Israel, Mishegas

The Safe Word is "Shonde"

The Beeb reports:

Israel has recalled its ambassador to El Salvador after he was found drunk and naked apart from bondage gear.
Reports say he was able to identify himself to police only after a rubber ball had been removed from his mouth.
A foreign ministry official described Ambassador Tzuriel Refael’s behaviour as an unprecedented embarrassment.

Full story.

20 thoughts on “The Safe Word is "Shonde"

  1. it wouldn’t have been such an embarassment if they had given him any right to privacy. i am sure none of you would like your sexual proclivities broadcast on the internet. this is a horrific invasion of this man’s privacy and i’m really sorry that we’re carrying on the crime of talking about it. g-d forbid anything like this happen to any of us.

  2. this is a horrific invasion of this man’s privacy
    I think diplomats – since the thing they get paid for is to be all spiffy and representative – don’t really deserve much privacy. If he were, say, a civil servant, or a plumber, I’d agree with you. But this is a diplomat.

  3. Besides the fact that he was a public figure, according to the article he was found on the embassy compound, which is not private property, but the property of the Israeli government, as would be the ambassadorial residence. Really, doing this in the embassy compound — what was he thinking?!

  4. Still, he was hurting no one. When I heard the report on the BBC this morning, I assumed that he had been in the street, but the article makes clear that he was found “in the Israeli embassy compound.” It also wrote that he had broken no laws, so clearly he hadn’t been naked in public.
    If he’s into bondage, he’s one of many, many people who are. Let him be.

  5. “in the Israeli embassy compound” isn’t as public as on the street, but it’s not exactly in his private home either.
    Ideally, these things shouldn’t affect his work as a diplomat. But in a job that’s image dependent, it probably would have been a liability.

  6. It all depends on where exactly he was found. If he was in his bedroom, this is total bullshit. He’s entitled to do what he wants in his own quarters. Bondage is not illegal or that rare. I’m reminded of the email circulated around the time of the Clinton impeachment scandal:
    Candidate A: 2 mistresses, drinks 2-3 martinis a night, smokes a pack a day
    Candidate B: Known to have illicit affairs, drinks a quart of brandy every night, smoked opium in college
    Candidate C: Vegitarian, no illicit affairs, only has the occasional beer
    A: Roosevelt, B: Churchill, C: Hitler
    ***This is a vague remembrance. I make no attestations to the accuracy of these facts***

  7. Perhaps the guy was planning on leaving bondage just in time for the Passover Seder! Just trying to get into the slavery experience, and then more fully experience and appreciate zman herutenu.

  8. Dang, jay. Much as I think that this guy was done wrong, I have to say that you were on with that one. Nice.

  9. Ideally this kind of thing should be kept private. But, once it is out, it’s problematic.
    I’m sure that lots of good diplomats do some very undiplomatic things. They’re just smart enough not to get caught. The fact that this new ambassador isn’t justifies a dressing down…oops!

  10. According to Ha’artetz: “The Foreign Ministry recalled Israel’s ambassador to El Salvador, Tzuriel Refael, after he was found in the back yard of his residence naked, drunk, bound and gagged, it emerged Monday…According to reports, San Salvador policemen who guard the ambassador’s residence found Refael with his hands tied, a rubber ball gag in his mouth and wearing sex toys. ” If this was indeed in the embassy compound, his backyard is for sure not a private space. It is government – and therefore public – property. But boy, this sure gives me a whole new reading of the Samson and Delilah story!

  11. Would people who are shocked by this be upset if the man had been found drunk and having traditional sex with his mistress in the backyard of his residcence? Or are you reacting purely to the fact that you’re made uncomfortable by bondage?
    Again, he was hurting NO ONE. I’m frankly more worried by the average work that a diplomat (from any country) does in their day-to-day work, making excuses for their government’s behavior, than what turns them on in their back yard at night.

  12. It was an incredibly poor decision on his part to be doing anything naked in the backyard of the Embassy compound, but I agree that this has become unnecessarily sensationalistic. So yes, I question his judgement and his understanding of diplomacy as a result, and I think he should be subject to questioning as to why he made such a stupid decision… but I don’t think it impairs his ability to be a politician… if anything, as shylock pointed out, it might even make him a better ambassador.

  13. i dont know why folks are assuming he’s responsible for this. he was found tied up alone, outside, by police. how do we know he consented to being left out there?

  14. From CNN —
    The embarrassing affair was one of several involving Israeli diplomats in recent years. In 2000, Israel’s ambassador to France died of cardiac arrest in a Paris hotel under circumstances the Foreign Ministry refused to publicize. Media reports said he was with a woman who was not his wife at the time.
    Last year, Israel replaced its ambassador to Australia, Naftali Tamir, after he said Israel and Australia are “like sisters” because both are located in Asia and their peoples don’t have the Asian characteristics of “yellow skin and slanted eyes.”
    In 2005, Israel canceled the appointment of a diplomat to Australia after it was discovered that he published pictures of nude Brazilian women on the Internet while on a mission in Brazil.

  15. i maintain that people’s sexual proclivities are their own business. this man’s life has been ruined, i imagine that he is being mocked on “wonderful country” and probably on even american talk shows.
    just because you are a diplomat doesn’t mean that your sex life is public information. persumably, this man was involved in consensual sex with either himself or a partner and that’s nobody’s business. the cops could have just said that he was drunk and been done with it.

  16. i maintain that people’s sexual proclivities are their own business.
    now that’s just being hypocritical. say you paid someone to represent you in court. wouldn’t you be just a bit mad at them if they were found naked on the steps of the courthouse, in full view of the jury, the morning of the closing statement? you would. but its their business? but you paid them to be respectable, and shady s&m is perhaps licit – but far from respectable.

  17. Amit, that analogy doesn’t pass the smell test, and I’m guessing that you know it. How is a man doing something sexual in his backyard, privately, at night, comparable to a lawyer being “found naked on the steps of the courthouse, in full view of the jury, the morning of the closing statement”?
    It’s not comparable. And your point doesn’t stand up.
    What I find more interesting is your reference to “shady s&m.” It seems clear that your own sexual preferences are what’s at play here, not this man’s actions. But last I heard, your preferences weren’t an appropriate grounds to condemn a man to global shame.

  18. in the list of “dirt you could possibly dig up on the current Israeli government”, this is definately not noteworthy. At all. Whats the big deal with getting smashed and wearing a ball gag? Doesnt sound like anything too bad happened.
    Human rights violations, oh no, were not embarrased, but intoxication and masochism? No, we wont stand for that. THATS the real mishegaas in this story.

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