Minister Nominates Academic Who Said West Bank, Gaza Not Occupied Territory for Senior Appointment Committee

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Talia Einhorn and Moshe Tery, the two candidates for the government’s advisory committee on senior appointments
Talia Einhorn and Moshe Tery, the two candidates for the government’s advisory committee on senior appointmentsCredit:
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin announced Tuesday two candidates for the government’s advisory committee on senior appointments: Talia Einhorn, a law professor in Ariel University’s department of economics and business administration, and Moshe Tery, a former chairman of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and onetime activist in the ruling Likud party.

If the cabinet approves Levin’s choices, Einhorn and Terry will replace the two committee members who resigned three weeks ago in the wake of a High Court of Justice petition against their close ties with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Iris Stark, chairwoman of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel, and former National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel. The week before they resigned, the court issued a show-cause order on the petition, indicating that it believed the case had merit.

Einhorn is a member of the right-wing organization Professors for a Strong Israel, and her son is a senior advisor on new media to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who will ask the committee to approve his nominee for the army’s next chief of staff. She has published articles arguing that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are not occupied territory under international law, because they were not captured from another country. In 2004, she signed an open letter — also signed by Netanyahu’s father, the historian Benzion Netanyahu, and brother, Iddo Netanyahu — urging soldiers not to participate in evacuating settlements, because “expulsion and uprooting are national crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Einhorn is also a visiting research fellow at Tel Aviv University and a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law.

Though sources in Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party confirmed that Einhorn’s son is Lieberman’s advisor on digital media, Lieberman’s office said the minister “doesn’t know Prof. Einhorn, never met her and wasn’t involved in any way in her appointment. Minister Yariv Levin didn’t discuss the issue with him, and any questions should be directed to Minister Levin.”

Tery, who has a master’s in business administration, has held several senior public positions in addition to his chairmanship of the TASE, including director general of the Israel Postal Authority.

The advisory committee was set up in 2006 to vet nominees for seven key civil service posts —the chief of staff, police commissioner, Mossad director, Shin Bet security service director, prisons commissioner and the Bank of Israel’s governor and deputy governor. It is chaired by a retired Supreme Court justice — currently Eliezer Goldberg.

Its other members are the civil service commissioner and two representatives appointed by the government. The latter serve for a maximum of two three-year terms.

After the committee finishes its vetting process, which includes interviewing the candidates and studying their responses to written questions, it gives the cabinet its opinion on each of the nominees. But the final decision is made by the prime minister or the minister in charge of the relevant portfolio.

The committee will soon consider nominees for several key posts, including the chief of staff, police commissioner and central bank governor.

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