Special Interview Dulzin May Be New Foreign Minister
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Special Interview Dulzin May Be New Foreign Minister

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Leon Dulzin, treasurer of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, seems to be Likud’s strongest candidate for the post of Foreign Minister, according to informed political sources. Dulzin himself did not deny this in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. But he said it was too early yet to discuss Cabinet portfolios.

Dulzin is a leader of the Liberal Party in Likud second only in that party to Simcha Ehrlich, an economics expert with no pretensions to the prestigious Foreign Ministry portfolio. Obviously Dulzin’s chances of getting the post will depend on the eventual composition of the coalition. If the Democratic Movement for Change does join in the end, it will expect some of the top-flight positions to come its way.

On the other hand, DMC leader Yigal Yadin and his top aides have directed most of their interests and attention during the campaign to social and economic problems and may well seek to have specifically domestic portfolios.


Dulzin, urbane and cultured man-of-the-world who immigrated to Israel in the 1950s from Mexico, is supported for the Foreign Minister post by his Liberal colleagues because they see in him a counterpoise to the rigidity of Menachem Beigin. In Likud terms Dulzin is considered something of a “dove.” Coupled with that he is known as one of the few men within the bloc who can stand up to Beigin–and yet remain on excellent terms with him.

Dulzin told the JTA that if he is offered the post he will face a painful dilemma over choosing between it and the Jewish Agency-WZO chairmanship which is now his for the asking. Acting chairman twice, Dulzin was defeated for the chairmanship by Labor’s Yosef Almogi who, with the change of government in Israel, will be automatically required to step down at the Zionist Congress in February, 1978–if he does not do so earlier on his own volition. The universally accepted understanding is, the Jewish Agency-WZO head must hail from the party that is in power in Israel.


Meanwhile, the man tipped to get the key defense portfolio is Likud election boss and former Air Force Chief Ezer Weizman. His appointment, it is understood, would be welcomed in some defense establishment circles. He would certainly be much more widely accepted than another Likud candidate for the job, Arik Sharon. It is thought that Likud leaders themselves, especially Liberal leaders who Sharon reviled during the election campaign, will block Sharon’s efforts to get the defense spot.

There is speculation, however, that Sharon may return to the army as Chief of Staff. It was the Labor government’s repeated refusal to consider the brilliant but impetuous general for that post that prompted Sharon to leave the army in 1972 and again (after his Yom Kippur War return) in 1974.

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