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Hasbara fail: the ambassadors mutiny


Some late developments from Israel only solidify the impression that this country is working hard to destroy its international reputation and simply cannot help itself because of internal pressures from rightwing politicians.

First, annexation of the West Bank is being pushed aggressively so that Likudniks can win the Israeli election, in complete disregard of international opinion. Harriet Sherwood in the Guardian:

Prominent members of Israel‘s ruling Likud party have proposed the annexation of part of the West Bank as the battle for rightwing votes intensifies before the general election in less than three weeks.

Government minister Yuli Edelstein told a conference in Jerusalem that the lack of Israeli sovereignty over Area C – the 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli military control in which all settlements are situated – “strengthens the international community’s demand for a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines”.

About that international opinion: Here is a delicious story in Ynet about the Israeli ambassadors complaining to the home office about the crap they have to push to the world, and a Netanyahu aide slapping them down:

[Ambassador to the UN Ron] Prosor, one of the highest ranking Israeli diplomats in the world, asked [National Security Council head Yaakov] Amidror what was the rationale behind timing the decision to promote construction in area E1 (between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim)  after the UN resolution to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to an observer state status.

Prosor’s fellow ambassadors, who found it difficult to explain to the world the basis of Israel’s foreign policy on the matter, applauded Prosor….

Ambassadors left the conference feeling highly displeased. “It ended in unpleasant tones. Prosor asked a completely legitimate question and was rebuked. We don’t argue that our job is to represent the state, but those who do have to understand the logic behind its decisions.”…

President Shimon Peres also discussed the Palestinian issue on Monday, for the second time this week. A day after declaring Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to be a partner for peace and severely criticizing Netanyahu and Lieberman’s handling of diplomacy, the president said that “there is nothing wrong with talking to Hamas, as long as it accepts the terms of the Quartet

A key point in that Ynet piece is that the government has no choice but to annex, and that it knows it is killing itself internationally:

It should be noted that the Foreign Ministry recommended to the government to postpone any counter-measures to the Palestinian bid so as not to focus international attention on Israel, fearing it may be seen as vindictive.
OK, but there is too much internal political pressure not to annex. Again from that Ynet piece: “Amidror said that there was a need to make it clear to the Palestinians that unilateral moves on their part come with a price.” And check this out, from the Times of Israel, echoing that Guardian piece above:

[Likud member of Knesset] MK Yariv Levin advocated a slow but steady de facto annexation of the West Bank, mainly by expanding existing settlements and taking whatever steps were possible to apply laws on Jewish communities beyond the Green Line.

“In this way, we will try, slowly but surely, to expand the circle of settlements, and to afterwards extend the roads that lead to them, and so forth. At the end of this process, the facts on the ground will be that whatever remains [of the West Bank] will be merely marginal appendages,” he said.

Last week, two senior Likud MKs caused an uproar when they stated that the party does not support a two-state solution, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2009 Bar-Ilan University speech, during which he in principle agreed to a demilitarized Palestinian state, if the Palestinians recognized Israel as a Jewish state.

Israel might think it can annex under the radar. But nothing is escaping European attention; this is what their ambassadors have to sell.

The mutiny by the ambassadors may have been sparked by an upstart Israeli thinktank that released a study last week.

“Israel’s public diplomacy apparatus, contrary to its poor reputation, is well-coordinated and highly sophisticated. Israel’s diplomatic isolation, therefore, cannot be attributed to a mythic ‘hasbara problem’; it can only be a product of Israeli policy itself

Haaretz reported on the study: There is causal connection between Israel’s poor international image and the policies of its government.

“Instead of dealing with the connection between the policies of Israel’s government and the country’s image in the world,” [Molad thinktank study] continues, “a myth is taking hold, one which stresses an ‘advocacy problem’ caused by anti-Israel organizations and institutions which exploit double standards and even anti-Semitic tendencies in the international community in order to damage Israel.”

The study insists that “inflating anti-Israel propaganda on the one hand, and inflating criticism of Israeli advocacy on the other hand, deflects public attention away from the causal connections between the erosion of Israel’s image and of its international status and the policies of its government.”

And interestingly, Haaretz even suggested that the ambassadors should bring the study up:

Next week in Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry will hold its annual conference of the country’s ambassadors around the word. During past meetings, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman regularly upbraided and insulted Israel’s ambassadors, the participants of the conference. He claimed that instead of explicating Israel’s policies and positions more assertively, and defending “national honor,” the country’s diplomats cowered and surrendered around the world. But now Lieberman, facing indictment, has left the Foreign Ministry – and the ambassadors conference this year may serve as a good opportunity to discuss Molad’s findings.

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53 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    January 3, 2013, 12:15 pm

    just one more thing..that haaretz article was from dec 30, and from the ynet report linked above, clearly the foreign ministry didn’t take the advice of the study (see last blockquote). in fact at the meeting with the ambassadors Amidror, head of the National Security Council, lost his patience:

    “If you do not agree with government policy, either go into politics or resign.”

    iow, stfu

    • pabelmont
      January 3, 2013, 6:31 pm

      Annie: “iow, stfu” ?? But the Ambassadors are REQUIRED NOT to stfu. Au contraire, they are required to explain Israel’s actions to the world, and it is almost impossible to do so logically and ethically and to suggest that Israel’s behavior is either lawful or in the interest of an achievable peace.

      Moreover, rbtl, the ambassadors are suggesting stronger questioning by their opposite numbers outside Israel. This itself — if true — is welcome news. Israel, it would seem (or I want to believe) is no longer being treated as beyond the law, beyond questioning.

      (Love the shorthand.)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 3, 2013, 7:53 pm

        ha! i should have said ‘stuff it’. i meant he was telling the ambassadors to quit kvetching or resign.

  2. Citizen
    January 3, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Maybe John Bolton is Israel’s chief ambassador?

  3. Rusty Pipes
    January 3, 2013, 1:04 pm

    The Everything-I-Need-to-Know-About-Israel-I-Learned-in-Kindergarten solution to international criticism: “Our problem is PR.”

  4. hophmi
    January 3, 2013, 1:30 pm

    I love how you root for Israel’s destruction. How this helps the Palestinians is not clear.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 3, 2013, 2:44 pm

      now hophmi, there is a difference between rooting for some new policies and ‘rooting for destruction.’ what did you think of the think tanks ideas? it reminds me of ‘your lipstick is top quality, it’s the pig that stinks!’

      or don’t you think israel could benefit from some new policies? never mind.

    • piotr
      January 3, 2013, 3:20 pm

      The destruction or the rooting?

      • Cliff
        January 3, 2013, 6:39 pm


    • Bumblebye
      January 3, 2013, 3:28 pm

      How does pointing out the predicament of embarrassed ambassadors when their country’s politicians make decisions that are designed to spit in the eye of international opinion as well as international law equate to rooting “for Israel’s destruction”? What a dumb comment. How does it *not* help the Palestinian cause when Israel does something like this when it is in the international public’s eye? Improving awareness of the intransigence of Israel must raise sympathy to their cause! And that will lead to more support. Does actualisation of a Palestinian state equate to the destruction of Israel in your peculiar pov?

    • eljay
      January 3, 2013, 3:50 pm

      >> I love how you root for Israel’s destruction.

      I love how you root for oppression, colonialism and supremacism.

      Israel as an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” must fail. In its stead, Israel as a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state – a state of and for all its Israeli citizens, equally – must be encouraged to succeed.

      Alongside it, a secular, democratic and egalitarian Palestinian state – a state of and for all its Palestinian citizens, equally – must also be encouraged to succeed.

    • justicewillprevail
      January 3, 2013, 4:13 pm

      So reporting on the farcical and revealing dressing down for Israeli ambassadors, who are to be blamed for the appalling image of Israel abroad by Israel’s right wing neo fascist ministers, is ‘rooting for Israel’s destruction’? No paranoia or indiscriminate mudslinging there, then. No, siree.

    • chinese box
      January 3, 2013, 4:55 pm

      I love how you root for Israel’s destruction.

      Huh? How are you getting this from Phil and Annie’s article?

    • Hostage
      January 3, 2013, 6:04 pm

      I love how you root for Israel’s destruction. How this helps the Palestinians is not clear.

      Don’t worry Hoppy. Israel won’t really be destroyed if it is prevented from collectively punishing the Palestinians for obtaining recognition from the UN. It just seems like Divine justice would require something like that to balance the scales. But it’s really all in your imagination.

      I think it’s perfectly clear how it helps Palestinians to have Israeli ambassadors summoned, one after another, in country after country and put on the hot seat when Israel refuses to transfer Palestinian tax revenues, and steals their resources and territory to boot. Everyday the list of political leaders who favor imposing sanctions, or borders, just gets that much longer. Hasbara just speeds the process along.

    • American
      January 3, 2013, 6:08 pm

      No one needs to root for Israel’s destruction…’s self destructing itself.
      How many people, how much of the world has told, begged, warned Israel to stop what it’s doing?
      It won’t listen.
      Where do you live?…Isr or USA…If Isr you need to do something there. join some anti occupation group, starts dispelling some Isr myths…..if USA you need to wise up and starting hounding your politicians into applying some serious sticks to Israel to prevent it’s suicide.

    • yourstruly
      January 3, 2013, 6:29 pm

      justice for palestine & wither israel?

    • Cliff
      January 3, 2013, 6:40 pm

      hophmi translated:

      • James Canning
        January 4, 2013, 2:32 pm

        I wonder if one American in twenty is even aware of the sheer idiocy of the illegal Jewish colony in Hebron. Or should one say “sheer viciousness”?

      • AlGhorear
        January 4, 2013, 3:30 pm

        Cliff’s video brings back memories of of Al Khalil (the Arabic name for Hebron), which was the most heart breaking place of all I visited. There’s so much hatred there. Small children would smile in our faces as we walked along the sidewalk next to the shops and then throw pebbles at our backs. From there we entered the Old City and visited a little boy about 6 years old who had been badly burned and scarred by settlers.` All the shops there were closed and barricaded by huge iron gates. The corridor the Arab inhabitants used was surrounded by chicken wire on the sides and the top to protect them from stones, bottles and larger objects, but the settlers still threw eggs, feces and urine on them from the windows of the 4 story building above the walkway.

        I went to Al Khalil with fellow ISMers to meet up with a couple of people from the Christian Peacemakers Team who have had a steady presence in Gaza. We were there to visit the technical institute that had been ransacked and closed by the IDF. The students planned to re-open the school and we were going to stay overnight and act as human shields, but the students decided it was too dangerous and everyone left the school. It didn’t seem dangerous at all because we were far from the Old City and there were no settlers or army anywhere near us. We ending up staying with a family that fed us the best maklouba ever. During the night, the IDF raided the home of another student and killed him. Just like that.

        This is Zionism. Unspeakable cruelty and senseless killing.

        Yes, Hophmi, I’d like to see the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State apartheid laws and replaced with a State for all its citizens, Jews, Christians and Muslims, with equal rights for all. Just like we have here in the US.

    • James Canning
      January 3, 2013, 7:29 pm

      hophni – – Isn’t the idea to try to prevent Israel’s own self-detruction?

    • thankgodimatheist
      January 3, 2013, 9:56 pm

      “I love how you root for Israel’s destruction.”
      Here goes the pathology that many have documented and recognised. Anything and everything “leads to our destruction. They’re all out there to get us. A second holocaust at minimum”.

      • James Canning
        January 4, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Partly pathology. Partly a scam to dupe American public.

    • Byzantium
      January 4, 2013, 3:04 am

      Actually, how Israel’s destruction would help the Palestinians is quite clear to me. But of course, all this talk of “destruction” is disingenuous, suggesting that those of us opposed to Zionism seek some sort of genocide against the Israelis. In reality, one-staters like me simply seek the creation of a single, mutli-ethnic, multi-party democracy along the South African lines. And while it is true that this will result in the disappearance of Israel as the ethno-supremacist state it currently is, this “destruction” would in reality be little more than a socio-political re-classification, involving no actual destruction of anything. In the same way, apartheid South Africa was also “destroyed”, yet we’re all much better off for it. Using language to create an impression of your opponents’ motives you know to be false is dishonest.

    • Mooser
      January 4, 2013, 1:00 pm

      “I love how you root for Israel’s destruction. How this helps the Palestinians is not clear.”

      He’s got us there. We have to consider that the Zionists have hostages. They have both Palestinian and Jewish hostages, and will have no compunctions about hurting them to get their way.
      And I thank Hophmi for making it so plain.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2013, 3:30 pm

        Hmmmm… I’d say “speak of the devil…” but that not the way I think of Hostage at all!

  5. American
    January 3, 2013, 4:58 pm

    This lone voice, most profoundly sad and hopeless, from Serdot guts every word of hasbara ever spoken for Israel. Some people here don’t like it when I say Israel has to be put down, chained up, stopped–but I don’t care–the only difference between stopping it now and letting it continue to devour itself and others is how many people are going to die in the meanwhile. That’s the only damn difference cause an ending to all this is inevitable.

    Sderot, November 22, 2012

    ‘This wasn’t my war, Bibi, and neither was the previous cursed war: not in my name, and not in the cause of my security. Neither were the boastful, theatrical assassinations of Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jabari in November, and Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi in 2004, and Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin, and Al-Kaysi, and Shahada and Ayash—wicked as they were—these were done neither on my behalf nor for my security. Neither was the litany of Israeli military operations, packaged in deceitful language in order to soften the depths of their destructiveness: not Rainbow (2004), or First Rain (2005), or Hot Winter (2008), or Summer Rain (2006), or Cast Lead (2009), or the recent Pillar of Cloud.1

    Never have I felt an ounce of security or peace when our planes passed over the skies of Sderot at night en route to Gaza to “crush the head of the snake” of whichever senior or junior leader has been targeted, and whoever else happened to accidentally be in the way. I didn’t feel safer when two hundred homes were flattened on a cold winter night in 2004, leaving two thousand refugees without shelter; when the Gaza power station was bombed, leaving half a million people without electricity. I gained no sense of tranquility when the bulldozers razed homes, sweeping up fields, orchards, and chicken coops; when tanks fired without pause, when sonic booms went off over and over, rattling windows and sowing terror. And not since the siege placed on Gaza, not when the authorities have been trying to come up with scientific calculations for the number of calories a Gazan needs just in order to survive. And certainly not in “the mother of all operations,” Cast Lead, when a squadron of helicopters killed eighty-nine young men at a police academy. (How does it feel, in a matter of three minutes and five missiles, to take out eighty-nine young men?) And not since tens of thousands of homes were pounded, infrastructure crushed, and bodies lined up, row by row, children without names, youths with no faces, citizens without an identity. There are a thousand and one ways to suppress violence by means of violence but not one of them has ever succeeded in annihilating it.

    Now, let’s see, what have we gained in return? More Qassam rockets, more destruction, more terror, more fear, more blood, more hatred, more lust for vengeance, a deeper loss of faith. All included. Each time, it is deeper; each time, it is less reversible. Every citizen of Sderot knows that when he hears the planes flying overhead, en route to Gaza, he must brace for the coming barrage of rocket fire. Every resident of Sderot knows that when we set out on the next military operation, Sderot will be completely overtaken by a state of emergency. Only this time it has become a nationwide mania.

    It’s hard to explain to people who don’t live here what further escalation means to the people of Sderot, and the surrounding region, what it means to live in a war zone constantly. It’s easier to endure three weeks of war than to survive a never-ending conflict. It’s the continuum, the passing years, the cumulative experience, the resurfacing anxieties, the trauma with no post-trauma.

    This is the “music of war” that orchestrates our lives when the planes, helicopters, bombs, and missiles scratch our ears and our souls. It’s the music of war that follows you to the bathroom, accompanies you to work, rushes in with you for a hasty shower, and puts you to bed in your clothes, just in case there is a siren and you will need to jump out of bed in the great rush to take shelter ahead of the next incoming missile.

    It’s the again and again and again. It’s the over and over and over, and always more of the same. Another military operation, mini-war, war. Once again the rough generals, again our correspondents reporting live from the scene, again the wondrous Israeli solidarity—always stored up for just these wartime moments, again, the home-front residents displaying readiness, the reserve soldiers itching to join the battle, again Roni Daniel, Israeli television’s broadcaster, delivers violence from the offices of the war cabinet direct to our TV screens, and once again our finest hour is repeated ad nauseam.

    A day before the conclusion of Operation Cast Lead in 2009, an esteemed journalist spoke with a woman from Sderot who had been carefully selected to be a “representative” interviewee during the days of the battle. “So, what’s your opinion: should it end now or would it be a grave mistake to stop at this point?” asked the veteran reporter, couching the answer in her question. Without missing a beat, the impassioned woman replied: “Why in the world stop now?”—even as the bodies in Gaza were piling up and the morgues had run out of space to house the dead. “Hit them as hard as possible,” she said. “Do not grovel before these animals. We must finish the job once and for all!” “Tell me,” whispered the broadcaster, in a sultry voice, as though confiding some illicit secret, “I want to ask you something very personal. Is it true that you feel very, very Israeli right now?” Thus did the veteran broadcaster, with the help of a “representative” interviewee—who always speaks in the name of all of us—capture the essence of Israeliness: “Jonathan/Jonathan,/a bit of blood,/just a bit more blood/to top off the honey.”2

    Thus, over the decades, politicians, generals, and their faithful mouthpieces in the media construct the paradigm of power and the demise of an alternative. Thus, over the decades, thousands of hours of orchestrated broadcasting construct a defensive shield of consciousness. So deep is this paradigm, and so monolithically aggressive the military discourse, that no Iron Dome could succeed in interrupting it. The veteran broadcaster doesn’t ask, “Why did we enter into this awful war to begin with?” (or the previous war, or the one before that). She asks only, “Why stop now?”

    How did we, as a society, lose the ability to formulate questions about the feasibility of a political alternative? How did it happen that a person who suggests a nonviolent solution is the delusional one, the traitor, and the one who calls for the leveling of Gaza is the true patriot? How did peace become the enemy of the people, and war always the preferred option? How did it happen that dialogue and treaties cause more public fear than a volley of missiles? And how did these dehumanizing processes seal us off from the suffering of others? How did we lose the capacity for empathy? What does it mean that a girl from Gaza—whose school was bombed and her best friend was killed before her eyes—has to remind us that they, too, are human beings? And how has a nation that has occupied other people’s territory for forty-five years continued to tell itself, with such deep conviction, that we are the single and ultimate victim in this story? And the evil of the occupation has become so banal that no one sees the evil anymore.

    or five years Kol Aher (the Other Voice) has carried out a dialogue with residents of Gaza. This has been a conscious effort to avoid being swept away by the floodwaters of hatred and dehumanization. It was a decision to see people, as opposed to bombs and missiles. It was a decision to preserve human sanity within a landscape of violence. It was a decision to include another narrative—precisely because it was so difficult to witness, with broken hearts, the destruction and trauma, the endless distress, experienced by our friends on the other side of the fence. This is why it was extremely difficult for us during the war, because we always experience this situation in multiple dimensions, not just the convenient division of “good” and “evil.”

    Yet Kol Aher is also a clear political call for negotiations, for dialogue with Hamas—direct or indirect—to lift the siege and blockade of Gaza, to open the border crossings, to establish security arrangements and international guarantees, to promote commerce—taking into account the changes in the Arab world—and to slay the beast of occupation. It is an almost desperate attempt we make—here of all places—to raise another voice in a shrinking democracy, in which it is barely a footnote drowned out in the pervasive noise of media shouting with the intoxication of power and the ecstasy of war.

    Pillar of Defense was not my war, Bibi. The despair, however, is completely mine. Private and profound, and draining and weakening. In view of past history, it’s hard to be optimistic about the cease-fire negotiated under Egyptian auspices, which was announced on November 21. Twelve years of hopeless rounds of violence leave their marks. In the first years, there is still hope that things might be different in the future. Then there is only an illusion of hope. Then you are struck with the realization that violence is here to stay, and it will get worse with each escalation. That war is the most consistent and constant feature of our lives, almost a kind of ideal. That there aren’t leaders now or on the horizon who are strong enough, who would have the mandate to address the most pressing questions. Soon enough there won’t be any need of questions; neither will there be anyone left who cares to ask them.

    1 Translator’s note: the Israelis referred to this operation as “Pillar of Defense” but its literal translation is “Pillar of Cloud.” ↩

    2 Translator’s note: these lines are from “Jonathan,” a well-known 1966 Hebrew poem by Yona Wallach. ↩

    • seafoid
      January 5, 2013, 5:06 pm

      Systematic dehumanisation . Kosher lemehadrin . The crash will be brutal. The dersh and the rest will be silenced for good.

  6. libra
    January 3, 2013, 5:26 pm

    It’s clearly time for a root-and-branch clear out of the Israeli diplomatic ranks. These vital posts must be filled with only the very best, battle-hardened hasbarists. Yes, step forward Ambassadors Hophmi, Oleg, and Biorabbi. Mondoweiss’s loss will be Israel’s gain.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 3, 2013, 5:50 pm

      lol, they can explain anything! and don’t forget gilad!

    • hophmi
      January 3, 2013, 6:02 pm

      I agree with Prosor, you idiot. I’m left-of-center.

      • OlegR
        January 3, 2013, 6:26 pm

        Too fine a difference to the folks around here.
        As long as you define yourself as zionist they don’t really care if you vote for meretz or mafdal.

      • tree
        January 3, 2013, 6:36 pm

        I agree with Prosor, you idiot. I’m left-of-center.

        Do tell. Then why did you accuse Annie of “rooting for Israel’s destruction” when she publicized Proser’s critique, and the critique by Molad, a left-of-center Israeli think tank? Your PEP slip is showing.

      • chinese box
        January 3, 2013, 6:53 pm

        I’m left-of-center.

        Where? On Mars?

      • Shingo
        January 3, 2013, 7:26 pm

        Except when it comes to Israel.

      • libra
        January 3, 2013, 7:34 pm

        homphi: I agree with Prosor, you idiot. I’m left-of-center.

        Of course, Mr. Ambassador. Liberal Denmark should suit you nicely. Only the odd broken-nosed cyclist to explain. And who better than a man who can look the audience in the eye and say with a straight face (and I quote verbatim here):

        You’re entitled to believe what you want. I’m not in favor of building in E-1 either. This is political, in my opinion, and in the opinion of most Israelis. But at the end of the day, this admittedly political housing approval (building that wouldn’t take place for years) has met with a similarly political response from the Palestinians, who know that it is not going to disadvantage them in any meaningful way for the time being.

        Who could possibly disagree with that? Only an idiot would say it’s a load of self-serving, disingenuous nonsense.

      • justicewillprevail
        January 3, 2013, 9:15 pm

        Yeah, and the center is somewhere around the KKK/Taliban end of the spectrum. So you’re slightly to the left of that. Oh cool, how liberal.

      • Egbert
        January 4, 2013, 7:35 am

        So you are in the ‘ethnic cleansing is currently not necessary’ zone?

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2013, 3:32 pm

        “So you are in the ‘ethnic cleansing is currently not necessary’ zone?”

        Now that’s what I call a witty remark!

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2013, 1:02 pm

        ” I’m left-of-center.”

        Oh Yeah, you left the center long time ago. So threatening the Palestinians as if they are Israeli hostages, as you did above, in this very thread, is “left of center”? Wow, that’s some center you Zionists got there.
        Yes, Hophmi, I know, you’re not-a-Zionist.

        For any new treaders who find it hard to believe somebody would lie so baldly about there own bad self, you can access Hophmi’s comment archive by clicking his name above a comment, and steel yourselfr for a suden jolt to the “left”.

      • Shingo
        January 4, 2013, 7:59 pm

        With left of centrists like Hop, who needs Kahanists?

  7. yourstruly
    January 3, 2013, 7:04 pm

    trauma with no post-trauma?

    at first there’s still hope, next comes the illusion of hope, finally the realization that violence is here to stay? –

    hmm, isn’t this remniscent of the stages of mourning?

    stage 1 = denial & isolation
    stage 2 = anger
    stage 3 = bargaining
    stage 4 = depression
    stage 5 = acceptance

    the jewish settlers are in mourning?

    for what they think might have been

    had palestine actually been a land without a people

    instead of an already well populated land

  8. James Canning
    January 3, 2013, 7:26 pm

    Great piece. European countries need to tell Israel time and time again, that it cannot change the borders of the West Bank by growing illegal colonies of Jews, or by purporting to “annex” portions of the West Bank.

  9. MRW
    January 4, 2013, 12:11 am

    Uruguay is already involved in a diplomatic firestorm with Israel after saying that Israel is committing “genocide” and conducting a “policy of extermination” in Gaza. The Israeli Ambassador to Uruguay erupted, accusing the ruling party and specifically the Foreign Minister of “repugnant and shocking” comments. Uruguay (which knows something about genocide) told Israel they want this Ambassador out of Uruguay, and hauled the Israel Ambassador in to tell him, “not to intervene in the activity of the country’s elected democratic institutions.”

  10. Hostage
    January 4, 2013, 2:28 am

    Uruguay is already involved in a diplomatic firestorm with Israel . . . The Israeli Ambassador to Uruguay erupted, accusing the ruling party and specifically the Foreign Minister of “repugnant and shocking” comments.

    Well it goes back further than that. In 2010 Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil recognized Palestine as a state within the pre-1967 borders.

    Then they recommended an “internationally imposed solution” (not a negotiated one) in light of Israel’s on-going siege against the Gazans and the announcement of tenders for settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Any sign of support for an imposed settlement always results in weeping and gnashing of teeth, shreying about repugnant and shocking comments and much hand wringing.

  11. clubroma
    January 4, 2013, 3:02 am

    I have a university friend who has worked in international diplomacy for 22 years. He is still involved on a casual basis. I think I can confidently inform you that the international diplomatic community has had enough of Isreal. These are educated people who know that Isreal, with the support of the United States, have gradually destroyed the credibility and authority of the UN.
    But its the United States that suffers because of Isreal’s behaviour. Hilary Clinton can’t troupe around the world lecturing countries about human rights, freedom and justice. After-all, the US supports the State of Isreal, which has abused the human rights of the Palestinians for the last 70 years! I think you’ll find that whilst international diplomate’s will show respect towards US diplomate’s – behind their backs – their laughing at them!!!

    • hophmi
      January 4, 2013, 9:17 am

      Israel destroyed the credibility of the UN? LOL. Try Rwanda.

      • Talkback
        January 4, 2013, 1:45 pm

        Try Rwanda and Israel.

    • eljay
      January 4, 2013, 11:32 am

      >> I think you’ll find that whilst international diplomate’s will show respect towards US diplomate’s – behind their backs – their laughing at them!!!

      Unfortunately, laughter in the back-room and respect in public isn’t going to resolve the I-P conflict. Those diplomats need to make public:
      – their disdain for the illegal and immoral actions Israel undertakes and America enables; and
      – their support for a sincerely-negotiated, just and mutually-beneficial resolution to the conflict.

      Question: Is there a reason you keep spelling Israel “Isreal”? Just curious. Thanks! :-)

      • James Canning
        January 4, 2013, 2:25 pm

        Fair point. Most European diplomats have contempt for US policy toward Cuba. But the Cuba Lobby largely controls the US Congress on this issue.

    • James Canning
      January 4, 2013, 1:52 pm

      Is it not more accurate to say the US has injured the UN, intentionally, as part of the foolish programme of “protecting” Israel?

  12. Egbert
    January 4, 2013, 7:26 am

    “Amidror said that there was a need to make it clear to the Palestinians that unilateral moves on their part come with a price.”

    Pathetic. The annexation was the Zionists’ intent from day 1. It’s a bit like a bank robber claiming the bank teller wouldn’t hand over the money voluntarily, so the robber had to go ahead and steal the money.

  13. James Canning
    January 4, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Annexationists and other promoters of the illegal colonies in the West Bank use whatever excuse is to hand.

  14. piotr
    January 5, 2013, 1:07 am

    “We don’t argue that our job is to represent the state, but those who do have to understand the logic behind its decisions.”

    Typical bureaucratic sabotage! Elected officials were elected to carry out the will of the people and not “logic”. Today Ynetnews informs that PM office delays sending the construction plans for E1 zone to the a zoning board. 90% of the comments were aghast at the spinelessness of PM, vowing to vote for Bennet and cursing fools who advocated voting for Yachimovich or Livni. Clearly, this crowd is not interested in logic.

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