Israel spurns New Zealand ambassador also serving as P.A. envoy

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Foreign Ministry rejected New Zealand’s new ambassador because he also is the envoy to the Palestinian Authority.

Jonathan Curr had been scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem this week to present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. The trip was canceled, Haaretz reported.

The prior two New Zealand ambassadors to Israel also were accredited to the Palestinian Authority, but Israel was not aware of it, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman told The Associated Press.

The spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, said Israel not accrediting ambassadors also accredited to the P.A. is “a well-known policy. It’s not aimed at New Zealand.”

Curr, based in Turkey, also is the ambassador to Turkey, Jordan, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

“We are looking into what arrangements can be made to ensure we have appropriate representation for Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said.