News Politics: After Haaretz reported on a leaked note from the ambassador promoting a contentious electoral reform plan in Bosnia, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid ordered the rebuke. Israel’s Foreign Ministry censured its ambassador to Albania, who is also in charge of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on Wednesday for interfering in the internal affairs of the Balkan nation. The ambassador was censured two weeks after a leaked document surfaced endorsing a divisive electoral reform proposal opposed by the local government and backed by nationalist groups.
“It is hard to fathom how the official policy of the State of Israel could be to welcome the discrimination of Jews in not being able to hold office in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic, according to Haaretz. “The proposed electoral legislation would cement the current discriminatory system towards minorities in Bosnia.”We can safely say that this has hurt Israel’s image among the Bosniak population. It came out of left field,” said former Bosnian Energy Minister Reuf Bajrovic.
While most ethno-nationalist parties support the proposition, many prominent Bosnian politicians do not, and the leak created a political storm.
The plan has been most vocally backed by Dragan Čović, the head of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), a Croat political party in Bosnia. Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian-Serb member of the country’s tripartite presidency, and his SNSD party also stand to benefit from the new law. Both Čović and Dodik have also been outspoken supporters of Israel.