Justice Minister Shaked among new government ministers setting out plans


Having been sworn in on Thursday evening, many of Israel’s new government ministers took the reins yesterday and set out their ambitions for their time in office.

One of the more controversial appointments, Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked took up her post yesterday and looked to ease concerns over her apparent hard line stance on the power of the Supreme Court. She said, “The justice system is one of the foundations of our existence as a democratic society; I believe in it with all my heart. I will not be the one who blunts its teeth.” However, she explained “we need to find the correct balance between the branches.”

Meanwhile, new Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, considered a vocal leader of the Likud right, commented “I have always respected the importance of a cultural and pluralistic life… In the name of pluralism, culture will extend to all parts of the country.”

Outgoing Interior Minister Gilad Erdan spoke candidly as he handed over to his successor Silvan Shalom. Erdan, who topped the Likud party primaries earlier this year, remains outside the cabinet. He said yesterday, “It’s no secret that I very much wanted to remain here, in the Interior Ministry, and I suggested it be merged with the Public Security Ministry.” He said he will soon decide his future in public life, but that it would be “only in the Knesset and the government.”

Meanwhile, senior Zionist Union MK Shelly Yachimovich yesterday praised some of the new ministers for their socio-economic agenda, including Finance Minister Mosh Kahlon, and Likud Welfare Minister Haim Katz and social affairs minister Gila Gamliel. On social issues she regarded the government “far less terrible than its predecessors” and suggested “we could find ourselves obligated to vote for their initiatives.”