‘Quit or go into politics,’ senior Israeli official tells envoys

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli diplomats should "quit or go into politics," Israel’s national security advisor said during an annual conference of senior Israeli envoys.

Yaakov Amidror reportedly admonished the envoys Monday during the Foreign Ministry’s annual conference. The remarks were first reported in the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot.

Amidror reportedly was responding to a question by Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, who asked why the Israeli government had approved plans to advance the development of housing in the controversial E1 corridor between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem the day after the United Nations approved the upgrading of the Palestinians’ state status. 

Prosor’s politely worded question reportedly was followed by similar questions asked in a less diplomatic manner, The Jerusalem Post reported. Other diplomats in the room applauded the questions.

"You are representatives of the government. If this does not suit you, you can either quit or go into politics," Amidror reportedly responded. "I am a government functionary, and you are government functionaries, and we represent the government. Our job is to advise, and in the end, the leaders make the decisions."

He added that American or British ambassadors would not applaud a question that challenged a government policy.

Amidror told the diplomats that the decision to advance construction plans for E1 had been made to make the Palestinians understand that there were consequences to their unilateral actions. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak to the ambassadors on Thursday.
 

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