(photo credit: Courtesy)
Avriel Bar-Yosef, tabbed in February by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as head of the National Security Council, withdrew his candidacy Thursday, saying he has decided to work instead in the private sector.
Bar-Yosef’s appointment was held up for months amid various conflict of interest allegations.
He was to replace Yossi Cohen, who left the job in December to become head of the Mossad. Since that time, Yaakov Nagel has been serving as acting head of the council.
The NSC head is effectively the prime minister’s top foreign policy adviser.
Shortly after Bar-Yosef’s appointment, Ometz, an organization promoting good government, sent a letter to the attorney-general and the head of the Civil Services Commission claiming they had information indicating conflicts of interest.
Bar-Yosef issued a statement Thursday saying that despite his appreciation at being offered the NSC position, “I decided to forgo the appointment, and to respond to offers from the private sector.”
Bar-Yosef served as deputy head of the National Security Council from 2009 to 2015, and before that was director of the Knesset’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee. He is a retired brigadier-general, who served 25 years in the IDF, with his last position being head of naval operations – equipment