Infighting in Israel Beiteinu over portfolio

Avigdor Lieberman 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Avigdor Lieberman 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had not decided as of Thursday night how to distribute the Social Affairs Ministry, the Science, Culture and Sports Ministry and the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee. Labor officials said they were waiting to hear from Olmert regarding their request to receive the Social Affairs portfolio, leaving Science, Culture and Sports for Israel Beiteinu. Israel Beiteinu has also demanded the Finance Committee chairmanship, but Olmert may decide to give that to a Kadima MK. Yisrael Hason, who is second on the Israel Beiteinu list, called for his party's ministers to be chosen according to where they are situated on the party list. He said if Israel Beiteinu faction chair Estherina Tartman was given a ministry instead of himself, he would have "a crisis of confidence" in the party. "A party chairman can decide who will be a minister by the order of the list, by who is qualified for a particular post and by his own personal judgment," Hason said. According to the first two criteria, he said, he deserved the post. Hason said he would be a worthy candidate to be the Science, Culture and Sport portfolio minister because he had gained experience in hi-tech serving in the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and on Bezeq's board of directors. On the possibility that the portfolio would be combined with the former Diaspora Affairs ministry, Hason said his English needed improvement, but he would have no problem speaking to Diaspora Jews.