Israeli Envoy to Canada Steps Down Citing Differences with Netanyahu Government
i24 News – Israel’s Ambassador to Canada Ronen Hoffman announced his resignation on Sunday, citing his disagreement with the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
Hoffman was appointed by Netanyahu predecessor, centrist Yair Lapid, with whose Yesh Atid party he was elected to parliament in 2013.
“With the transition to the new government and to different policy in Israel, my personal and professional integrity has compelled me to request to shorten my post and return to Israel this summer,” he wrote on Twitter. He will remain in Ottawa until the summer, by which time a successor should to be appointed.
Hoffman follows in the steps of fellow Yesh Atid lawmaker Yael German, who stepped down as the ambassador to France last month. German, however, was more explicitly political in her stated reasons.
Accusing Netanyahu of working to subvert Israel’s democratic values, German stated that “the government you established and lead includes representatives of parties whose extreme positions are expressed in its guidelines, in its policies, and in statements on legislation — illegitimate legislation in my eyes — it intends to pass.” She referred to the hard-right politicians such as Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.
While Netanyahu’s right-wing block secured a strong majority in the last year’s general election, some in Israel take issue with the inclusion in the governing coalition of such firebrands as Ben-Gvir and Smotrich. The prime minister’s alliance with ultra-Orthodox parties and the reform to Israel’s judiciary put forward by Justice Minister Yariv Levin are also bones on contention for some Israelis.
On Saturday, over 100,000 turned out to a protest in Tel Aviv, the third such rally in as many weeks, and many more Israelis demonstrated in Jerusalem, Haifa and other cities.