Former Likud MK Not Qualified to Run Tel Aviv Port, Says Government Authority

Daniel Benlulu does not have the skills required for the job, but he does have ties to the Transportation Minister, says senior official.

Former Likud MK Daniel Benlulu does not meet the requirements to be the director general of the company that runs the entertainment and tourism complex of the Tel Aviv port, the Government Companies Authority said.

Nissim Schlam-Salman, a senior official at the authority, wrote to the board of directors of the company, Marine Trust Ltd., that scrutiny into the selection process “raised doubts” as to its propriety.

The board of directors chose Benlulu as a candidate on the recommendation of an internal committee. But Schlam-Salman said it would be “difficult” to present Benlulu as a candidate to the committee that approves public appointments, headed by retired Judge Shalom Brenner.

Schlam-Salman noted Benlulu’s association with Likud and with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, whose ministry holds 82 percent of Marine Trust’s stock. “The candidate ... does not have the special skills in the area of the company’s activities, or other special skills in addition to the required skills,” he said.

The search committee had also said that other candidates on the short list were more qualified than Benlulu. The runner-up to Benlulu was Ariel Silber, former vice president of Coral World, which manages underwater observatories in Israel and around the world.

Marine Trust’s chairwoman Naomi Enoch told Haaretz that Benlulu’s appointment was proper and that Schlam-Salman’s letter indicated “infighting” in the Government Companies Authority. Enoch added, however, that her response does not represent the board, and that she cannot speak for the board until it meets.