Lieberman Taps Former Minister Uzi Landau to Head Government Defense Firm

Two other former ministers in his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, have already been appointed as chairmen of other state-owned defense companies.

Ora Coren
Ora Coren
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An Iron Dome antimissile battery in action. Rafael Defense Industries designed the Iron Dome.
An Iron Dome antimissile battery in action. Rafael Defense Industries designed the Iron Dome.Credit: AP
Ora Coren
Ora Coren

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is appointing former minister Uzi Landau as chairman of government-owned defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The decision was made in coordination with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

This is Lieberman’s third political appointment. Two other former ministers in his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, have already been appointed as chairmen of other state-owned defense companies. Lieberman also appointed Yair Shamir as chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries, and Yitzhak Aharonovich as chairman of Israel Military Industries.

All three appointments are still pending state approval.

While Shamir used to be chairman of IAI and is considered someone with experience in the field, the appointments of Landau and Aharonovich raised some eyebrows within the defense industries. Both come only with experience in a different form of security – both served as public security (police) ministers.

In their new roles, they will be responsible for developing strategies to increase their companies’ market shares in very competitive fields.

Lieberman’s spokesman stated in response that there was no debate over whether the men were suited for the jobs. Landau worked as an engineer at Rafael, and has a master’s degree in industrial engineering and management from the Technion and a doctorate from MIT, the spokesman noted. Regarding Aharonovich, the spokesman said he had earned praise for his work as public security minister, and had experience from his role as CEO of the Dan Bus Company.

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