(photo credit: (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))
One day after opposition leader Tzipi Livni blasted the Netanyahu administration
for zigzagging on top-level appointments, a Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee subcommittee announced Thursday that a recent top-level firing in the
defense establishment was not valid.
In an emergency meeting of the
Subcommittee for Home Front Readiness, MKs announced that Home Front Defense
Minister Matan Vilna’i’s dismissal of National Emergency Authority head
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ze’ev Tzuk- Ram had not been done according to
The subcommittee, led by Kadima MK Ze’ev Bielski, concluded at
its meeting that because Tzuk-Ram’s removal was not valid, Tzuk-Ram remained,
from the committee’s perspective, the working head of the National Emergency
Authority. The subcommittee also concluded that the Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee, in its full session, would report on its conclusions on the issue
within a week.
Last week, Vilna’i told Tzuk- Ram that his position had
been terminated. MKs, who heard reports of Tzuk-Ram’s removal through the media,
demanded a meeting with Vilna’i to clarify his reasons for firing the
Members of the Subcommittee for Home Front Readiness said they
were familiar with Tzuk-Ram’s activities, and argued that because the veteran
officer had been appointed by the government, only the government could fire
him. Furthermore, they emphasized, Tzuk-Ram should have been removed only after
a formal process, including the involvement of the Turkel Commission for
reviewing senior appointments.
Avi David, Tzuk-Ram’s former deputy, has
taken the authority’s reins until a new director is appointed.
dismissal was considered a surprise move by Vilna’i, who was promoted from
deputy minister to minister following the January split between the Independence
and Labor factions. Tzuk-Ram had held the position for three years, and his
tenure was notable for the increase in home front preparedness
The ministry’s official reason for Tzuk-Ram’s removal was that
reforms were under way within his organization as it was integrated into
Vilna’i’s newly established ministry.
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Sources within the Defense Ministry
said that in the weeks before the firing, Tzuk-Ram and Vilna’i had butted heads
over criticism of the Home Front Command within the National Emergency
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