Former Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon testified in court Thursday against his former boss, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is on trial for allegedly trying to win an ambassadorial post for Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, who police say tipped off Lieberman about a police probe against him in Belarus.
Ayalon was head of the Foreign Ministry appointments committee at the time and recalled that Lieberman told him in his office, “We need to appoint Ben Aryeh” as ambassador to Latvia.
Ayalon has no reason to love Lieberman, who dumped him from the Israel Beiteinu list of Knesset Member candidates in the last election.
Ayalon claims, “I am not vengeful and I don’t hold grudges…. A trial is about justice and truth; it is not at all about my personal political future.”
After Ayalon said in court that he was willing to shake hands with Lieberman, the defendant shot back, “I won’t shake hands with frauds and liars.”
The outcome of the trial will determine Lieberman’s political future. If he is found guilty of fraud and is jailed for at least three months, or if the court decides his crime is a “mark of shame,” he will be prohibited from holding a Cabinet position for seven years.