Barak reportedly under consideration for US envoy post

Barak reportedly under consideration for US envoy post

Netanyahu already making list of ministers for the next government, Maariv reports

Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. (Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)
Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. (Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is under consideration to replace Michael Oren as Israel’s ambassador to the United States, the Hebrew-language daily Maariv reported Tuesday.

The report, which did not cite a source, claimed that although Israeli elections are a week away, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already lining up candidates for various ministerial and high-level posts. Netanyahu is  expected to cruise to an easy reelection when Israelis go to the polls next week.

Barak, a former prime minister, announced he would leave the Defense Ministry after the election and is not running for the Knesset. According to the report, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon, like Barak a former IDF chief, will take his place as defense head.

If appointed US ambassador, which the paper said is just “talk” so far, Barak would replace Ambassador Michael Oren, who has held the post since 2009.

Current Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, whom Netanyahu reportedly considers “not particularly successful” as head of the Finance Ministry, will probably be replaced by either Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar or by a non-political appointee.

Netanyahu himself would hold the Foreign Ministry post, pending the resolution of former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman’s legal troubles, which could prevent him from holding a ministerial position or remaining a Knesset member.

Current Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan reportedly wants to head a new ministry that combines infrastructure and environmental protection portfolios, and Yuli Edelstein would continue as information minister, according to the paper.

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