Netanyahu Hands Immigrant Absorption Portfolio to Tourism Minister

Likud minister Yariv Levin will replace Yisrael Beiteinu's Sofa Landver, who resigned in November ■ Netanyahu, who served as acting immigrant absorption minister, now holds defense, foreign affairs and health portfolios

File photo: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin in the Knesset, November 13, 2017.
Emil Salman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late on Sunday that he has decided to appoint Yariv Levin as immigrant absorption minister, in addition to his roles as tourism minister and Knesset liaison minister. 

Levin, of Netanyahu's Likud party, would replace MK Sofa Landver, who resigned in November when her Yisrael Beiteinu party, headed by former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, quit Netanyahu's governing coalition.

Netanyahu, who also holds the defense, foreign affairs and health portfolios, served as acting immigrant absorption minister following Landver's departure. 

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Levin thanked Netanyahu "for the trust he has bestowed upon me," adding: "Encouraging aliyah and absorption of immigrants are Zionist tasks of primary importance, which I am priviliged to work on."

Levin vowed to "do whatever possible to increase immigration and improve absorption processes for immigrants already in Israel," while still focusing on the "promotion of tourism."

Netanyahu committed last week to naming a foreign minister by late January, as he asked the cabinet to formally approve his role as defense minister.

In light of recent appeals to the Supreme Court by the Yesh Atid party and MK Leah Fadida (Zionist Union) against Netanyahu holding on to too many cabinet posts, Netanyahu presented an opinion written by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, who said holding on to many portfolios is possible if it is a temporary measure.