Envoy could be sacked after Israeli policy attack

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 13, 2009

An Israeli diplomat could be forced to resign following the publication of a letter he wrote criticising the government’s foreign policy.

The consul in Boston, Nadav Tamir, wrote in his letter that the government’s current attitude towards the American administration was causing Israel “strategic damage” and harming the “special relationship” between the countries.

The letter was sent to many officials throughout the Foreign Ministry and subsequently leaked to the media. Mr Tamir also wrote that many Americans feel that Iran, North Korea and Israel are hampering President Barak Obama’s peace-making efforts.

According to Mr Tamir, the cooler relations between Israel and the US also reduced Israel’s deterrence towards its Arab neighbours.

“We can influence the American policy regarding Iran, Syria and the Palestinians much more, if we revive our image as partners to the administration’s moves, not as a country that they need to contact through State Department briefings, as they do with Venezuela and North Korea,” he wrote.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reacted furiously to the letter, which was published in the media last week and ordered that Mr Tamir be summoned urgently back to Israel to give an explanation.

Mr Lieberman said that “anyone on the professional level who cannot carry out the policies of the elected government should resign”.

In the Foreign Ministry, Mr Tamir is being accused not just of writing the letter but also of making sure that it would be leaked to the media by sending it to so many other people.

“It’s true that this was a breach of protocol,” said one of the beleaguered diplomat’s colleagues, “but instead of attacking Nadav, they should have tried to listen to what he has to say.”

    Last updated: 9:36am, August 13 2009