Lieberman's ministry could exit with him

Government officials in Jerusalem said Monday that it was quite possible that if Lieberman left the coalition, Olmert would close down the Strategic Affairs Ministry, which was tailor-made for the Israel Beiteinu leader. In this scenario, it is likely that the tasks the ministry has been involved with would be transferred to the Defense Ministry. The only exception, according to the officials, would likely be the Lishkat Hakesher (Nativ), which is an office that was originally set up in the early 1950s to maintain contact with Jews beyond the Iron Curtain, and encourage aliya. The Lishkat Hakesher was moved from the Prime Minister's Office to the Strategic Affairs ministry after Kadima joined the coalition. It would most likely - according to the officials - go back to the PMO. Lieberman, through the Lishkat Hakesher, has been trying to make inroads among Russian Jews in Germany, Canada and even the US to get them to make aliya.