Cabinet approves former defense minister as head of Israel Aircraft Industries

Amir Peretz was appointed by the gov't on Sunday as the new head of the IAI, despite the appointment committee deeming him unqualified.

Chairman of the Labor party Amir Peretz seen during a press conference with Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz and party members in Tel Aviv on March 12, 2020. (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Chairman of the Labor party Amir Peretz seen during a press conference with Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz and party members in Tel Aviv on March 12, 2020.
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)

The cabinet on Sunday approved Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s appointment of former defense minister Amir Peretz as head of Israel Aircraft Industries. This approval comes despite the government appointments committee ruling him out due to a lack of experience in the business.

Likud MK Shlomo Karhi called out what he saw as the government’s hypocrisy.

“Those Likudnikim are a disgrace. Look how they attack the gatekeepers... oh wait, it’s on the Left so it’s OK,” he wrote on Twitter.

Amir Peretz  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Amir Peretz (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Movement for the Quality of Government lambasted the decision.

“The government has something that should not be done and bypassed the professionals while completely trampling their role,” the movement said. The movement called the appointment of allies a poisoning of the political system and denounced the government for not being a “change government.”

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli abstained from the vote.

As the head of Peretz’s former party, Michaeli said she reviewed the appointments committee’s decision and thought Peretz was strongly connected to Defense Minister Benny Gantz and therefore had a strong conflict of interest.

She accepted the committee’s assertion that one to three years were needed in order for the political ties between Gantz and Peretz to cool off.

Ministers Tamar Zandberg and Nitzan Horowitz of Meretz also abstained.