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Shimon Peres (help·info) (Hebrew: שמעון פרס, born on August 2, 1923 in eastern Poland) is the 9th President of the State of Israel. He is a senior Israeli statesman with a political career spanning more than 65 years. He joined the Knesset in November 1959 and, except for a three-month-long hiatus in early 2006, served continuously until June 13, 2007, the day he was elected President of Israel.