JERUSALEM (May. 18)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin told the Cabinet today that he would appoint Gen. (Res.) Rehavam Zeevi as his intelligence advisor — following a recommendation by the Agranat Commission calling for the establishment of such a post. Rabin said Zeevi would continue in his present role as advisor on "special" affairs, understood to mean coordinator of anti-terrorist activities. Zeevi’s new appointment takes effect May 25.
The Premier’s announcement came in response to a question from Tourism Minister Moshe Kol regarding the disposition of this recommendation by the Agranat commission. Last Friday, in an interview in Maariv, commission member Yigael Yadin sharply criticized the government for not having implemented the recommendation. But the official Cabinet communique today pointedly noted that Kol had raised the point last week before the Yadin interview.
Rabin has in the past expressed reservations over the recommendation, but has now apparently reconciled himself to it. Cabinet Secretary Gershon Avner said there was no discussion today of the precise functions of Zeevi in his new post but recalled that the Agranat Commission itself had delineated the functions it thought necessary, Avner volunteered a rundown of the other Agranat recommendations and a checklist of their implementation.
They include a clearer definition of the roles of the Cabinet, the Premier, the Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff. Avner said that had been the subject of an extensive report by a ministerial committee under Justice Minister Haim Zadok and the report was "on the Cabinet’s agenda."
MINISTERIAL DEFENSE COMMITTEE APPROVED
Avner said the Zadok committee also approved the Agranat recommendation to establish a special Ministerial Defense Committee. He said the Cabinet approved it in principle and agreed to a membership of 11 out of the 20 Cabinet ministers. Hitherto, the entire Cabinet has functioned, when required, as a ministerial security committee whose deliberations were conducted in closed session and classified secret. Avner said the problem still remained of selecting the ministers for the Defense Committee because each political faction in the government demands representation.
Avner said that the establishment of a small "war cabinet" to function in the event of war was also under consideration. He stated that the strengthening of the Foreign Ministry’s research department, recommended by the Agranat panel, has been implemented by the creation of a new "center for political research and planning" which now operates within the Ministry.
Avner said Rabin reported that improved methods of disseminating raw intelligence data have been put into effect along with changes in the structure of the military intelligence corps and the establishment of a unit for assessing information within the "Mossad", the secret service.
During today’s Cabinet meeting the ministers were briefed on security matters by Defense Minister Shimon Peres and Chief of Staff Gen, Mordechai Gur. No details were released.