The Israeli government says that Israel's consul general in Boston, Nadav Tamir, met today with a senior foreign ministry official, said he was sorry that a memo he wrote had leaked -- and was told to return to Boston next week and get back to work.
Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem that Tamir met with Yossi Gal, the director general of the ministry to go over the matter, and that "the page is turned, the case is closed. We all want to put this behind us."
The Israeli consulate in Boston later confirmed that Tamir will return to work at the consulate next week. In a statement, the consulate said that Tamir said "had no intention of the memo becoming public, and that it was part of an ongoing discourse between him and his superiors. He also added that he is saddened by the interpretations surrounding the incident. The Consul General said he completely agrees that a civil servant can't publicly criticize his government and sees his role as representing the state of Israel and its elected officials."
(See the full text of the statement below.)
Palmor said Gal had criticized Tamir for distributing his internal memo "too widely," and that Tamir had "expressed his regret that it was given such a wide distribution because that was not his intent." But Palmor said there was no official censure or other reprimand of Tamir, contrary to the description of the meeting on some Israeli news sites today. Palmor said: "it was not anything like being scolded or reprimanded."
The Ha'aretz newspaper web site and the Hebrew language web site YNet, owned by Israel's largest paper, Yediot Ahronot, carried accounts of the closed-door meeting between. Israel's Channel 10, which had broadcast the initial leak of Tamir's memo a week ago, also carried details of the meeting.
Ha'aretz said Gal had censured Tamir, and that Tamir had apologized for the way the incident unfolded.
Tamir was summoned back to Jerusalem this week after the leak of an internal document he wrote criticizing the Israeli government's handling of its relations with the United States. Some critics said Tamir should be fired or recalled, while many Jewish organizations in Boston came to his defense, saying he had done outstanding work in New England on behalf of Israel.
Channel 10 quoted Gal as saying: "There was no intention for the content of the memo to go beyond the internal correspondence [between Tamir and] his superiors, and that he regrets the interpretation that the incident sparked."
Ha'aretz said that " following the consultation, Gal censured Tamir for lack of judgment in the way that he had disseminated the memo to a wide list of recipients. The consul-general acknowledged his culpability and said that he regretted the fact that the memo was leaked to the public."
"Tamir added that he understands the fact that the holder of a public office cannot publicly criticize the policies of the government that assigned him to his post, and that he sees his job as an opportunity to represent Israel and its elected government," Ha'aretz said.
Click below to see full text of the Israeli consulate's press release:
***Consul General Nadav Tamir to Return to Boston Next Week***
"As instructed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, Consul General of Israel to New England Nadav Tamir, reported today for a clarification with the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yossi Gal, following unauthorized publication of his cable about the Israel - United States relationship.
After the clarification, the Director General said Consul General Tamir should've been more careful giving the cable wide distribution within the Foreign Ministry. The Consul General concurred with the Director General's assessment and expressed sorrow that the cable was leaked to the media. Tamir went on to say he had no intention of the memo becoming public, and that it was part of an ongoing discourse between him and his superiors. He also added that he is saddened by the interpretations surrounding the incident.
The Consul General said he completely agrees that a civil servant can't publicly criticize his government and sees his role as representing the state of Israel and its elected officials.
The Director General said, in accordance with the instructions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the ministry board meeting on August 10th, that he expects every employee to report his analysis to his superiors using his best professional judgment and the proper channels and procedures. He added that an employee wishing to share his analysis can report, at any time, to his superior, the Director General, or the Foreign Minister and receive a response.
The Consul General will return to his posting at the beginning of next week."
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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