(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ministers approved his appointment of Danny Danon as ambassador to the UN in a vote conducted by telephone on Thursday.
With Danon’s approval, he automatically ceased to be a minister, a member of Knesset and the head of World Likud.
Netanyahu appointed Minister- without-Portfolio Ophir Akunis to replace Danon as science, technology and space minister.
Akunis thanked the prime minister for trusting him.
“I am proud to head a ministry that brings about the growth of industry in Israel,” Akunis said.
“The terrific achievements and breakthroughs of Israel in science and technology have become known all around the world, and I have the challenge to continue to advance and encourage new technology in Israel and prevent the brain drain to abroad.”
With Danon’s departure from the Knesset, Canadian-born, Australian- educated Sharren Haskel
automatically became an MK because she is the next name on the Likud Knesset candidates list. Haskel moved to Israel from Toronto when she was a one-yearold.
The Knesset now has 30 female MKs, or 25 percent of the plenum, for the first time. Another woman is expected to be added when Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett quits the parliament for the next name on his list, former MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli.
Danon wished Haskel well, and said he would represent the country at the United Nations with pride.
“There is no country as correct on diplomatic and security issues as Israel,” he said. “There is no other democracy in the world that is surrounded by enemies, and by terrorist organizations that lack a conscious and values.
Their main goal is to destroy Israel. Because Israel continues to be attacked on the international level, we must fight with strength to represent the justice of Israel’s cause.”