DM gets new bureau chief; media adviser quits [p. 9]

Major personnel changes took place over the weekend in Defense Minister Amir Peretz's office with the appointment of a new bureau chief and the resignation of his media adviser. Lt.-Col. (res.) Ilan Ostfeld handed in his resignation over the weekend citing "ethical differences" as the reason behind his decision to leave the post of media adviser that he took up shortly after Peretz became defense minister in May. Sources in Peretz's office have repeatedly complained over the past few months of the "lack of discipline and order" within the ministry. "Under [former defense minister Shaul] Mofaz things were in order," one defense official said. "Under Peretz there is no such thing as order." Peretz has yet to appoint a new media adviser, although the names of several senior military correspondents have been raised as potential candidates in closed talks within the ministry. Defense officials blamed Peretz's confidant Rahel Turgeman, a former Histadrut official, for interfering with Ostfeld's work in the ministry. "There were times that Ostfeld wanted to set up interviews and events for Peretz, but he decided to listen to Turgeman and not to the man he hired to be his adviser," one official charged. Another change in the ministry was the appointment of Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Mike Herzog as bureau chief in place of Brig.-Gen. Ami Shafran who has been promoted to major-general and will soon become head of the IDF's C4I Communications Branch. Defense officials said they were surprised with Herzog's decision to accept the post, claiming that with major changes expected in the coalition, it was only a matter of time before Peretz was replaced as defense minister.