Battle Between Home Front and Defense Ministries Comes to a Head

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan have engaged in turf war for months, with the latter bringing the issue to a head with resignation ultimatum.

Amos Harel
Amos Harel
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Amos Harel
Amos Harel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to convene what is being described as a decisive meeting Tuesday over the division of authority for the Israeli home front, in an effort to resolve the ongoing dispute between Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan.

For over six months Erdan has been waging a battle to increase the authority of his ministry. He’s met with resistance, first from GOC Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, and latterly also from Ya’alon.

Erdan recently warned that if his ministry was not given any substantive authority, he would give up the portfolio (though he would remain in the government as communications minister). Erdan claims that the limited authority afforded his ministry does not allow him to effectively fulfill his responsibilities to the home front.

The original date set in his ultimatum was January 31, but in the end the debate was postponed until Tuesday.

Ya’alon and Erdan have met several times in recent months – sometimes together with Netanyahu – in an effort to straighten things out.

At first Ya’alon agreed to hand over some of the authority for routine home front activities to Erdan’s ministry, but the two did not succeed in reaching any agreements.

After the huge snowstorm in December 2013, however, Ya’alon changed his mind, concluding that only the Israel Defense Forces could successfully cope with serious events affecting the civilian population, and that all authority must remain with the Defense Ministry and the army, which answers to it.

In January 2014 Ya’alon was sharply critical of the Home Front Defense Ministry, arguing that it was superfluous, that “nothing good could come of it,” and that its continued existence was wasting public funds.

In an address to Defense Ministry employees, Ya’alon said, “The responsibility is mine, from end to end. You can’t divide the issue here and set up some ministry that will give orders to the Home Front Command.”

Moshe Ya'alon speaking at INSS, January 28, 2014.Credit: Moti Milrod
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan.Credit: Michal Fattal

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott