Israel’s Ambassador to Canada Ronen Hoffman announced Saturday that he would be stepping down from his position rather than staying on and serving under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new hardline government.
Hoffman became the second ambassador appointed by the previous unity government led by former prime ministers Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid to make a resignation announcement tied to ideological disagreements with the new coalition, widely seen as the most right-wing in Israel’s history. Israel’s Ambassador to France Yael German was the first to do on the day Netanyahu’s government was sworn in.
A former MK in Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, Hoffman tweeted, “With the transition to the new government and to different policy in Israel, my personal and professional integrity has compelled me to request to shorten my post and return to Israel this summer.”
He said he would stay on until a replacement is appointed later this year.
Hoffman’s announcement was far more diplomatic than the resignation letter German wrote to Netanyahu.
German said she was unable “to lie to myself and continue to represent policies that are so radically different from what I believe in.” She wrote that she was proud to represent Israel and the outgoing government, which was based on “democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”
“Sadly, the government you established and lead includes representatives of parties whose extreme positions are expressed in its guidelines, in its policies, and in statements on legislation — illegitimate in my eyes — that it intends to pass.”
Most of Lapid and Bennett’s political appointees have decided to remain in their posts for now, though. They include Ambassador to the US Mike Herzog, Consul General in New York Asaf Zamir, who is a longtime Netanyahu critic, Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek, Ambassador to Germany Ron Prosor and Ambassador to Angola Shimon Solomon. They were each given three-year contracts, and it is rare for a new government to recall an envoy appointed by a previous government.