Political Revenge?
Will Jewish Home MK be reconfirmed as Dep. Defense Minister?

After resignation of Liberman, PM's associates promised vote on Deputy Minister Ben-Dahan's reappointment - but it didn't happen.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

Prime Minister Netanyahu, who received the defense portfolio with the resignation of Minister Liberman, did not reappoint Jewish Home MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan to the position of deputy defense minister, Channel 2 reported.

Netanyahu's associates had promised to raise the issue for discussion and vote at today's cabinet meeting, but in the end it did not happen.

The term of office of a deputy minister expires automatically when the tenure of the minister under which he is serving ceases, and therefore Ben-Dahan's tenure expired with the resignation of Liberman.

Apparently, the refusal stems from Netanyahu's attempt to pressure the Jewish Home to reach an agreement on the continuation of the government's term.

The Jewish Home said in response to the decision, "The maltreatment by the prime minister's associates of the Jewish Home party, this time by firing deputy defense minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, is an improper act and an injustice to an honest and ethical public figure. The prime minister would not behave this way to any other party. We are talking about an excellent deputy minister whose staff will lose its place of work immediately. We are calling on the prime minister to retract his decision."

Ben-Dahan said in response, "The political crisis caught me in the midst of important work on many projects, for reservists, disabled IDF veterans, residents of Judea and Samaria and many other issues. We are talking about part of the coalition agreement, and my continued activities at the Defense Ministry do not relate to the future of the coalition, as it does not relate to the work of the other ministers. It is possible to implement the technical process with mere approval by telephone. I am sure that everything will be straightened out, and decency will trump all other considerations."

The Prime Minister's Office later said in a statement that Ben-Dahan's reconfirmation would be addressed in the near future.

"The matter will be dealt with in the next few days," the PMO's statement read.

The tension between Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Jewish Home faction has increased sharply in recent days following the resignation of Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman from the position of defense minister.

Jewish Home has called on Netanyahu to appoint Naftali Bennett as defense minister as a condition for the coalition's continued existence, while Netanyahu's associates made it clear that he wanted to leave the defense portfolio in his own hands at this stage.