Jewish Agency chairman selection committee to meet on Tuesday

Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid has been asked to announce the government's candidate for the post by then.

The Jewish Agency headquarters in Jerusalem (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
The Jewish Agency headquarters in Jerusalem
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The Jewish Agency chairmanship selection committee is set to meet on Tuesday afternoon to consider recent developments in the race.

Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid has been asked to announce the government’s candidate for the post by then, after twice delaying his decision.

But there were no indications on Monday that he would do so. One cabinet minister said he would be shocked if anything changed ahead of the committee meeting.

Lapid was in London on Monday in his role as foreign minister. The last time there was a deadline for the agency decision, he was busy helping bring about the release of the Oaknin couple from Turkish prisons.

It is possible that Lapid will keep dragging his feet, knowing that the agency’s board of governors will not be meeting until February.

 Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaking during a Conservative Friends of Israel convention in London on November 29, 2021 (credit: STUART MITCHELL) Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaking during a Conservative Friends of Israel convention in London on November 29, 2021 (credit: STUART MITCHELL)

But the selection committee could decide to stop waiting for Lapid and make a decision among the eight current candidates.

The candidates are ANU Museum of the Jewish People director Irina Nevzlin, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Bar-Ilan University law Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats and former MKs Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Danny Danon, Uzi Dayan, Michael Oren and Omer Yankelevich.

Lapid wanted to give the post to former Yesh Atid MK Ruth Calderon, but her candidacy was vetoed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and selection committee members from Likud and World Mizrachi.

Reached on Monday night, Calderon said she did not want to discuss the Jewish Agency at this stage.

“When there will be something to say, I will say it,” she said.

Asked if there will be something to say, she said she did not know.

One cabinet minister privately criticized Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked for saying American Jews should stop giving money to universities where there are anti-Israel events.

“We need to draft every organization to fight this, including by stopping contributions to universities that encourage anti-Israel activity,” Shaked said.

The minister said what Shaked said was right but that she was wrong to say it out loud.