After over six months without a permanent envoy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Ron Prosor to head Israel's United Nations mission over the weekend.
The choice was a concession to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who wanted Prosor, currently Israel's ambassador to Britain, to take the post.
Netanyahu reportedly would like to see National Security Adviser Uzi Arad as Prosor's replacement in London, but may face opposition from Lieberman, according to Foreign Ministry officials.
Lieberman's bureau declined to respond to questions on the matter.
Last week, after Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan turned down the position of UN ambassador, Lieberman said he would present his choice for the position to the cabinet for approval within a week, even if Netanyahu did not want him to. Lieberman also announced his choice as Prosor at that time.
The daily Israel Hayom, which is identified with Netanyahu, reported on Prosor's appointment yesterday without mentioning the fact that he was Lieberman's choice. Rather, it represented the appointment as a decision Netanyahu had initiated.
Prosor, who also served as the Foreign Ministry's director general, has in recent years been at the forefront of the struggle against Israel's delegitimization in Britain. He has also coordinated efforts with the British government against the Iranian nuclear program.
Netanyahu is apparently having difficulty finding a replacement for Arad as national security adviser. At the end of last week, the premier approached Maj. Gen. (res. ) Meir Khalifi, who was his military secretary until last year.
Khalifi, whose experience in Netanyahu's bureau was reportedly bitter, is said to have turned the offer down politely.
Netanyahu also asked Maj. Gen. (res. ) Yaakov Amidror, a former head of research in Military Intelligence. Amidror, who is identified with the right-wing and close to Netanyahu and his advisers, currently writes a column in Israel Hayom.
The addition of Amidror would bolster the religious right flank of Netanyahu's bureau. Netanyahu currently has five senior advisers who are Orthodox - the director general of the Prime Minister's Office, Eyal Gabai, political adviser Ron Dermer, bureau director Gil Shefer, bureau chief Natan Eshel and opinion poll adviser Israel Bachar.
It is still unclear whether Arad's request for the post came from his desire to leave Netanyahu's bureau, or the premier's desire to replace him. Arad's relationship with Netanyahu goes back to the prime minister's first term in office. In this term Netanyahu has fostered implementation of the law governing the National Security Council and raised its status.
However, Arad has quarreled with Mossad chief Meir Dagan and with former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as with some of his counterparts abroad, such as the German national security adviser.
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