נפתלי בנט
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
Photo: GPO
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Bennett announces first close staff picks as prime minister

A close confidant, a journalist and 25-year-old communications consultant, all tapped to man fresh premier's circle as chief of staff, political advisor and spokesperson, respectively; further appointments said to be coming soon

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 06.15.21, 22:41
Naftali Bennett announced Tuesday evening the first round of appointments as prime minister, most of whom appear to be close staff picks.
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  • Bennett officially became prime minister on Sunday after a vote in the Knesset, approving the new government. Among the appointments are chief of staff, political advisor and spokesperson.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    נפתלי בנט
    נפתלי בנט
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
    (Photo: GPO)
    The fresh premier has tapped his long-time confidant Tal Gan-Zvi to serve as his chief of staff. Gan-Zvi, 40, has been by Bennett's side since he first entered politics about a decade ago, and had served as his chief of staff during his stints as economy and education minister.
    Gan-Zvi is seen as the Yamina leader's closest ally and had headed the coalition talks on behalf of the party.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    טל גן צבי
    טל גן צבי
    Tal Gan-Zvi
    (Photo: Yossi Lazaroff)
    Bennett has also named journalist Shimrit Meir as his new political advisor.
    Meir, 41, who was poised to become the first woman to occupy the position, had worked prior as a political-security commentator in several media outlets, including Ynet's sister publication Yedioth Ahronoth and Army Radio
    She also served as the CEO of Link Online - The Center for Strategic Communication in the Middle East.
    For the post of the prime minister's official spokesperson, Bennett has appointed communications consultant Matan Sidi.
    The 25-year-old Sidi had served as spokesman for the defense and education ministers back when Bennett filled these positions.
    He later advised State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman and headed the communications team of Yamina's campaign during the last election.
    Per the prime minister's request, National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and Military Secretary Avi Bluth will both maintain their posts.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and Military Secretary Avi Bluth
    National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and Military Secretary Avi Bluth
    National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and Military Secretary Avi Bluth
    (Photo: GPO, Ohad Zwigenberg)
    The Prime Minister's Office said appointments for the positions of the office's director-general and cabinet secretary, among others, would be announced at another time.
    Among the candidates for the post of director-general of the Prime Minister's Office are Eyal Gabay, 54, who had already held the position during the second Netanyahu government; Dvir Kahana, appointed in 2013 by Bennett to the position of director-general at the Diaspora Ministry; Yair Pines, 41, who currently serves as the director-general of the Housing Ministry and was previously deputy director of the Israel Land Authority and held a senior position in the Finance Ministry; and Amit Lang, 50, who was the director-general of the Economy Ministry during Bennett's tenure as economy minister.
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