Israel’s ambassador to France resigns over new government’s ‘extremist views’

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  December 30, 2022

New far-right administration ‘endangers the character and values of the State of Israel’, says outgoing ambassador.

The Israeli ambassador to France, Yael German [Yesh Atid / Blue & White alliance], resigned on Thursday in protest against the new far-right government.

In an explosive resignation letter, German wrote that Benjamin Netanyahu’s new administration “endangers the character and values of the State of Israel”.

“I was appointed Israel’s ambassador to France by outgoing prime minister Yair Lapid, and I was proud and delighted to represent the country and the world view of the outgoing government,” she wrote.

But the new government, she added, “includes representatives of parties whose extreme views are expressed in the coalition guidelines, in their policies and in their declarations regarding the passing of legislation that is, in my view, unacceptable.

“Under these circumstances, I cannot lie to myself and continue representing a policy that is so radically different from everything that I believe in.”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s sixth government was sworn into office on Thursday, as protesters took to the streets in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem.

The new government is set to be Israel’s most right-wing administration in history, including MPs from the Likud party, far-right religious Zionist factions and ultra-Orthodox parties, who together hold 64 of the parliament’s 120 seats.

The government said on Wednesday that its main guiding policy will be that “the Jewish people have an exclusive and indisputable right to all areas of the Land of Israel”. 

“The government will promote and develop settlements in all parts of the Land of Israel in the Galilee [Al-Jalil], Negev [Naqab], Golan, Judea and Samaria [West Bank],” it added, using the Israeli names for the occupied West Bank.

Lapid condemned his successor Netanyahu for “leading us towards a dark, halakhic [religious law] country”.

More than 100 former Israeli diplomats, including ambassadors, wrote a letter to Netanyahu on Thursday warning that the new far-right government will damage Israel’s global standing and could lead to an international probe into the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.