Boim could clear spot for Ramon

PM's office denies report that position would be made for his longtime friend.

haim ramon hand on head (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
haim ramon hand on head
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office denied a Channel 1 report on Saturday night that former justice minister Haim Ramon would rejoin the cabinet at the expense of Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze'ev Boim. According to the report, Olmert would make space in his cabinet for Ramon by appointing Boim, a longtime confidant and childhood friend, as president of Israel Bonds in New York in place of former health minister Yehoshua Matza, who has held the post since February 2002. The report was leaked to the press by an official in the Prime Minister's Office. But Olmert's spokesman denied it and Boim's spokeswoman said it surprised her boss. Matza has a contract signed by Olmert guaranteeing him the position through the end of 2008 that was approved by the board of directors of Israel Bonds. When he was appointed, he had to wait to enter the job because his predecessor, former minister Gideon Patt, refused to leave the plum position. Rumors about various overseas positions for Boim have been floated in the past, including ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom, but nothing has come of them. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni reportedly blocked Boim's appointment in both instances. Olmert said in weekend interviews he wanted to see Ramon back in a leadership position but he said he would not decide where and how until he met with Ramon after Pessah. National Union MK Arye Eldad asked Knesset House Committee chair Ruhama Avraham on Saturday night to begin proceedings to expel Ramon from the Knesset due to his sexual harassment conviction.