London- In embarrassing leaked footage, Israeli diplomat Shai Masot clearly sounds his embassy’s strong desire to take down British MP Sir Alan Duncan, the senior Foreign Office minister, for supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state. Rushing into damage control, The Israeli embassy in London issued an official apology on behalf of the statements made by Masot, hoping to dodge a diplomatic crisis with Britain.
The embassy said Ambassador Mark Regev had spoken to Duncan on Friday, apologized for the comments and made clear that the embassy considered the remarks to be completely unacceptable.
Going viral, leaked material show that Masot clearly worded his desire to debase Sir Duncan and him considering British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson a fool.
A foreign office spokeswoman, in writing, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Israeli ambassador apologized, and made it clear that his statements do not represent the views of the embassy or the Israeli government. The statement stressed that Britain enjoys a strong relationship with Israel, and that the situation is already overcome. “The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed,” the spokesman said.
The spokeswoman refused to give additional details on stepping up security measures for Sir Duncan.
Reuters reported that Shai Masot, a senior political officer at the embassy, was secretly filmed discussing British lawmakers by broadcaster Al Jazeera. The footage was obtained by the Mail on Sunday.
“The Embassy of Israel 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,” a spokesman said in a statement.
Masot was talking to Maria Strizzolo, who was previously an aide to another minister, and an undercover reporter, the Mail on Sunday said.
He said Strizzolo knew “what MPs (lawmakers) I want to take down”.
“Can I give you some MPs (lawmakers) that I would suggest you would take down?,” he said to her.
When pressed on who he meant, he said: “The deputy foreign minister.”
He didn’t specify what he meant by “take down”, although in the context of the conversation it could describe engineering a political downfall.
He also discussed British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, saying he was “solid” on Israel, but adding: “You know he is an idiot?”