ח' לחודש האחד עשר תשע"ו
YNET: Foreign Ministry employees announce Bennett boycott
In response to an interview in which Education Minister Naftali Bennett seemed to cast aspersions on the loyalty of Israeli diplomats, Foreign Ministry employees decide to stop cooperating with Bennett and announce they will boycott his foreign visits.
Itamar Eichner, 01.16.16
Condemnation has come in from across the political spectrum following Education Minister Naftali Bennett's statements that seemed to cast aspersions on the loyalty of Israel's Foreign Ministry employees.
At the end of the week Bennett stated that the actions of Alon Liel, former head of the Foreign Ministry, showed that he is a prominent left-wing activist who calls for increasing international pressure on Israel in order to end the occupation in the territories. This, Bennett said, reveals something about the DNA of the Foreign Ministry's employees.
Bennett's comments came following revelations that Liel had consulted with left-wing group Breaking the Silence.
In response, the employees decided to stop cooperating with Bennett and to boycott his visits abroad.
"I'm beginning to think that the Foreign Ministry has a problem in its DNA," Bennett said during an interview on Radio Tel Aviv. "There are always complaints about the Foreign Ministry. There is a profound problem with people like Alon Liel, who was at the ministry for a long time.
"They ask where the hasbara is. What hasbara? When you have the number one pyromaniac at the head of the system, what hasbara is there?" Bennett continued.
He further added that Alon Liel was responsible for Israel's foreign relations and is now trying to isolate the country. "After all that they shout that Israel is isolated in the world. It bothers me greatly that the man who was responsible for advancing Israel's international standing is now doing everything he can in order to harm it.”
On Friday a committee of Foreign Ministry employees published an official response, announcing: "The State of Israel's education minister has expressed distorted views against Foreign Ministry employees.
"In saying that the ministry's employees need their DNA checked, he is casting doubt on our loyalty to the state, its institutions and the government," the statement continued.Esser Agaroth (2¢):
"The outrageous statements of individual retirees, who have left the Foreign Ministry, are not an excuse for a minister of the State of Israel to unreservedly lash out against employees. (cont.)
It bothers me greatly that the man who was responsible for advancing Israel's international standing is now doing everything he can in order to harm it.”Interesting…. Am Yisra’el is supposed to remain a people, separate and distinct from other peoples. Obviously this is not uber-leftist Alon Liel’s goal, if Bennett’s accusations are true. Like most Leftists, his goal is probably for Jews to "blend in," and be like every other Western nation, emphasis on the word "Western," and "blend in," code for assimilate (ie. disappear).
Nevertheless, Liel's apparent interest in isolating Israel from the rest of the world does seem to be the end result. He may believe that he is weakening Israel’s hold on Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria). However, that is simply under his control as he believes it to be.
Minister of Education
However, the irony does not stop there. The civil servants, in other words, the paid employees, in one government ministry refuse to cooperate, and even shun, a government minister from another department, giving the term “gridlock” a whole new definiation.
Who is really in control of the government? The people we voted for? Or the people who were hired long ago, by the people we voted out of office? Scary thought, yet this is the reality in Israel.
This situation is presented perfectly in the 1980’s BBC sitcom “Yes Minister,” in which the civil servants, who are impossible to fire, are revealed to be those who are really in charge of their nation’s government.
The message of this show?
The elected officials are stupid, and the government would fall apart without the civil servants. We should be grateful for the civil servants. Even though they shamelessly manipulate everything, and everyone, behind the scenes.
Food for thought.
But, I digress...
The remainder of the YNET report then descends into chaos. Can you make heads or tails of it?
"We are taking these statements very seriously and are therefore briefing all Foreign Ministry workers to cease cooperating with Minister Bennett until he takes back his words and apologizes," the statement added.I checked for a Hebrew version of this report, but without success.
In response, Bennett's office stated: "The minister's statements in the interview were directed at those who act against the State of Israel such as Alon Liel, the former director general of the Foreign Ministry.
"The ministry's employees are working with devotion during difficult days for the country, and their mistaking these comments only proves that," the statement continued.
Following Bennett's remarks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the foreign minister, released an official statement rejecting the comments.
The only point which is clear is Bennett’s admonition of Foreign Ministry head Alon Liel. (Yeah, we got that.) Then it appears that he gives every other employee in the Foreign Ministry a backhanded compliment. And then, Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister, Netanyahu rejected the comments. But, which comments?
This lack of clarity of “He said, He said,” may be the fault of YNET. But, the confusing description of what is taking place both within and between government ministries also seems quite appropriate.