Netanyahu said weighing appointing Likud MK Bismuth as ambassador to France

Former French national only recently became a lawmaker after decades in media world and brief stint as envoy in Mauritania

Then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Israel Hayom editor Boaz Bismuth speak at the Israel Hayom forum in Jerusalem on June 27, 2019. (Gideon Markovitz)
Then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Israel Hayom editor Boaz Bismuth speak at the Israel Hayom forum in Jerusalem on June 27, 2019. (Gideon Markovitz)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering appointing Likud MK and former French national Boaz Bismuth to become Israel’s next ambassador to Paris, Channel 12 reported on Friday.

Bismuth is currently in his first term as an MK after decades in the media world with a brief hiatus to serve as Israel’s ambassador to Mauritania from 2004 to 2008.

The post in Paris was vacated last December by Yael German, a former Yesh Atid MK who resigned in protest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new hardline government.

The government only has several remaining political appointments to make and Netanyahu is balancing various considerations before making the decision, Channel 12 said.

Earlier in the week, the network revealed that Netanyahu wants to appoint another Likud MK, May Golan, to become Israel’s consul general in New York.

The revelation sparked immediate backlash from liberal Jewish leaders in the US as well as the Biden administration over Golan’s past incendiary rhetoric against migrants.

Channel 12 said Friday that Golan’s potential appointment has also faced pushback from within the Foreign Ministry with several diplomats expressing their frustration over such an “unworthy” candidate. Accordingly, the network said that a final decision on the matter has not yet been made.

Golan said Thursday she will work with all Jewish organizations as Israel’s consul general in New York, if she takes up an offer to serve in the high-profile diplomatic post.

Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and May Golan in the Knesset on December 29, 2022. (Netanyahu’s office/courtesy)

“I am very flattetrd [sic] to be considered for the post of Israel’s consul general in NY,” Golan wrote on social media. “I want to assure everyone that if I will be appointed, I will represent 100% the mainstream policies of PM Netanyahu and the Likud party to which I belong.”

A US State Department spokesperson criticized past statements from Golan on asylum seekers during a Thursday press briefing, without directly censuring her expected appointment.

“We would condemn such kind of rhetoric and believe that such kind of language is particularly damaging when it’s amplified in leadership positions,” State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the Union for Reform Judaism, slammed Netanyahu for offering Golan the position.

“We need a thoughtful, diplomatic, morally credible new consul general in NY. May Golan is none of those,” Jacobs said on Twitter. “Her brand of Zionism is antithetical to the majority of our community. She will harm not help Israel’s cause.”

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