Leading English-language government spokesman said suspended for irking UK’s Cameron

Eylon Levy, whom Sara Netanyahu has reportedly been pushing to oust, said suspended after British government complained about social media post challenging its FM

Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy, November 2023. (Avner Hofstein)
Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy, November 2023. (Avner Hofstein)

A prominent English-language government spokesman has been suspended from his position for social media comments about humanitarian aid for Gaza that peeved British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, according to a Tuesday report.

Eylon Levy’s suspension followed a complaint from the UK Foreign Office about his response to a post by Cameron on March 8, in which Britain’s top diplomat urged Israel “to allow more trucks into Gaza as the fastest way to get aid to those who need it,” Channel 12 news reported.

“I hope you are also aware there are NO limits on the entry of food, water, medicine, or shelter equipment into Gaza, and in fact the crossings have EXCESS capacity,” Levy wrote to Cameron in since-deleted comments on X.

“Test us. Send another 100 trucks a day to Kerem Shalom and we’ll get them in,” Levy added, referring to the crossing on Israel’s border with Gaza.

Levy, who was born and raised in England, had also issued a more biting response to a post from Cameron a day earlier, saying “it is factually incorrect that the flow of aid has not increased” and “if the UK wants more aid to enter Gaza, it should send it and we’ll make sure it gets in.”

Following the March 8 post, the Conservative chair of the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee said she shared it with Cameron and asked him to look into Levy’s statement that 100 more trucks can enter Gaza each day.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting in London, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The Channel 12 report, which did not cite a source, said the Foreign Office sent an official missive to the Foreign Ministry saying British diplomats “were surprised” by Levy’s post, and asked to clarify if his remarks “effectively attack Foreign Minister Cameron’s position and if they reflect the Israeli government’s official position.”

While the network said Levy was suspended following the complaint, it did not specify if the Foreign Ministry had pushed for the move or if it was initiated by the National Public Diplomacy Directorate, which is part of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The report also said Levy has been at home for more than a week since being suspended and was unlikely to return to the post.

News of Levy’s suspension came the same day that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained that Israel had a dearth of spokespeople who could “string two words together” in English. Netanyahu’s office later said that he “deeply values the work of his team and of the Public Diplomacy Directorate that operates under him, and he said this to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.”

It also came after Channel 12 reported in January that the prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, was seeking to have Levy fired over his past criticism of the premier, as well as over his participation in protests against the judicial overhaul over the course of last year. The National Public Diplomacy Directorate denied that Sara Netanyahu was seeking Levy’s dismissal for personal reasons.

Sara Netanyahu (front) arrives for a hearing with her husband (unseen) at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on January 23, 2023. (Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP)

Levy entered the position of government spokesman in the wake of the October 7 Hamas terror onslaught and quickly became a familiar face on British and American TV networks as he sought to defend the Jewish state and its actions while it reeled from the deadly blow dealt by the Gaza terror group.

Prior to that, he had been one of the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who took part in weekly protests against Netanyahu’s government coalition and its plan to overhaul the judiciary and curb its independent powers.

Levy, 33, was born in London to Israeli parents. He immigrated to Israel in August 2014, at the age of 23, to volunteer in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which ended soon after his arrival.

He served in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) as the aide-de-camp of the civil department.

He later worked as a news anchor for the Israel Broadcasting Authority in English and for i24News, and then as the international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog, before joining the National Public Diplomacy Directorate.

He left his role in Herzog’s office in 2023, at which point he participated in the anti-overhaul protests.

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