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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Peretz aides: Delay of Arab ministerial appointment racist

Peretz aides: Delay of Arab ministerial appointment racist,7340,L-3351957,00.html
Source close to defense minister on cabinet decision not to vote on MK Majadele's ministerial appointment: Olmert is intervening in Labor's affairs, and there is also a racial matter here. Majadele is Arab, and this is why they do not want to appoint him
Attila Somfalvi Published:  01.14.07, 11:17

A source close to Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday of the decision not to bring the ministerial appointment of Arab Knesset Member Raleb Majadele before the cabinet for approval, "(Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert is intervening in Labor's internal affairs, and there is also a racial matter here. Majadele is an Arab, and this is why they do not want to appoint him."
Right-Wing Minister
The source added that "This is a dirty maneuver. Olmert is cooperating with (former Prime Minister) Ehud Barak and is thwarting the appointment only so Barak won't have to come out against it.
Members of Labor's young guard are also accusing the prime minister of racism, with Chairman Eran Hermoni saying, "We regret the fact that the traces of racism are reaching the Prime Minister's Office."
'PM needs to make a decision'
Olmert aides rejected the claims by Peretz's office, saying Majadele's appointment is being delayed for technicalities related to the management of the coalition and the government.
"Olmert received the message of Majadele's appointment when he was in China," one aide said. "We haven't finished discussing this appointment as necessary. One who claims that the issue is racist is making an unacceptable claim.
"The reason for the rejection is related to the fact that the prime minister wants to see the full picture of the government. The appointment of a Labor minister has some implications on the coalition, which also pertain to the welfare portfolio," the aide said.

They added that Israel Our Home leader Minister Avigdor Lieberman has demanded that his party be allotted an extra portfolio and Olmert needs to make a decision.
Aides added that Olmert will appoint a welfare minister in the coming two weeks. "We need to see clearly what is happening with United Torah Judaism, with the welfare minister, and with other portfolios. In any case in two to three weeks a welfare minister will be appointed in Israel," an aide said.

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