Simhon Ben Eliezer 311.
(photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
The Independence faction’s Shalom Simhon replaced Labor’s Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
as industry, trade and labor minister on Monday, following a ceremony at the
ministry offices in the capital.
Simhon said he planned to cooperate with
the other forces in the market, including the Manufacturers Association and the
Histadrut labor federation, and that he had no intention of making dramatic
changes in the ministry’s objectives.
Simhon expressed thanks to the
outgoing minister, stating that he had learned a lot from him and would continue
to do so on matters related to the ministry.
“I was marked as your
successor in the Labor Party as someone with political capabilities and a man of
It is a shame that I am succeeding you in a different political
framework,” Simhon said.
Ben-Eliezer said he was leaving the ministry
with great satisfaction, and wished his replacement well in carrying out the
“In the past, everyone spoke about the military
accomplishments of Israel; today, they talk about its technological
achievements,” said Ben-Eliezer.
Addressing Simhon, he added, “Your
success is Israel’s success.”
Other cabinet members in attendance,
including Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Independence), Finance Minister Yuval
Steinitz (Likud) and recently appointed Agriculture Minister Orit Noked
(Independence), all congratulated Simhon on his new post and expressed gratitude
to Ben-Eliezer for his work as minister.
Simhon said that like Ben-
Eliezer, he would support the increase in minimum wage, as recently agreed upon
by the Manufacturers Association and the Histadrut. He pledged to hold a meeting
with Steinitz on the matter in the coming days to help ensure that all citizens
could earn a “respectable income.”
On Sunday, Noked took over from Simhon
as agriculture minister, completing the cabinet changes resulting from the
Independence faction’s split from the Labor Party.