Yigal Palmor

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Yigal Palmor is the Head of the International Relations Unit and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman at the Jewish Agency for Israel, where he had previously served for four years as Director of Public Affairs and Communications. He was the longest serving Spokesperson and Head of Press Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel from August 2008 to August 2014.[1] Prior to this post, he served stints in Israel's embassies in Madrid (where he was a junior member of the Israeli delegation to the Madrid Conference of 1991) and in Paris, served as Deputy Director of the European Institutions department, and later as Director of the Maghreb, Syria and Lebanon department. He was a spokesperson of the Israeli delegations in a number of peace summits, including the Casablanca and Cairo Regional Economic Summits [2] and the Annapolis Conference. In February 2013, he was elected "Best Government Spokesperson" in a survey of Israeli journalists.[3]

He made headlines when he called Brazil an "economic and cultural giant but a diplomatic dwarf" in July 2014, in response to Brazil being the only country (with Ecuador) to recall its ambassador for consultations over Israel's military operation in Gaza.[4][5] However, his statement encountered a supportive follow-up in some of Brazil's leading media,[6][7] who used it to criticize their own government's policy,[8][9] while in Israel, Israeli president Reuven Rivlin's apology came under severe criticism itself.[10]

On 27 May 2014, it was reported that his retirement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was imminent, after a career spanning 28 years.[11] Dubbed "a central pole of Israel's communications apparatus", his departure was seen as part of a wave of senior diplomatic resignations due to the weakening of the Foreign Ministry under Avigdor Lieberman.[12] He left the Ministry in September 2014,[13] and joined the Jewish Agency in November of that same year, where he worked closely with Agency's Chairman Natan Sharansky, and later with Chairman Isaac Herzog.

He is the author of the "Diplomatic Cliché Collection" (הקלישאון הדיפלומטי), a compilation of conventional forms of speech in diplomatese and their real, ironic meaning. Or, as Haaretz described it: "A semi-humorous paper intended to translate the euphemisms uttered by leaders, foreign ministers, diplomats and government spokespeople when they are faced with difficult questions".[14][15][16][17]

See also[edit]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel)

Jewish Agency for Israel


  1. ^ "Foreign Ministry names new spokesman". 26 February 2008.
  2. ^ "Middle East/North Africa Economic Summits". 19 June 2000.
  3. ^ "דירוג הדוברים הראשון - התוצאות הסופיות".
  4. ^ "Israel slams 'diplomatic dwarf' Brazil for recalling envoy to protest Gaza operation". 24 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Brazil Recalls Israel Envoy to Protest 'Disproportionate Force' in Gaza". 24 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Israel chama Brasil de "anão diplomático". E está certo!". 24 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Um erro do Estadao.E o dia em que discordei de ume autoridade israelense". 11 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Desproporcional não é só o 7 a 1". 25 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Anão diplomático". 31 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Against Foreign Min. recommendation, Rivlin apologizes to Brazil for criticism of ambassador recall". 12 August 2014.
  11. ^ Tova Dvorin (27 May 2014). "'Mass Exodus' of Foreign Ministry Officials: Yigal Palmor, veteran MFA spokesman, reportedly considering retirement. Is this the latest in a string of resignations?".
  12. ^ Ariel Kahana (27 May 2014). "גל עזיבות במשרד החוץ: גם הדובר התפטר".
  13. ^ Herb Keinon (12 September 2014). "Of Soundbites and Disinformation".
  14. ^ Barak Ravid (30 January 2015). "After Congress Speech Scandal, Netanyahu Is Toast at White House".
  15. ^ Barak Ravid (30 January 2015). "בגלל התעקשותו לנאום בקונגרס - נתניהו שרוף בבית הלבן".
  16. ^ Oren Nahari (23 January 2017). "בלוח השחמט של המזרח התיכון, הבטחות הן רק הבטחות".
  17. ^ Barak Ravid,Amit Segal (23 March 2016). "זוג או פרט: הקלישאון - מילון המונחים לדיפלומט".

External links[edit]