When Avigdor Lieberman was appointed director general of the Prime Minister's Office, after Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister in 1996, Lieberman fired the office's legal advisor, telling him: "We're looking for people who share our mind-set."

The public dressing down that Lieberman and Netanyahu (via "sources in his bureau") administered to Nadav Tamir, the consul general in Boston, after the publication of an internal memo in which Tamir warned of a crisis in Israel's relationship with the United States, show that neither time nor changing professional positions have done anything to shift their attitude.

Our prime and foreign ministers still prefer "people who share our mind-set" and reject the existence of a professional civil service whose assessments differ from the politicians' orders and official propaganda.

Tamir, an experienced professional diplomat, did his job: He warned the Foreign Ministry's senior staff about the "strategic damage" that Israel has suffered due to the lack of coordination with the United States and its differences with the Obama administration.

The consul general warned that Israel is positioning itself as a pariah state in American public opinion, like Iran and North Korea. This criticism was harsh, but did not touch on any political issues that are outside his purview.

The internal report was publicized in the media, and his superiors summoned the author for a "clarification meeting" in Jerusalem.

Lieberman acted particularly egregiously, warning the Foreign Ministry's management that "anyone on the professional staff who cannot carry out the elected government's policies must resign."

The message implicit in the foreign minister's threat to his workers was that there is no place for reports and assessments that do not satisfy their political bosses, and anyone who does not toe the line will be ousted.

Lieberman and Netanyahu evidently expect Israeli diplomats to adjust their reports and assessments to the political platforms of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu.

Israel's representatives abroad are obligated to warn of diplomatic dangers, just as Military Intelligence and the Mossad are obligated to warn of impending war.

Do the prime and foreign ministers also insist that the intelligence agencies adjust their assessments to the government's political views?

There was in fact a hint of this in the prime minister's demand that the head of the Shin Bet security service not offer assessments on diplomatic issues. But there is great danger in neutralizing the professionals and turning them into mouthpieces for the parties in power.

Netanyahu and Lieberman must allow the professionals to do their jobs.