Israel’s Consul General in NY resigns in protest over defense minister firing
Israel’s Consul General in New York – Asaf Zamir – says his decision to resign should not be seen as a rejection of Israel or its people, but rather a move to join the fight for Israel’s future and democracy.
Zamir says the Political situation in Israel has reached a critical point – as evident in the chaos there now.
Israeli cities on Sunday night erupted in protest after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sacked his Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant – a member of his own Likud Party, after Gallant called for a pause in the government’s controversial plan to weaken Israel’s judiciary – essentially stripping its power to have the final say on Israel’s laws.
The plan triggered weeks of massive protests, an estimated 300,000 citizens marched on Saturday – many alleging the plan is a power grab that could make Israel, an autocracy more like Turkey or Russia.
“We have to fight for our rights because of the plans of Benjamin Netanyahu that want to turn this nation into a dictatorship,” said protester Elimanch Crysdal.
The unprecedented anger spread to Israel’s military with hundreds of reservists refusing to report for duty, but for now, Netanyahu pressed on with a key parliamentary vote expected this week on a law that would give the current ruling coalition ultimate control over most judicial appointments.
Netanyahu’s opponents accuse him of weakening the judiciary to protect himself, as he is on trial over serious corruption allegations. Netanyahu denies all charges.
Those protesting say this is now escalating into an existential battle for Israel’s democratic soul.