Netanyahu to Appoint Long-time Associate as Foreign Ministry Chief of Staff

Brig. Gen. (res.) Shimon Shapira is a researcher at think-tank headed by new ministry director general Dore Gold.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Credit: AP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about to appoint his close associate, Brig. Gen. (res.) Shimon Shapira as Foreign Ministry chief of staff. A senior Foreign Ministry official commented that the appointment is unusual considering that there is no full-time foreign minister, so it’s unclear what purpose the position will have.

This is the second Foreign Ministry appointment Netanyahu is making since he decided not to appoint a foreign minister and to hold onto that portfolio himself. Last week, Netanyahu announced the appointment of Dore Gold as Foreign Ministry director general. Gold formerly served as Netanyahu’s political advisor. During his first term as prime minister, Netanyahu appointed Gold as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

In recent years Shapira has been a researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which is headed by Gold. A source who previously served in the Prime Minister’s Office says that Shapira has tried several times since Netanyahu returned to office in 2009 to obtain an appointment in the PMO, and at one time Shapira sought an appointment as Netanyahu’s political advisor, and later on as deputy chief of staff for the National Security Council.

During Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister, when he was still in active IDF service, Shapira served as his military secretary in the PMO. He also held senior positions in the IDF Intelligence Branch, specializing in Iranian and Lebanese affairs. Shapira wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Iranian involvement in Lebanon and later turned it into a book entitled “Hezbollah: Between Iran and Lebanon.”

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