For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Boston Consul General Nadav Tamir may be the most talented diplomat in the foreign ministry. He should nevertheless be dismissed forthwith, or at the very least carpeted and downgraded.
Even if the policy of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was flawed, Tamir's outburst was inexcusable. A diplomat is appointed to serve the government elected by the people. If he feels that the policies he is obliged to present are so diametrically counter to his beliefs that he must publicly express his opposition, he has the choice of resigning and launching a political campaign against the government. Unfortunately Tamir acted as though he could have his cake and eat it too.
The role of a diplomat includes conveying - through discrete, appropriate channels - evaluations of the political situation in his region. Clearly the role of a local consul general is not to distribute memoranda providing his personal assessment of the government policies at the national level. That is the province of an ambassador (to whom Tamir should report) who would ensure that if appropriate, such reviews or assessments are channeled to the appropriate authority in Jerusalem.
But Tamir bypassed the ambassador and distributed his memo to a wide distribution list.
Were the Foreign Ministry to be transformed into an arena in which individual diplomats could freely and widely promote and distribute their political views or agendas it would become totally dysfunctional.
Tamir's behavior has no bearing on his political outlook or the specific issues involved. As a civil servant, he breached the ultimate red line. No Foreign Ministry or State Department in any country would tolerate such behavior. Just imagine a United States Consul, without the approval of his Ambassador, distributing a memorandum containing wide-ranging criticisms of President Barack Obama's Middle East policies and circulating such a document throughout the State Department. He would undoubtedly be terminated.
The Boston Jewish community leaders who are defending their consul general are doing everyone, including themselves, a disservice. Tamir's abilities and track record has absolutely no bearing on this matter. What is at stake is the clear obligation of a civil servant, especially a diplomat, to recognize that his role is limited to representing his government. His irresponsibility is magnified by the fact that as he is a local diplomat, a consul general, giving national evaluations is totally beyond his area of responsibility. Even if is his evaluations were entirely correct, he was operating beyond his jurisdiction.
The call by the Israeli left-wing media to transform Tamir, an irresponsible junior diplomat, into a martyr for "daring to tell the truth" combines an ideological agenda with an extension of efforts to discredit Foreign Minister Lieberman. There is little doubt as to how the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and then-foreign minister Shimon Peres would have responded if a consul of Tamir's caliber had circulated such a memorandum critical of the impact of the Oslo Accords. No government would tolerate such behavior.
The Foreign Ministry has regrettably not performed as well as one would have hoped in recent years. Today, in the midst of enormously challenging times, when the war of ideas has assumed a crucial role, the Foreign Ministry cannot tolerate diplomats who breach their public service obligations and feel they are entitled to indulge in personal diplomacy and political agendas. This must apply to all governments irrespective of political orientation.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"