Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu..
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Likud ministers Sunday morning that he would not make any political appointments until after he returns from his visit to New York and Washington at the end of the month.
Netanyahu did offer the Interior portfolio that will soon be vacated by Gideon Sa'ar to Communications Minster Gilad Erdan in a phone conversation on Friday. Erdan is expected to make a decision by the end of the week.
But the prime minister intimated that other political appointments would have to wait because he is concentrating on his preparation for his meeting with US President Barack Obama and his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. "I heard that there has been commotion about appointments," he told the ministers. "When I return from the US, whoever wants can meet with me [on this matter]."
Netanyahu is scheduled to fly after Rosh Hashana – which this year is a three-day holiday because it is followed immediately by Shabbat – on September 27 at night, and to return to Israel before Yom Kippur, which starts on Friday night, October 3.
Sa'ar, Erdan, and Negev and Galilee Minister Silvan Shalom were noticeably absent from the meeting.
Netanyahu, who said nothing about Sa'ar in a speech Thursday to mayors who had been under the interior minister's jurisdiction, took the opportunity Sunday to praise him . "He accompanied me for many years politically and accomplished many reforms in the Education and Interior ministries, most importantly regarding infiltrators."