May 16, 2022

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Crisis in Ukraine Increases Pressure to Choose Head of Jewish Agency

2 min read

It is widely believed that the current war in the country of Ukraine is likely to give a rise to the chances of the Jewish Agency choosing a head in the next couple of days. The various candidates for the position discussed this matter late on Saturday night and concluded that the selection committee of the Jewish Agency is quite close to choosing its new chairman. The committee has set a meeting for Sunday afternoon. This is going to be held ahead of the meeting set for the Board of Governors of the agency on Sunday night. All these governors came back just recently from paying a visit to the country of United Arab Emirates.

It has further been revealed that it is important for a candidate to be chosen to head the Jewish Agency in the next couple of days. The board is set to hold several of its meetings, which will end on Tuesday night. Failure to choose a head by that time will ensure that the Yaakov Hagoel, the interim agency chairman, will retain his position. He will remain the head until the board convenes the next time in the month of July. According to one of the candidates, the selection committee is afraid that the absence of a real head during the ongoing crisis of Ukraine will damage the reputation of the Jewish Agency. According to them, the position of the chairman being vacant is a sign of indecisiveness. 

Just recently, one hurdle arising in the selection of a head was eliminated with the signing of an agreement. As per the deal, Sam Grundwerg, the current head of the Keren Hayesod, will retain his position until the Zionist Congress reconvenes in the year 2025. This will happen despite previous agreements made against this very condition. The two representatives of Keren Hayesod, who are a part of the committee, said that they would not give any votes for the chairman of the agency. They put forth a condition, saying that they wanted to ensure that the job belonging to Grundwerg was once again renewed. In order to be chosen, he requires support from at least nine of the total ten members, who make up the selection committee.

Mickey Levy, the Speaker of the Knesset wrote a letter to Yariv Levin, the chairman of the Likud faction, just a couple of days ago. In his letter, he requested the chairman to allow the formation of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora Affairs Committee. It was revealed that the committee has not yet had a meeting, ever since the last Knesset dispersed no less than 14 months ago. This was because it was going to be chaired by an MK belonging to the opposition party, which is boycotting all committees of the Knesset. Levy went on to say to Levin that the committee is of the utmost importance to supervise the expected inflow of immigrants from the country of Ukraine. However, the chairman of the Likud faction denied the offer. 

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