Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan has turned down Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu’s offer to grant him the Energy and Water Ministry, a senior
source in the Environmental Protection Ministry told The Jerusalem Post on
The comments from a source close to Erdan came following
reports that he was offered the ministry and in light of the strife in the Likud
Current ministers and MKs who did well in the Likud’s
last primary have expressed frustration over the smaller number of ministers –
22 compared to 30 in the last government – which means that most ministers
cannot be promoted to more prestigious portfolios, and there will not be any new
ministers in the party.
Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon is expected to receive
the Defense portfolio, and Gideon Sa’ar will most likely be interior minister,
while Transportation Minister Israel Katz and Culture and Sport Minister Limor
Livnat will stay in their current positions. Party sources said Silvan Shalom
will become home front defense minister, and Yuval Steinitz will receive the
Strategic Affairs portfolio.
Erdan turned down the Energy and Water
Ministry, even though it is carries greater political cache than his previous
portfolio, because he felt that he could not accept leadership over this
portfolio without also receiving the Environmental Protection Ministry, the
source said. Without also governing the environmental portfolio, the minister
would be accepting work that operates directly against the ideals he espouses –
such as minimizing the export of natural gas, the source continued.
the two portfolios were united under one ministry, Erdan would then consider
accepting the job, according to the source.
However, this would involve
assigning MK Amir Peretz (Hatnua) to a responsibility other than environmental
protection minister, and very few portfolios remain. In addition, Likud Beytenu
insisted in coalition talks with Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid that they would not
break their agreement with Hatnua, which specifies the Environmental Protection
Erdan continues to believe in the ideology of environmental
protection and envisions an Israeli future governed by sustainability, and will
not take a side that cannot be combined with sustainable thinking, the source