European diplomats have called National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror aggressive and arrogant for "reprimanding" EU countries for their policies toward Israel, during what was supposed to be a routine briefing.
Amidror had been invited to give a political-security briefing to 27 European Union ambassadors to Israel. Three diplomats who were present at the meeting, on 14 July, told Haaretz that the national security adviser’s style was blunt and that many ambassadors were insulted at what they perceived to have been a reprimand of the EU.
"He was aggressive, contemptuous and arrogant," one of the ambassadors told Haaretz. "Some of the ambassadors were genuinely traumatized."
Amidror told the ambassadors that the EU is always critical of Israel but never of the Palestinians. He said that the EU, as a group, is unable to adopt a balanced stance, and said that Israel cannot be blamed for everything.
Amidror warned that unless the EU altered its position and pressured the Palestinians, there would be no resumption of negotiations between the two sides.
Amidror added, "You only support the portion of the [Barack] Obama address that is good for the Palestinians, and not the portions that are good for Israel. You need to speak more like Hillary Clinton and less like [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergey Lavrov."
At the end of the briefing Amidror apologized for his style. "I apologize if I was blunt – I am not a diplomat," he was quoted as saying.
Some diplomats from key European countries were shocked by the national security adviser’s style and sent extensive messages on the meeting to their capitals.
One ambassador said that "Amidror’s tone was very firm."
Another noted that "Amidror’s message was not new but his style was aggressive and admonishing. You invite someone to your house and you do not expect him to talk this way to you. You can be critical but one should be polite."
"Yaakov Amidror expressed his opinion at the forum of European Union ambassadors in a direct and candid manner, but he wasn’t insulting or patronizing as claimed," said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. "A number of the ambassadors who were present at the forum even spoke to Amidror of their appreciation for the frankness of his statements and they continue to conduct a fruitful dialogue with him. Amidror did not say the things attributed to him vis-a-vis Clinton and Lavrov."