Discontent over Barak ministerial picks
Party chairman finishes handing out portfolios earmarked for Labor in coalition agreement. But despite initial criticism, most appear reconciled with decision to enter government under Netanyahu. 'I have two choices – either be an angry MK in the coalition, or I can contribute,' says future-minister Braverman
Labor Chairman Ehud Barak finished manning the various ministerial positions reserved for his party in the Likud-led coalition on Sunday evening.
Barak made his decisions after a round of talks and inter-party discussions. But at least one future minister has already criticized the appointments, which are as follows: defense minister – Ehud Barak; minister of industry, trade and labor – Binyamin Ben-Eliezer; minister of agriculture – Shalom Simhon; minister of welfare and social services – Isaac Herzog; minister of minority affairs and member of the socio-economic cabinet – Avishay Braverman; deputy defense minister – Matan Vilnai; deputy industry, trade and labor minister – Orit Noked.
Braverman seemed reconciled with entering a government under Netanyahu, a move he vehemently resisted beforehand. Speaking with Ynet however, he reiterated that Labor would be better rehabilitated in the opposition but also said that he respected the party's decision to enter the coalition.
"I am democratic, and I will operate accordingly. I have two options - be an angry MK in the coalition, or contribute. I choose to contribute," he said.
Braverman explained that he had dealt with the issues of incorporating minorities in the academia. "When I got into politics this is part of what I believe in – coexistence and the social issue," he said.
He said he was "totally at peace with my conscience" regarding the change in his position on the issue of Labor's participation in the government.
MK Daniel Ben-Simon met with Labor Chairman Ehud Barak and the two agreed he would run for the office of chairman of the Labor faction.
Ben-Simon is seen as the prime candidate for the position, as he is backed by Barak. "This is a time for reconciliation, it's a challenge, and I hope I am equal to this task," he said.
The designated Deputy Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Orit Noked said she was satisfied with her portfolio.
"In light of the economic crisis commanding Israel, with an emphasis on the danger of dismissal hanging over the heads of thousands of employees, I chose to be deputy industry minister and did not take any other position on myself," she said.