Israel’s consul general in New York quits over defense minister’s sacking

Israel’s consul general in New York announced his resignation on Sunday, citing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to fire Israel’s defense minister, who had prompted delays in controversial judicial reforms.

Asaf Zamir announced his resignation in a statement posted on Twitter, saying he was “increasingly interested” in the policies of the Israeli government. He said proposed judicial reforms contributed to his concerns, and the dismissal of Defense Minister Joav Gallant on Sunday “persuaded” him to resign.

“Israel’s political situation has reached a crisis point and I feel a deep sense of responsibility and moral obligation to stand up for what is right and fight for the democratic values ​​I hold so dear,” said Zamir. said in a statement.

Netanyahu sacked Gallant on Sunday, pushing thousands of protesters into the streets. Gallant had spoken out against proposed judicial reforms the day before he was fired.

The plan would allow the government to overturn decisions of the Supreme Court and would give the executive branch more power to appoint judges.

The proposal has sparked outrage both in Israel and internationally, as protesters have flooded the streets since it was announced. US lawmakers have expressed concern over the new reforms, saying they could threaten Israeli democracy.

Zamir echoed these concerns in a statement, saying the new reforms would “undermine” the country’s democratic system.

“This is a pivotal moment in Israeli history. My time at the Consulate was productive and rewarding, but now is the time to take action and join my fellow citizens in shaping the future of Israel. I believe it is time to join the fight for a better, fairer and more equal Israel,” said Zamir.

“My decision to resign should not be seen as a rejection of Israel or its people. On the contrary, I am taking this step out of deep love for my country,” he continued. . “As a proud Israeli citizen, I believe it is my duty to ensure that Israel remains a beacon of democracy and freedom for the world.”

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