Liberman punishes senior diplomat for boycott leaks

Liberman punishes senior diplomat for boycott leaks

FM orders the 'isolation' of official who told press that ministry was ill-equipped to combat BDS threats

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (photo credit: Flash90)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (photo credit: Flash90)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman announced Monday that he took disciplinary action against a senior Foreign Ministry official who told the press that the government was unprepared to counter the threat of international boycotts.

At a press conference, Liberman launched a tirade against “anonymous sources” in the Foreign Ministry responsible for a series of leaks that have asserted Liberman and the rest of the government were doing nothing to counter BDS campaigns against Israel.

Liberman blasted one specific unnamed senior Foreign Ministry official for telling the press that “the Foreign Ministry believes the boycott can’t be stopped” and that the higher political echelons are “not making decisions” or taking boycott threats seriously. The leaked claim was reported on the front page of Monday’s Ma’ariv.

Liberman said the unnamed official had been identified and “isolated” 10 days ago in what he called a valid course of action. The official will no longer attend meetings concerning the boycott threat.

Foreign Ministry officials often brief the press about the ministry’s activities — sometimes formally, and sometimes less so.

“The next time you get a briefing from a senior source in the Foreign Ministry, it will be worth your while to get a response from the minister’s bureau,” Liberman told reporters. “There are people whose area of expertise is false leaks, and they should not be involved in the [ministry’s] activities,” he added.

In response to the official’s allegations, Liberman said the Foreign Ministry was making “concerted” efforts to counter the boycott threat, in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

He promised that the ministry had a “clear plan” to combat the threat, and that its strategy would “come to light” within a month and a half at the latest.

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