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Netanyahu caves, hands Elkin Jerusalem portfolio

After assigning the Strategic Affairs portfolio to Gilad Erdan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compensated Immigration and Absorption Minister Zeev Elkin by handing him the delicate Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) listens to Foreign Affairs and Defence committee chair Zeev Elkin during a committee meeting at parliament in Jerusalem June 2, 2014. Netanyahu warned on Sunday against any international rush to recognise a Palestinian government due to be announced under a unity pact between the Fatah and Hamas Islamist groups.REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3RRU6
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Minister of Immigration and Absorption Zeev Elkin won a personal political victory May 26 when he came out on top in his recent bout of arm wrestling with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The grand prize that he won was the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs.

Earlier, after serving for 10 days as minister for strategic affairs, the ministry was taken away from him and given to Gilad Erdan when he rejoined the government. Elkin responded by sending a series of implicit threats to Netanyahu. He boycotted the Likud faction meeting May 25 and voted against the government’s position in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. What Elkin really wanted was compensation, in this case the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs. The problem was that Netanyahu had made a public promise to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat before the election that he would not appoint a new minister to this position. Now he found himself caught in a trap. Barkat tried to fight back, but he was contending against a Likud minister who is part of a very fragile coalition of just 61 members. In other words, he didn’t have a chance.

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