Transportation Minister Miri Regev's candidate for the ministry's director-general Moshe Benzaken was appointed to stand-in deputy director-general alongside Deputy Director-General Avner Floor on Thursday, according to the ministry's spokesperson.
Regev's intention to appoint Benzaken as director-general was met with much criticism and pushback from people across the political arena and the courts due after the Public Service Senior Appointments Advisory Committee deemed him unqualified for the job. The committee refused to change its mind after Regev appealed and Benzaken was reevaluated.
Benzaken came under fire last week when a Facebook post he wrote surfaced in which he claimed that soldier Roi Klein who jumped on a grenade to save his friends' lives in the Second Lebanon War was not a hero and risked his friends' lives.
Have Regev and Benzaken worked together before?
In the past, Benzaken worked with Regev as her chief of staff. Now, however, he will begin his new job as the stand-in deputy director-general.
"I congratulate Moshe on his appointment and I'm sure that together, we will succeed," said Regev. "It's not a secret that I thought he was suitable for director-general, but for now, after it turns out that the High Court of Justice is expected to disqualify the appointment and harm his good name, I have decided to accept his request to be stand-in deputy director-general and I have no doubt that he will continue to advance in public service in the future."
She added that "the unequivocal support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government's ministers who were ready to vote in support of the appointment proves that we are here to govern. I won't allow the High Court the pleasure of criticizing me and the government from its ivory tower. I intend to act as I said in the government meeting and lead to canceling the need for the approval of an appointments committee to disqualify candidates that meet all the requirements."