Boston consul general Nadav Tamir has arrived back in Israel to a very mixed welcome in the media and in the feisty Israeli blogosphere. Some voices back him firmly; others are equally forceful in condemning him for his handling of a memo critical of Israel's handling of its relationship with the United States.
Tamir was summoned home by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to explain the internal memo, which was leaked last to an Israeli television channel last week. An uproar ensued, with Tamir under fire from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman and his deputy foreign minister, Daniel Ayalon.
Just a couple of examples of the contrasting views being expressed in the Israeli media:
On the Jerusalem Post web site, commentator Isi Liebler says that however talented Tamir may be, his actions were "inexcusable." Liebler takes the view that Tamir clearly intended his memo to leak to the media. He says "no government would tolerate such behavior."
Presenting a contrasting view that strongly supports Tamir, former senior diplomat Alon Liel writes on the opinion page of the Jerusalem Post: "I have read secret diplomatic cables for 30 years and I can testify that this is the kind of report professional diplomacy was created for. Without seeing the current diplomatic correspondence (as I am no longer a government official), I can say that this is one of the most important cables sent by an Israeli diplomat this year - or maybe even this decade."
And in an editorial, the daily Haaretz offers some insights into the debate on Tamir's memo within the Foreign Ministry. It comes down on the side of Tamir.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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