On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the country’s foreign minister and communications minister, fired Nissim Ben-Shitrit from the position of director-general of the Foreign Ministry, a position into which he had been appointed by Avigdor Lieberman, the former Israeli foreign minister. Netanyahu then replaced Ben-Shitrit with Dore Gold, a long-time political ally who served under him as foreign policy adviser during his first term as Prime Minister in 1996. Gold has acted as Netanyahu’s foreign policy adviser since December 2013, billing around 200,000 shekels a year, reports Haaretz.
Here’s the New York Times on the appointment of the “hawkish” Gold:
He is a ubiquitous promoter of Mr. Netanyahu’s policies on international television who has warned against concessions to the Palestinians given the raging chaos in the Middle East. And his research group, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, staunchly opposes Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank or any division of Jerusalem, which the Palestinians plan as the capital of their future state.
Mr. Gold said in an interview that he did not oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state — unlike the new, far-right deputy foreign minister, who advocates Israeli annexation of the West Bank. But Mr. Gold sees most of the Palestinians’ conditions as impossible to balance with Israel’s security.
“We have to have defensible borders,” he said. “We have to have arrangements that take into account the changes that are occurring around Israel.” He emphasized the rise of the Islamic State and other extremist groups.
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.