Sources: Gilad Erdan rejected U.N. job for political reasons

Sources who spoke to Erdan said it was not the current election that persuaded him not to take the post.

August 14, 2019 21:16
1 minute read.
Minister Gilad Erdan speaks at the Jerusalem Post Conference

Minister Gilad Erdan speaks at the Jerusalem Post Conference. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan declined a proposal to replace Danny Danon as Israel Ambassador to the UN out of fear that he could miss a Likud leadership race, sources told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Erdan shared the decision on Twitter, saying: “After having considered the proposal to become Israel Ambassador to the UN, I decided that I should continue with my position as Strategic Affairs minister, and remain in Israel in this important time to do everything I can to ensure the victory [in the election] of the Likud headed by [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.”

But sources who spoke to Erdan recently told the Post that it was not the current election that persuaded him not to accept the proposal. “He sees himself as a future Likud leader,” a source said. “A Likud leadership race doesn’t happen that often. If there is a chance for a Likud leadership race in which Gilad would either participate or support someone, he realizes it would be unwise to leave the country at this stage.”
Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis, who replaced Danon in his last job, has told confidants recently that he is interested in the UN post.
“The role has not been offered to me,” Akunis told the Post Wednesday night. “If it will be offered, I will give it my full consideration.”
When he was Netanyahu’s spokesman for the foreign press, David Keyes was considered Danon’s heir apparent. But Keyes left his job after he was accused of sexual harassment. The case against Keyes was later closed.

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