Veteran diplomat Ilan Baruch says he can no longer represent government; Israel’s foreign policy is ‘wrong’
Israeli diplomat Ilan Baruch
A veteran diplomat says he has resigned from his post because he had a hard time defending the policies of Israel’s current government, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.
Ilan Baruch says he quit because “Israel’s foreign policy is wrong,” pointing to the Palestinian issue.
Should this trend continue, he warned, Israel will turn into a pariah state and face growing de-legitimization.
Baruch told Israel TV Wednesday that Israel’s standing was in danger because of its policies, which he said were “difficult to explain.”
“I can no longer honestly represent this government,” he said earlier. “As (Foreign Minister) Lieberman was elected by a large public in a legitimate manner, I cannot question him – but I don’t have to serve him, and therefore I’m quitting.”
“I have nothing against Lieberman the person,” Baruch added. However, he said he had a problem with the diplomatic messages conveyed by the Jewish state at this time and its dismissal of former understandings pertaining to the Road Map and the Palestinians.
‘Don’t blame anti-Semitism’
A more than 30-year veteran, Baruch resigned a few years before the usual retirement age. His last overseas posting was ambassador to South Africa last year. He quit several months ago. The longtime diplomat lost an eye during the War of Attrition and joined the Foreign Service in 1974.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was unusual for a diplomat to criticize the government upon retirement. Officials at Lieberman’s office declined to respond to Baruch’s comments.