Israel’s consul general in New York Asaf Zamir resigned to protest his government’s judicial overhaul plan and to fight for democratic values.
“The political situation in Israel has reached a critical point,” he said in a letter addressed to the Foreign Ministry that he authored and posted on his Twitter page late Sunday night.
The past 18 months as Israel’s Consul General in New York were fulfilling and rewarding, but following today’s developments, it is now time for me to join the fight for Israel's future to ensure it remains a beacon of democracy and freedom in the world. Here is the letter I sent: pic.twitter.com/Sfz8y3ALLv— Asaf Zamir (@AmbAsafZamir) March 26, 2023
“I feel a deep sense of responsibility and moral obligation to stand up for what is right and to fight for the democratic values that I hold dear,” he wrote.
Zamir is the third envoy to take this step. Former ambassador to France Yael German resigned in December to protest the government’s policies, and the ambassador to Canada, Ronen Hoffman, did so in January.
All three were appointed by the past government headed by former prime ministers Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid.
The Foreign Ministry earlier this month had already summoned him to Jerusalem to explain remarks he had made at a public event in which he said he was “deeply concerned” about the direction of the country.
What did he write in his resignation letter?
In his resignation letter, he said he believed the “reform undermines the foundation of our democratic system and threatens the rule of law in our country.
“This is a pivotal moment in Israel’s history, and while my time at the consulate has been fulfilling and rewarding, I believe that it is now time for me to take action and join the fight for Israel’s future alongside fellow citizens as we work together to build a better, more just and more equal Israel.”
Zamir said he decided to take the step after Yoav Gallant was fired as defense minister on Sunday for warning that the judicial overhaul plan was damaging the country’s security and calling for a lull in the proceedings.
“Today’s dangerous decision to fire the minister of defense convinced me that I can no longer continue representing this government.
“My decision to resign should not be seen as a rejection of Israel or its people. On the contrary, I am taking this step because of my deep love for this country.
“As a proud Israeli citizen, I believe it is my duty to assume that Israel remains a beacon of democracy and freedom in the world,” Zamir said.