Officials snicker at Livni's letter of thanks

Foreign Ministry employees react with cynicism and bemusement to letter thanking them for work on USNC 1701.

A number of Foreign Ministry employees reacted with a mixture of cynicism and bemusement Tuesday to a letter Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni sent out to ministry workers thanking them for their work on UN Security Council Resolution 1701, 18 months after that resolution ended the Second Lebanon War. "In these days after the publication of the Winograd Committee Report, I thought it proper to turn to you with a few words," read the letter, addressed to the ministry's workers both in Israel and overseas. "The report holds a mirror to Israel's leadership [and] reflects a very harsh picture, alongside a clear call regarding the objectives and the processes that need to be undertaken in the future. The fact that United Nations Resolution 1701 is presented in the report as an achievement does not diminish the severity of its conclusions," Livni wrote. "Still, I thought it proper to thank the workers of the ministry for the concerted efforts that were made during the war and which brought about the formulation of the UN resolution through staff work that received favorable mention in the report." One ministry official said the letter smacked of self-aggrandizement, adding that it was clear Livni had issued it now because she wanted to amplify that the work for which she was responsible - UN Security Council Resolution 1701 - had received favorable mention by the Winograd Committee. The official also said it was "egocentric" for Livni to praise the ministry for its part in dealing with the resolution, but not to praise the ministry and representatives abroad for the "yeomen's" work they did in various spheres during the war. "Where is the praise for the embassy workers all over the world who worked hard to ensure there were not boycotts or censures against Israel?" the official said. "Not everything revolved around the Security Council resolution." Another official noted that the letter, addressed to all employees, had been read by many of them on Ynet before they saw it in their inboxes.