Outgoing Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel, the former head of the Ichud Leumi faction, recently announced his decision to step down and retire from politics. It now appears he is using his political position to secure himself a cushy position, as his party’s negotiating team is asking that when he steps down, that her receive a position heading a government related agency such as the leadership of the JNF, the Israel Land Authority and even the Histadrut chairman.
The move is being promoted by Ichud Leumi after MK Bezalel Smotrich won the elections for the chairman of the party, and not Ariel, who was dismissed after 23 years of politics.
Persons close to Ariel indicate he is not going to compete for a post if one is not given to him.
However, if there is something relevant, it has to be a role that is related in a certain way to settlement. “He will not do anything else unless he knows that this role can in the future also be interpreted as Yehuda and Shimron,” others close to him suggest.
While Bayit Yehudi is backing the move to secure him a position, the two parties are not prepared to promote it at any price against the Likud in coalition negotiations.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)