A threat from a junior London-based Israeli embassy worker to ‘take down’ a British government minister drew an immediate apology from the country’s most senior diplomat.
The Mail on Sunday newspaper posted undercover footage, taken in a covert sting operation, of the embassy employee telling a reporter from Al-Jazeera that “I want to take down… the Deputy Foreign Minister” (Sir Alan Duncan) – a long-time critic of Israel, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s second-in-command.
Duncan was “doing a lot of problems,” he added, before calling foreign office chief Johnson an “idiot” and mocking “crazy” opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his “weirdo” supporters.
The embassy apologized for the smears, saying it “rejects the remarks concerning Minister Duncan, which are completely unacceptable”.
“The comments were made by a junior embassy employee who is not an Israeli diplomat, and who will be ending his term of employment with the embassy shortly,” it added.
Ambassador Mark Regev (pictured) apologised personally to Duncan on Friday, according to the embassy.
Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed they had received an apology, and that it now considered “the matter closed”.
“The Israeli Ambassador has apologised and is clear these comments do not reflect the views of the Embassy or Government of Israel,” a spokesperson told The Independent.
“The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed.”
The Guardian reported that the footage was part of a wider project recording conversations with Israeli embassy staff, British politicians and pro-Israel supporters, which is set to air in documentaries that Al-Jazeera will broadcast from January 15.
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