Erdan Will Join Government, After All

MK Gilad Erdan has made amends with Netanyahu and will be Minister of Internal Security, with a large budget.

Hezki Baruch, Gil Ronen,

Communications Minister Gilad Erdan
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan
Flash 90

MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) has made amends with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and will soon be appointed Minister of Internal Security, with a large budget.

Erdan was carrying out advanced contacts with Netanyahu Monday morning, which will enable him to receive the portfolio that Netanyahu offered him before the establishment of the current government, and which he had rejected,

The Israel Police will receive hundreds of millions of shekels in addition to its current budget, as part of the agreement between the two.

Erdan may also be appointed Minister for Strategic Affairs or Hasbarah (Public Information). Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who was appointed Minister of Internal Security while Netanyahu negotiated with Erdan, will vacate the ministry and devote himself to the Tourism portfolio.

Netanyahu met Erdan last Wednesday in an effort to convince him to join the government and reportedly offered him the Internal Security portfolio together with a sizable increase in the ministry's budget, as well as the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

In addition, Netanyahu offered Erdan the title of Vice Prime Minister.

Likud issued a statement according to which “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu contacted MK Erdan and is conducting talks with him, with the aim of adding him to the government as quickly as possible. The Prime Minister sees in Gilad Erdan a senior partner and leading minister, who must be in the government because of his abilities, accomplishments and leadership. The Prime Minister will continue to act in order to reach an understanding with Erdan about joining the government.”

Erdan, a popular Likud MK who was Interior Minister and number two in Likud's Knesset list after Netanyahu, officially left the Interior Ministry last Sunday, and turned it over to Minister Silvan Shalom, also of Likud.

Netanyahu had offered Erdan the Ministry of Internal Security after the election, but Erdan was not content with the offer. He wanted to stay at the helm of the Interior Ministry and also be named Minister of Internal Security. Netanyahu refused to grant him his wish, and Erdan refused to be sworn in as Internal Security Minister, electing to go back to being a simple Knesset Member for the time being.

In the course of last week's ceremony at the Interior Ministry, Erdan said he is considering his next steps. “It's no secret that I wanted to stay in the Ministry of Interior,” he said. “I proposed a unification with the Internal Security Ministry. In both ministries, there are huge challenges. I thought that in the local authorities, along with the emergency organizations and the police, it would be proper for them to be under on ministry, and we could properly deal with matters of emergency, personal nuisance and other offenses.

“Regrettably,” he added, “my position was not accepted and therefore, in the coming days, I will have to consider my future path in public service, between the Knesset and the government.”