Netanyahu Stocks His Cabinet; 30 Ministers to be Sworn In Tuesday

By Shahar Ilan (Haaretz)

Published March 30, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday began naming ministers for his incoming government — a line-up so long that Knesset officials have requested a larger table for cabinet meetings.

The new coalition will comprise 30 ministers and seven deputy ministers. Netanyahu officially informed acting-Knesset Speaker Michael Eitan on Monday that he has succeeded in assembling the cabinet and would be prepared to swear in the new ministers at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The prime minister-designate was holding a series of consecutive talks with prospective ministers throughout the day on Monday. Netanyahu is expected to take the finance portfolio for himself and to appoint Yuval Steinitz as minister below him.

Other Likud officials to join the coalition include Ya’akov Ne’eman (Justice Ministry) Gideon Sa’ar (Education), Yisrael Katz (Transportation), Moshe Ya’alon (Strategic Affairs), Gilad Erdan (Environmental Protection), Limor Livnat (Sports and Culture), and Yuli Edelstien (likely to take Media and Telecommunications).

Sources close to Netanyahu said he had no intention of appointing someone who would become acting prime minister in case of emergency. That post, and finance minister, are precisely the positions Silvan Shalom had sought; Shalom has communicated to Netanyahu over the past few days that he would prefer no ministerial post at all if Netanyahu does not keep his promise to appoint Shalom to a senior position.

It is believed Netanyahu intends to appoint Shalom as his vice premier and minister for regional development, or minister for economic peace and deputy prime minister, hoping this satisfies Shalom.

Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman will be given the position of foreign minister, after Attorney General Menachem Mazuz ruled on Monday that there was no legal reason to bar him from the post. Yisrael Beiteinu will take four more portfolios in the new government, including the Public Security Ministry (Yitzhak Aharonovitch), the Infrastructure Ministry (Uzi Landau), Tourism (Stav Miznikov) and Absorption and Immigration (Sofa Landover).

Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak, who will retain his position as defense minister, on Sunday gave Avishay Braverman Labor’s fifth ministerial post - minister without portfolio with responsibility for minorities. Braverman, who was one of the seven Laborites who opposed Barak’s move to join the coalition, said after accepting Barak’s offer that he was at peace with his decision.

Labor minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer will take on the Trade, Labor and Industry portfolio, Shalom Simhon will serve as Agriculture Minister, and Labor No. 2 Isaac Herzog will head the Welfare Ministry.

Senior Likudniks are reportedly angry that Netanyahu gave so many senior portfolios to his coalition partners and for making them wait until the last moment.

A Netanyahu associate added, however, that “clearly there will be disappointments, but that is the price of a broad, strong, balanced coalition.”

The senior coalition partner has only five portfolios: finance, transportation, communications, environmental protection, and culture and sports.

To these, Netanyahu was to add a vice premier and minister for strategic affairs, and to split Communications Ministry to create a Regional Development Ministry and a Ministry for Economic Peace.

Kadima MK Yohanan Plessner on Monday resubmitted a bill - submitted in the past by Likud MKs Reuven Rivlin and Gideon Sa’ar - to limit the number of cabinet ministers to 18. In his original proposal, drafted prior to the previous Knesset, Sa’ar wrote: “the expense of appointing so many ministers is a waste of crucial public funds.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.