Israel’s Consul General in New York, Asaf Zamir, announced on Sunday his resignation in protest over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s firing of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant who publicly criticized the judicial overhaul.
“Today’s dangerous decision to fire the minister of defense, convinced me that I can no longer continue representing this government. I have become increasingly concerned with the policies of the new government, and in particular, the judicial reform it is leading,” Zamir wrote on Twitter.
He added: “This is a pivotal moment in Israel’s history… I believe that it is now time for me to take action and join the fight for Israel’s future alongside fellow citizens as we work together to build a better, more just and more equal Israel.”
Zamir said his resignation should not be perceived in any way as a rejection of Israel or its people. “As a proud Israeli citizen, I believe it is my duty to ensure that Israel remains a beacon of democracy and freedom in the world.”
His resignation comes amid ongoing protests that saw tens of thousands of Israelis rally in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem after protest leaders called for a demonstration Sunday night following the firing of Galant.
Earlier, Netanyahu’s office announced Gallant’s dismissal. The dismissed defense chief had on Saturday publicly criticized the government’s controversial reforms of the judicial system as presenting a danger to state security in light of the widespread protests within the file and ranke of the military.
Political figures and business leaders alike decried Gallant’s dismissal, saying that Netanyahu posed a “danger” to Israel and labelled him a “dictator”.
Since its announcement, Netanyahu’s planned overhaul had ignited opposition far and wide across Israel. Tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest against the contentious reforms, and several politicians, former cabinet members, and community leaders have publicly taken a stand against it.
Source: Al Arabiya