With Liberman Gone, Who Will Become Foreign Minister?

May 4, 2015  

Hours after Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman refused to join Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition, the floodgates over the prestigious foreign affairs portfolio opened. 

Liberman, who currently serves as the Foreign Minister, added that he would be resigning, despite reports that joining the coalition would be conditional on him retaining the post – and despite reports that Netanyahu had acquiesced to this demand. 

Now, with Liberman gone, the foreign affairs portfolio is up for grabs – and many Likud MKs are looking to snatch it. 

In the early stages of coalition negotiations, Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, who won Likud’s primaries in 2014, expressed his interest in the foreign affairs portfolio should it remain within the ruling party. 

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, who is now expected to receive the education portfolio, was also one of the first politicians to demand the senior position. 

Both Erdan and Bennett appear to be options, according to Walla! News, as do Likud ministers, Tzahi Hanegbi and Yuval Steinitz.

While not officially putting their names into the ring, both Deputy Foreign Minister Hanegbi and Strategic Affairs Minister Steinitz have stated they consider themselves candidates for the lucrative position. 

“After eight years of service in the government, mostly as a member of the Security Cabinet, five years as chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and a year as deputy foreign minister, he believes in his ability to successfully serve in this important job on behalf of the Likud faction,” aides said on behalf of Hanegbi. 

Steinitz’s office meanwhile gave the brief message: “we see ourselves as candidates” for the Foreign Ministry.

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