Skip to comments.(Israeli politics:) Former settler voice appointed Shalom's spokesman
Posted on 01/18/2005 2:30:04 PM PST by anotherview
Jan. 16, 2005 20:42 | Updated Jan. 18, 2005 22:17
Former settler voice appointed Shalom's spokesman
By HERB KEINON AND YAAKOV KATZ
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, whose duties include selling the disengagement plan to the world, named as his spokesman Tuesday someone who up until last week was one of the plan's most recognized opponents: Yehoshua Mor-Yosef.
Mor-Yosef, who left his position as spokesman for the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza earlier this week over disagreements regarding what he viewed was the radical turn the anti-disengagement movement was taking, will be replacing Moshe Debi, who has served as Shalom's spokesman for the last three years.
Mor-Yosef's appointment received mixed reviews inside the ministry.
One official said the only way to explain the appointment is that Shalom is trying to cover his right flank inside the Likud as the government marches toward disengagement. According to this reasoning, Shalom wants a spokesman with solid right-wing credentials in order to retain his strong support inside Likud's central committee.
Another ministry official said, however, he didn't understand how Mor-Yosef, who for so long spoke against the disengagement plan, can now publicly advocate it and serve a minister who must garner support for it around the world.
Furthermore, the official said, there is concern that the advice Mor-Yosef will give Shalom will not necessarily be the type that "will help promote Israel in the eyes of the world as a nation looking for peace."
Others, however, said Mor-Yosef should be given a chance, and that Shalom who obviously recognizes the sensitive nature of the post would not have picked him if he didn't think Mor-Yosef could do the job, or if he thought the appointment would present problems for Israel in explaining its position around the world.
"He has a reputation as a professional," the official said. "Our hope is that he will be organized, which is something Shalom's office needs."
Mor-Yosef, who lives in Ofra, started off his media career as a reporter for Arutz 7 and served as the settlement council's spokesman for the past six years.
Last year, following the resignation of the council's director general Adi Mintz, Mor-Yosef became the council's secretary general.
Well respected and considered a "professional" spokesman, Mor-Yosef who is believed to have towed a moderate line within the council clashed with settler leaders after they called on the public last month to break the law in the fight against the disengagement plan.
On Tuesday, settler leaders said they were not surprised to hear of Mor-Yosef's career move, saying he has been out of step with the council for some time.
"We have for a while noticed that Mor-Yosef underwent an ideological transformation," one source said. "It could be that working with the council for so long wore him and his ideology down."
Far-right activists were far less charitable and slammed the appointment.
"They are a perfect match," Kach activist Itamar Ben-Gvir said of Mor-Yosef and Shalom. "Yehoshua is the right man to represent the disengagement ministers and we always said he was an agent of the left within the settlement council."
In other words, he won't give his minister the defeatist advice which peaceniks in the ministry would like or aprove of.
Good! That's the right spokesman!
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