Gush Etzion council leader recommended as new INPA head

Environmental Protection Ministry committee unanimously recommends Shaul Goldstein to head Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Israel Nature and Parks Authority INPA 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel Nature and Parks Authority INPA 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
After an Environmental Protection Ministry committee unanimously recommended Shaul Goldstein as its nominee for Israel Nature and Parks Authority CEO on Monday, the current head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he would willingly accept the job if he receives an offer.
“The minute I get approved I would move to the INPA,” he said.
Headed by Environment Ministry director-general Alona Sheffer-Caro, the committee decided to recommend Goldstein as its preferred choice to Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, whose office oversees the operations of the INPA. If Erdan accepts the committee’s advice, then he will submit the selection to the government for approval. The final step before Goldstein can take office for the selection to be approved by the governmental appointments oversight committee headed by Tanya Spanitz.
Former INPA deputy director-general Modi Oron has been serving as acting CEO since the former head of the organization Eli Amitai left this summer.
“In the recommendation the members of the committee point out, among other things, that Mr. Goldstein optimally meets the criteria that define the position and that he has a deep familiarity with administrative systems – government and public – that result from his great experience from years as an authority head and his many activities and expansions in different public fields,” a statement from the Environment Ministry said.
“The committee was further impressed that Goldstein’s experience includes many activities in the fields of nature and education.”
While Goldstein acknowledged that running the INPA would be “challenging,” he said he hopes that he will be able to bring significant achievements to the organization.
Among the changes he would hope to implement would include increased partnerships with other organizations.
“The cooperation with my colleagues would be much greater – with [the Jewish National Fund], with the Israel Antiquities Authority for preserving the ancient places – all of whom must be speaking the same language,” he said.
Although he comes from years of governing a large region of Judea and Samaria, Goldstein told the Post that it is too early to think about whether the INPA would expand activities in the West Bank under his leadership.
“It’s premature to answer this question,” he said. “There are already some places in Judea and Samaria that are part of the national parks, and if it’s necessary to add we will be add. Everything will be based on the recommendations of the experts. It’s not about politics, it’s about preserving the nature and heritage of Israel.”
Above all, he would plan to work to increase park tourism through educational methods, Goldstein explained.
“I think that the major issue is to put Israel with its special values on the international map of tourism, which includes all the nature and heritage that we have,” he said. “For me, the most exciting part of the job is public education.”