Israelis You Should Know: Avi Dichter
The Fellowship | March 16, 2018
Known for: After serving in the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, Dichter has served the Jewish state as director of the Shin Bet, Knesset member, and various minister positions.
About him: Born to Holocaust survivors in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, Avi Dichter served in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit of the IDF as a young man. After his army service, Dichter earned BA and MBA degrees, and married his wife Ilana, a teacher and artist with whom he has three children.
Dichter began his Shin Bet career as an El Al air marshall. After learning Arabic, he began to work for the Shin Bet in Israel’s south, including in the Gaza Strip. In 2000, Dichter was named head of the Shin Bet. His time as director coincided with the Palestinians’ launch of the Second Intifada. Under his leadership, the Shin Bet began to focus on Israeli security and counter-terrorism. Its operations ran deep into Gaza and the West Bank, and helped reduce the number of terror attacks against Israel and her people.
Elected to the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) in 2006, Dichter oversaw the Israeli law enforcement system. He left the Knesset in 2012 in order to join Israel’s cabinet. He still serves the Jewish state and her people, currently acting as Israel’s Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. As well, Dichter is a longtime friend of The Fellowship, thankful for the friendship and aid our supporters around the world provide the nation he calls home.