Sharett, Moshe (mōˈshə shərĕtˈ) [key], 1894–1965, Israeli statesman, b. Russia, originally named Shertok. In 1906 he emigrated to Palestine where he was active in the labor movement. In 1933 he became head of the political department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. Sharett was David Ben-Gurion's closest associate in the struggle for an independent Jewish state. In 1948 he was appointed foreign minister of Israel and from 1953 to 1955 served as prime minister. He resigned from the government in 1956. Sharet sought to strengthen Israel's position by statesmanship rather than confrontation, emphasizing "caution" rather than "courage." His replacement as premier by Ben-Gurion in 1955 and retirement in 1956 reflected the movement in Israel toward confrontation that resulted in the 1956 Arab-Israeli War.
See biography by M. Z. Rosensaft (1966).