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Netanyahu adds radical-right politician to Security Cabinet

On the backdrop of tensions in Gaza, the decision of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to include Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich in the Security Cabinet could turn into a disaster.

On June 17, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Bezalel Smotrich of the United Right alliance as minister of transportation and a member of the Security Cabinet, the inner government forum tasked with defense and diplomacy policies. The newly named minister of education, United Right Chair Rabbi Rafi Peretz, was also named to the Cabinet, albeit as a nonvoting observer.

Unlike Peretz, who served in the past as a career officer and fighter pilot, Smotrich evaded full military service. He enlisted at the age of 28 for 18 months under an arrangement for yeshiva students after graduating law school. Most Israelis are obliged to go into the army at the age of 18 for three years. A month after his enlistment, he took time off to run for the 18th Knesset in 2009, completing his service after failing to be elected.

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