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Ronen Bar approved by gov’t as next Shin Bet chief

CM 11/10/2021

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The cabinet on Monday gave final approval to Ronen Bar to become the next chief of the Shin Bet starting as of Wednesday.
The government’s vetting committee for senior appointments on Friday had already cleared Bar, who until now has publicly simply been known as “R”.
The entire political spectrum had been supportive of Bar’s nomination following his decades in the agency, including serving as the current deputy chief.
Briefly, between Wednesday night and Friday, there was sudden concern that his nomination might tank like Moshe Edri, who was blocked by the vetting committee in 2018 from becoming chief of police based on a last minute scandal.
But the Goldenberg Committee for Senior Appointments, led by former Supreme Court justice and state comptroller Eliezer Goldenberg, said it found nothing improper about Bar’s conduct once it heard from him, outgoing Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman and other involved officials.
Since the anonymous letter detailing two unspecified alleged incidents of misconduct against Bar have been rejected and Shin Bet processes are classified, it is unclear whether their substance will ever come to light.
On September 1, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett nominated Bar to succeed Argaman.
Bar beat out the most recent former deputy Shin Bet chief, also known as “R” in the mainly two-way race.
Prior to June when opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister, former senior Shin Bet official and Netanyahu’s national security council chief Meir Ben-Shabbat had been the favorite.
But he was never seriously considered for the position by Bennett due to his closeness with Netanyahu and objections to his candidacy from within portions of the Shin Bet itself.
Bar is 55, married, and has three children.
He had a university degree in political science and philosophy from Tel Aviv University and a master’s degree in public management from Harvard University.
Bar served in the IDF as part of the elite Sayeret Matkal Reconnaissance Special Forces unit.
Bennett served in the same unit during his IDF service, though he is younger than Bar, and some believe this influenced the final decision.
In 2011, Bar was appointed head of the Shin Bet’s operations.
Then in 2016, he was promoted to be the head of Shin Bet headquarters, the number three post responsible for force buildup. 
In 2018, he replaced the other R as deputy chief of the agency.
Bar’s units have been given numerous security awards over the years.
Bennett said that “Bar is a daring fighter and an excellent commander. I have no doubt that he will lead the agency to new highs of excellence for the sake of Israel’s security.”
Those who supported either of the two deputy chief Rs all along have noted that almost all recent Shin Bet chiefs served as deputy chiefs beforehand.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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