JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli ambassadors around the world need to stop "groveling," Israel’s foreign minister said.
Avigdor Lieberman told the nearly 150 envoys at the close of an ambassador’s conference Dec. 30 in Jerusalem that "The time of groveling is over. We will not look for pretexts for conflict or friction, but we will not turn the other cheek."
"Terms like ‘national honor’ have value in the Middle East," he said later. "There is no need to provoke or exaggerate, but there must not be an attitude of obsequiousness and self-deprecation and the need to always justify the other side. This is a wrong approach."
Lieberman said the Foreign Ministry’s new policy includes being on "good terms" and respecting the host nations, "but we will not tolerate insults and challenges."
The ambassadors, many of whom say they are frustrated with the minister, did not have the opportunity to ask questions of Lieberman following his talk, according to Haaretz.