Sharansky named Netanyahu's pick for Jewish Agency head
The former prisoner of Zion won the Congressional Medal for his struggles for human rights.
Prime Minster Benjamin named former minister Natan Sharansky as his candidate for chairman of the Jewish Agency, the Prime Minister's Bureau announced on Saturday.
The prime minister intends to recommend Sharansky for the position to the Jewish Agency's board of trustees. Until a few months ago, the job was filled by Zeev Bielsky, currently a Kadima MK.
A former prisoner of Zion, the 61-year-old Sharansky founded the Yisrael BaAliyah party and served as Trade and Industry Minister during Netanyahu's first stint as prime minister. Sharansky was also Minister of the Interior in Ehud Barak's government and deputy prime minister and Housing Minister under Ariel Sharon.
In the 2006 elections, Sharansky ran as part of the Likud party, but withdrew from political life only a few months after being elected.
Sharansky, who is considered a confidante of Netanyahu, had won the Congressional Medal for his struggles for human rights and headed the Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.