Thursday, April 15, 2021
HomeCanadaAuthorities officers query ex-ambassador to Israel's workplace area, personal conferences | CBC...

Authorities officers query ex-ambassador to Israel’s workplace area, personal conferences | CBC Information

New reviews are rising in regards to the former Canadian ambassador to Israel’s tenure, months after Radio-Canada/CBC revealed {that a} lawsuit launched by ex-ambassador Vivian Bercovici in opposition to the federal authorities had been settled.

In a letter she wrote to Alan Bender, a Toronto businessman and Liberal supporter in November 2019, Bercovici supplied to halt her lawsuit in opposition to the Authorities of Canada as a approach to thank him for saving her life.

Whereas the circumstances surrounding the alleged risk to Bercovici’s life stay unknown, Radio-Canada has realized extra about her tenure as ambassador.

Accounts from half-a-dozen authorities officers — most of them with International Affairs Canada — elevate questions on workplace area leased exterior the embassy, and personal conferences Bercovici held with Israeli authorities officers.

A ‘mini-embassy’

After her arrival on the embassy in Tel Aviv, Bercovici insisted on having an workplace exterior of the embassy itself. This request ultimately was granted after being initially turned down.

“She principally arrange a mini embassy exterior the embassy,” mentioned one authorities official. “It was extremely uncommon.”

“I had by no means seen something like this earlier than, even in embassies which might be older than the Tel Aviv embassy,” mentioned one other official.

International Affairs Canada confirms that the federal government of Canada rented workplace area at 22 Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv from July 2015 to June 2016.

The workplaces at 22 Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv. (AVIV GROUP)

Bercovici was faraway from the put up by Prime Minister Trudeau in June, 2016.

In 2018, Bercovici launched a lawsuit in opposition to the federal authorities alleging, amongst different issues, that the Trudeau authorities acted in dangerous religion when it terminated her and that she had not been correctly compensated for her pension advantages.

In her lawsuit, Bercovici said {that a} newly appointed high-ranking embassy official had “instantly began questioning (… her) operational bills and choices regarding the embassy.” She mentioned the questions had been “with none foundation,” since these choices and bills had been authorized.

In keeping with courtroom information on the Ontario Superior Courtroom of Justice, the workplace of the Lawyer Basic of Canada had agreed to share with Bercovici copies of emails, correspondence and notes from International Affairs Canada officers about “allegations relating to improper contracting for secondary embassy area and flouting of authorities and channels to take action.”

The AG’s workplace additionally agreed to share with Bercovici emails from senior authorities officers and Canadian diplomats relating to allegations of “disloyalty to Canada, allegiance to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, and Israel.”

Bercovici said in her lawsuit that her “loyalty to Canada was continually questioned” by International Affairs officers “and Division officers unfold a malicious hearsay” that she had “gone ‘rogue’ and arrange a parallel Embassy construction in Israel so as to implement a private agenda.”

Materials associated to these allegations has not been added to public courtroom information and the problems raised within the lawsuit had been by no means argued earlier than a decide. Not one of the allegations have been confirmed in a courtroom of legislation.

Non-public conferences with Israeli authorities officers

Senior authorities officers who spoke to Radio-Canada/CBC mentioned they typically perceived Bercovici as extra of a spokesperson for the Israeli authorities than the ambassador for Canada.

In her lawsuit, Bercovici described the allegations of disloyalty as “vicious and unmeritorious assaults on her integrity and loyalty.”

Senior authorities officers say Bercovici typically met with Israeli authorities representatives with out her Canadian embassy advisers current.

In keeping with these officers, such one-on-one conferences between an envoy and a overseas authorities official are fairly uncommon. A Canadian ambassador usually is accompanied to such conferences by the officers accountable for the information being mentioned. Along with offering their experience, these officers can observe up on agenda gadgets and act as witnesses to the discussions.

Bercovici’s personal conferences with Israeli authorities officers raised considerations amongst some Canadian officers. “We within the authorities of Canada weren’t aware about what was mentioned there on behalf of the federal government of Canada,” mentioned one official.

“What did she convey? What did she disclose to them? They’re buddies, however nonetheless a overseas nation.”

Then-Canadian ambassador to Israel Vivian Bercovici shakes palms with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an embassy occasion. (The Canadian Embassy in Israel)

Some defined Bercovici’s personal conferences with Israeli officers by pointing to her shut ties to the federal government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and to the difficulties she skilled in adapting to the job of ambassador.

Bercovici was not a profession diplomat. She was a lawyer and wrote columns for the Toronto Star by which she made her pro-Israel place clear.

Bercovici was appointed ambassador in January, 2014 by then-prime minister Stephen Harper, himself a robust supporter of Israel and of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Radio-Canada despatched an e-mail to Bercovici inquiring in regards to the workplace area at 22 Rothschild, her personal conferences with Israeli authorities officers and the allegations of disloyalty to Canada.

Bercovici’s lawyer William McDowell, from the Toronto legislation agency Lenczner Slaght, replied to Radio Canada’s e-mail. In his written reply, he identified that her lawsuit has been settled.

Non-disclosure settlement

“A complete non-disclosure settlement prevents each Ms. Bercovici and the defendants from discussing any and all issues regarding her years of service or the authorized proceedings,” McDowell wrote. “Our consumer has no intention of breaching this NDA. To reply appropriately to the factors you elevate would require her to take action.

“We advise that you simply take into account one essential overarching truth: all through Ms. Bercovici’s service all bills, and embassy operational issues, had been reviewed and authorized on the highest ranges within the Division.

“Your inquiries themselves bear blatantly anti-Semitic overtones.”

McDowell additionally requested Radio-Canada/CBC to don’t have any additional direct contact with Bercovici.

International Affairs Canada additionally mentioned that the division couldn’t remark as a result of a settlement had been reached between the events.

Radio-Canada has submitted inquiries to the next folks however has not acquired replies: Ralph Jansen (deputy head of mission throughout a part of Bercovici’s tenure, now Canada’s ambassador to Peru); John Baird, who was International Affairs minister when Bercovici was ambassador; and former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Leave a Reply

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: