Quiet diplomacy ‘strategy’ or public confrontation
Jerusalem Post columnist Evelyn Gordon recently published an article entitled “Quiet Diplomacy or Public Confrontation.” In it she deals with two issues which are predominant in Israel’s foreign policy. These are the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the six powers over the nuclear programme and American efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian deal. In both cases Israel’s interests do not coincide with American and European interests and Israel has consistently yielded.
From the time of Israel’s Declaration of Independence until very recently, Israel was the only country excluded from any group. This resulted in her being automatically excluded from various United Nations posts, rotating amongst the various regional groups. Israel was also the only country to which the United Nations Human Rights (UNHRC) had dedicated a PERMANENT agenda item. This meant that Israel’s Human Rights “violations” were criticized at every session of the United Nations, compared with other countries where scrutiny took place every few years.
In other words Israel endures a duplicated scrutiny when compared with every single other U.N. member State.
Quiet Diplomacy Has Consistently Failed
For 66 years quiet diplomacy failed. Although there was sympathy, the job of a diplomat is to pursue the interests of the country which he or she represents. When the Human Rights Council decided to launch yet another investigation against Israel, whilst totally ignoring the Syrian regime’s slaughter of its own citizens, a furious Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Foreign Minister, persuaded his government TO SEVER ALL TIES with the council and refused to participate in its Universal Periodic Review process.
Israel’s western allies, who did not command a majority on the Council, were none-the- less fearful that other states would follow suit. This could eventually lead to a majority of states excluding themselves from the Council.
These allies had a real interest of their own in accommodating Israel’s concerns – to avoid a landslide vote – and feverishly negotiated the compromise that emerged.
Israel would now be admitted to the “Western Europeans and Others Group” in Geneva for the next two years. All other members of this Group, although still a minority would refuse to participate in any debate held under the auspices of the permanent Agenda Item on Israel.
Israel’s alliance with the USA is one of its greatest assets. It bolsters both its diplomatic and military deterrents. Europe is Israel’s largest trading partner. An open rupture with either would therefore be a great disadvantage to Israel. However, Israel is living with an existential concern that applies to NO other nation.
Therefore, Israel made a decision that it was more important to deal with the existential threat than the other two considerations. Although Arik Sharon’s government and that of Ehud Olmert adopted a strategic approach, which incidentally failed, Bibi issued vocal threats of military action against Iran. Since the West concluded that Israel was serious, effective sanctions were imposed based on the countries’ interests who supported the sanctions.
Until now there was no price to be paid for the nuclear threat against Israel!
Suddenly, there was a price and that price was too high for Iran!
Neutrality Helps The Oppressor
Latterly the West wants to have its cake and eat it. This will not succeed. Iran has illustrated, in times without number, what its real intentions are. In both issues discussed above, quiet diplomacy has failed. Israel must stand up for its own interests via confrontation.
Ellie Wiesel in his speech of acceptance of the Nobel Prize said: “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Moshe Ahrens, former Minister of Defence for Israel, said recently in Johannesburg that “Success in battle depends not only whether you are outnumbered or outgunned as Israel was in 1948, it depends also about the courage in your heart.”
S.A. Jewry is a minority in a white population group, which in itself is a minority and that is why our leadership believes that we must engage in a “strategy” of quiet diplomacy which, as I have explained above does not work.
For me, quiet diplomacy is a synonym for fear. Courage is admired universally. Cowardice is despised equally so.
To the eternal shame of the community of nations Israel lives with an existential threat. South Africa plays a pivotal role in BRICS, the non-aligned countries and the African countries. There are hundreds of thousands of Jewish and Christian Zionists in South Africa. The ANC government is splitting at the seams.
The Jewish and Zionist leadership has both a duty and an opportunity to fulfil their leadership roles.
We all know that the Jews have been taken out of the ghetto. The burning question is: Has the ghetto been taken out of South African Jews?