the HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed movement and the "HaPoel" movement.

In the spring of 1971, he moved to the Golan Heights as a member of the "Atgar" core group of Nahal Golan, a program that united groups and kibbutzim to settle an area near the abandoned Syrian village of Fiq in southern Golan Heights, close to the ceasefire line between Syria and Israel.

The settlement was officially established on May 8, 1972, and Sheves was elected as its secretary. He also served as the coordinator for youth training for five core groups.

Upon his conscription into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), he volunteered for the Sayeret Golani reconnaissance unit and completed the IDF Combat Intelligence Collectors Course (Makim Chaiyar). During the Yom Kippur War, he fought in the battle of B'luma against the Syrian offensive in southern Golan Heights and later in the southern Sinai Peninsula and the western side of the Suez Canal.

At the 12th Convention of the Histadrut in 1974, Sheves called for an increase in the population of the Golan Heights and urged the Histadrut to continue recognizing pioneering settlement activities as its top priority.

In 1978, Sheves was elected as the chairman of the Golan Regional Council. During his tenure, he led efforts to cancel the military government in the Golan Heights and later advocated for the passage of the Golan Heights Law.

He promoted plans to expand the Jewish settlement in the Golan and established the Golan Heights Development Company, which focused on infrastructure development, tourism, and employment opportunities.

In 1984, he was appointed as the aide for settlement affairs to then-Minister of Defense Yitzhak Rabin, a role he held for six years. In addition to serving as a personal and political aide, Sheves was responsible for settlement areas, development regions, and national infrastructure.

During these years, he was a board member of government companies and royal bodies, including the Israel Lands Administration, the Israel Aerospace Industries, and the Israel Defense Industry. He chaired the committee for promoting and integrating the Arab, Bedouin, and Druze minorities into Israeli society.

Before the 1992 elections, Sheves managed the election campaign for the Labor Party, led by Yitzhak Rabin. Labor won the most Knesset seats, and Rabin was tasked with forming the government. Upon Rabin's entry into the office of the prime minister, Sheves was appointed as the CEO of the Office of the Prime Minister.

At Yitzhak Rabin's funeral, Sheves delivered a eulogy. After Rabin's assassination, Sheves withdrew from politics. In 2020, his book "Chaver" (Friend) was published by Yedioth Books, co-authored with Yoav Karni.

Legal Troubles

In 2000, Judge Edmund Levy in the Tel Aviv District Court charged Sheves with offenses of fraud, breach of trust, and bribery related to his foreign ties and undisclosed affairs, some of which were restricted from publication. He was sentenced to two years in prison and an additional suspended sentence of one year, along with a fine of 50,000 NIS.

Both Sheves and the state prosecutor appealed the verdict, and in 2003, the Supreme Court acquitted him. Following the state's appeal, a further hearing took place with a panel of nine judges chaired by President Aharon Barak, and on November 30, 2004, Sheves was found guilty of breach of trust in two cases: the Stern case and the Shuldiner case. In one case, it was determined that he had advanced a deal with a foreign country in which his friend was involved. In the other, it was established that he promoted his friends' business activities within a company under their control. The case was sent back to the district court to determine the sentence, with Sheves waiving his right to appeal imprisonment. In February 2005, the Tel Aviv District Court fined Sheves 50,000 NIS.

After his conviction, Sheves left Israel for 15 years, during which he lived in London.

Business Career

Sheves served as the chairman of the American company RSLB, headquartered in Washington, D.C. The company assisted Israeli businessmen and entrepreneurs in entering the American market. He was also involved in various business ventures in Europe and the United States, particularly in investment, real estate, and hospitality sectors.

Since 2002, he has worked as a political and economic advisor for governments and leaders in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, and the United States. Sheves advises international corporations on economic and strategic matters.

Sheves is the chairman and one of the founders of HolistiCyber, a company established in 2016 that provides cybersecurity solutions to private and public enterprises.

Public Activities

Simon Sheves lectures before Jewish communities in Europe and students on topics related to the social protest that erupted in Israel in July 2011, expressing his support for it.

He is also involved with the ALEH organization, which assists children with severe disabilities. Sheves worked to establish the ALEH Negev village near Ofakim, a rehabilitation village for adults with cognitive disabilities. Additionally, he is active in the Gilboa Association for Autism and Children from Distressed Families.

In 2012, Sheves was in negotiations to purchase the Hapoel Tel Aviv football club from Eli Tabib.

Personal Life

Simon Sheves has three children from his first marriage and three children from his second marriage to Dana Sheves.

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