Lieberman orders to boycott UN envoy to Middle East, who criticized Israeli policies

Officials in the Defense Ministry have described this decision as "very unusual." MK Livni: "It will harm Israel's security."
Photo credit: Channel 2 News

In an unusual move, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered on Wednesday to boycott the UN's envoy to the Middle East, Nikolay Mladenov, following the latter's criticism of the Israeli government's policies in the West Bank.

Two weeks ago, Mladenov attacked Israel's construction policy in the settlements and its actions against Palestinian terrorism. "Let me be clear," he stated via video conference to the UN Security Council, "No legal acrobatics can change the fact that all outposts – whether 'legalized' under Israeli law or not, whether located on state land, or absentee land, or private Palestinian land – just like all settlements in Area C and east Jerusalem, remain illegal under international law."

Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni, Israel's former Justice Minister, criticized Lieberman's decision and said it was "harmful to Israel's security."

"This isn't the first time Lieberman has ordered to boycott the UN's envoy," Livni said. "As Foreign Minister he ordered to boycott the previous envoy, Robert Serry, and then came Operation Protective Edge and it turned out that Serry's job was very important for the IDF's ability to assess Hamas' situation and the situation in Gaza."

"Lieberman may think it is a right move politically to attack such an easy target, and that it makes him look strong and tough," Livni added, "especially amid the public disdain in Israel for the UN, part of which may be justified. But this is a wrong perception which will ultimately hurt Israel."

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