Social Affairs Ministry Reverts to Normal: No Minister in Sight

The split in the Labor Party and the resignation of Labor's cabinet ministers has caused a game of musical chairs to unfold at several ministries.

Officials at the Social Affairs Ministry expressed sorrow yesterday over the resignation of Labor's Isaac Herzog following the split in the party. Today will be Herzog's last day as minister. No replacement has yet been announced, so for now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be assuming responsibility for the ministry.

This returns the ministry to what for staffers is a familiar situation: Before Herzog's arrival, there had been no minister of social affairs for three years.

At this point, ministry Director General Nahum Itzkovich will remain on the job.

Shalom Simhon, who will be moving from the Agriculture Ministry to the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, refused to state yesterday whether he would leave the work plan developed under his predecessor in place or seek put his own stamp on the Industry Ministry's priorities.

Staff at the ministry expressed frustration over the lack of continuity caused by the departure of Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. (For further details, see page 3 )