Photo Credit: Courtesy
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at the OECD conference in Paris.

Constitutional Committee Chairman MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism) on Monday night appealed to Foreign Minister Eli Cohen (Likud) to investigate suspicions of a breach of trust on the part of the employees of the Israeli embassy in Paris, in their conduct during the recent visit of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.


Rothman relied on an Amit Segal report on News12, that the acting ambassador, who took over for Yael German, a Yesh Atid politician, and embassy staff did their best to sabotage Smotrich’s visit. According to Segal, embassy officials contacted members of the French Jewish community to urge them to boycott the visit, or, should they choose to attend meetings with the visiting minister, bombard him with questions about the judicial reform.

Rothman told the foreign minister: “As you well know, the role of Israeli embassies in the world is to act in a professional, stately, and non-political manner. The conduct that emerges from the report is serious beyond compare, and undermines the very justification for the activity of the embassy and the entire foreign service.”

“We cannot agree with an unprecedented situation in which embassy employees act in a distinctly political manner while harming the government of Israel and its status in France and the world,” Rothman said.

“Moreover, it appears that the described conduct was a misuse of a governmental position as defined in section 280 of the Penal Law, 1977-777, and even a breach of trust as defined in section 284 of the law, and requires launching a criminal investigation, or, at the very least, a disciplinary one. I would ask you to recall the [acting] ambassador immediately, and take steps to remove any person in the embassy in France who acted contrary to their legal duty,” MK Rothman concluded.

MK Ohad Tal (Religious Zionism) also sent the foreign minister a demand to investigate the Paris embassy staff, saying, “This conduct is tantamount to a breach of trust against their post and the State of Israel, and contradicts every obligation required by the ethical code for a civil servant, and is a scandalous event that cannot be put on the agenda.”

MK Tal added: “Therefore, I appeal to you to look into the case in detail and to examine in its wake the continuation of the term of office of the caretaker ambassador, as well as severe steps against anyone involved in this extraordinary affair.”


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