Israeli Ambassador to Finland Dan Ashbel on Saturday criticized Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely's decision to distribute examples of dolls used to incite against Israel to all Israeli embassies, the idea being to demonstrate Palestinian demonization of Israel.
Ashbel compared the initiative to distributing marijuana at every police station in order to permit them to demonstrate the dangers.
Hotovely's approach is meant to show that Palestinian incitement is pervasive even among the smallest children. The Foreign Ministry sent the dolls via diplomatic mail, accompanied by instructions for demonstrating them.
Around 4,000 dolls were recently intercepted by customs authorities in Haifa. The dolls, which hold stones in their hands, bear the inscription "Jerusalem, here we come". The shipment arrived via the Persian Gulf and was on its way to Palestinian Authority territories.
The ambassador in Finland sent a missive to several figures in the Foreign Ministry in which he referred to the instruction as "bizarre" and noted that when contraband cigarettes are intercepted, they are simply destroyed, not distributed as examples.
Ashbal, a veteran Israeli diplomat, wrote that "sending more than 100 such dolls to our embassies abroad could expose us to demands for payment from the importers. Pictures of the dolls are sufficient as is the dismaying fact that there are people producing, selling and buying such dolls. Please refrain from using these dolls 'for demonstration purposes."