Peretz under fire for decision to replace Kahalani

Government ministers on Sunday attacked Defense Minister Amir Peretz's decision to replace Avigdor Kahalani, head of the Defense Ministry's social department, with Yoel Marshak of the United Kibbutz Movement. Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon and Absorption Minister Ze'ev Boim contended that Kahalani was doing excellent work and Peretz would do best to let him keep his job. "The defense minister has political considerations," Boim said. "The candidate he wants to bring is a United Kibbutz Movement official, and that's what motivated Peretz. Kahalani is an Israeli [war] hero. I call on Peretz to reconsider this and not to fire Kahalani, who is doing his job faithfully."