Israel’s Deputy FM Reprimands Ambassador for Refusing Directive to Use Confiscated ‘Terror Dolls’ as Illustration of Palestinian Incitement
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, reprimanded an Israeli diplomat for insubordination on Monday, The Algemeiner has learned.
Hotovely sent a strongly worded telegram to Dan Ashbel, Israel’s ambassador to Finland, calling him to task for what she viewed as his inappropriate reaction to a Foreign Ministry directive she issued recently, relating to a shipment of dolls, dressed as terrorists, intercepted on its way to the Palestinian Authority earlier this month.
According to the directive — initiated by Hotovely as part of a comprehensive effort to combat Palestinian incitement — every Israeli embassy in the world would receive approximately 100 of the 4,000 dolls confiscated on December 8 by Haifa Port customs officials, who discovered them in a crate originating in the United Arab Emirates and headed for the PA. These embassies would then use the dolls to demonstrate the nature and extent of the education of Palestinian youth to engage in terrorism against Israelis.
Hotovely’s spokesman told The Algemeiner that the gist of the telegram to Arbel was as follows: “As an emissary who represents the state of Israel, you are required to adhere to the governmental and professional guidelines, which determined that combating incitement is the Foreign Ministry’s flagship struggle. Surely you are aware that examples such as this one illustrate this struggle and public diplomacy efforts against Palestinian incitement.”
This message came on the heels of Ashbel’s objection to the Foreign Ministry directive, which he openly expressed in a telegram to fellow diplomats.
In the telegram, Ashbel told his colleagues that what comes to mind when reading Hotovely’s “surreal” guidelines is distributing marijuana to police stations, for the purpose of “illustrating” its harmful effect.
“I’m not a lawyer,” he wrote. “But it seems to me that a confiscating body is forbidden from making any kind of use of the contraband.” He gave the example of smuggled cigarettes being confiscated and then distributed among customs officials, rather than destroyed.
Ashbel, a veteran diplomat with many years in Israel’s foreign service, then urged his fellow ambassadors not to make use of the dolls.
The dolls in question are keffiyeh-clad children with rocks in their hands and bearing the messages “Jerusalem is ours” and “Jerusalem, we are coming” in Arabic. Israel has been appealing to the PA to cease inciting its citizens to commit violence against Israelis – which is said to be responsible for the surge in Palestinian terrorism that has swept the Jewish state since September.