Benny Gantz and Amir Peretz
Benny Gantz and Amir Peretz Ariel Hermoni

Despite opposition from the Knesset's Appointments Committee, the Israeli government today (Sunday) approved the appointment of former Labor Party chief Amir Peretz as chairman of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

In recent days, there has been public criticism of Defense Minister Benny Gantz's decision to bring the appointment for government approval, over the committee's opposition.

At the cabinet meeting, Gantz tried to shake off the criticism of the appointment as inappropriate and said "I am not sitting in this chair (and pointed at the prime minister's chair) because I defended the gatekeepers."

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar replied to Gantz: "You are not sitting in this chair because you made a deal with Netanyahu."

Finance Minister Liberman supported the appointment and proposed that the Gilour Committee resign in light of its opposition to the appointment of Amir Peretz. "Does it make sense for the committee to issue a response letter to the defense minister? I have never heard of such a thing.

Prior to the meeting, the opinion of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who backs the appointment, was sent to the ministers. The opinion submitted by Gantz states that "Mr. Amir Peretz has special skills that allow him to be appointed chairman of the IAI board in light of his experience and skills as presented to the Minister of Defense ... it would be justified in favor of the company to appoint Mr. Amir Peretz as director."

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