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Ministerial Posts Reshuffle Sought

August 6, 1980
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Premier Menachem Begin was today trying to win support from the members of the Cabinet for his proposed reshuffle of ministerial posts in time for their approval by the Knesset at a special session next week. But so far, the only agreement is for Minister-Without-Portfolio Moshe Nissim of the Liberal Party to become Justice Minister, replacing the Democratic Movement’s Shmuel Tamir, who officially resigned from the post Sunday.

But Begin still cannot get agreement to the reshuffle he proposed when Defense Minister Ezer Weizman resigned several months ago. He would still like to have Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir of Herut become Defense Minister and Energy Minister Yitzhak Modai of the Liberal Party take over the Foreign Ministry.

At a meeting with Begin today, Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin, leader of the Democratic Movement, insisted that his group would not agree to Modai becoming Foreign Minister. He also said that the DM would never agree to Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon becoming Defense Minister, an appointment Sharon demanded when Weizman resigned.

Another person still mentioned for the Foreign Ministry is Moshe Arens, chairman of the Knesset Security and Foreign Affairs Committee. The situation has become further complicated by Shamir’s request now to remain at the Foreign Ministry.

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