Silence – diplomatic stupidity

This is a Guest Post from Shlomo Yosef

Two press briefings of in the past 24 hours should perk up the ears of all passionate Zionists.

First up today William Hague UK Foreign Secretary delivered his first of four speeches giving an overview of  the UK’s place in the world. Not only was the flotilla and the Green movement in Iran referred too in the same sentence, but Mr. Hague also spoke about how the Middle East Peace Process was a talking point in his visit to Pakistan. He then made sure to mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in this regard:

“And time is running out to secure a two state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, where lack of progress would be a tragedy for Israelis and Palestinians, extremely dangerous for the region and detrimental to the UK’s own security.”

The second press briefing was last night by PA President Abbas to Israeli journalists. Fresh from his outreach to Jewish Leaders in America he now wants to give the appearance of outflanking Netanyahu with his own population. Reports from Jpost and Haaretz are full of good for press phrases such as:

“To this day, I regret our rejection of the Partition Plan in 1947,”

“Now I tell you Israelis – don’t miss the opportunity the Arab League has offered you with its peace initiative.”

“Regarding borders, we call for the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 border, with east Jerusalem as our capital, and western Jerusalem your capital,”

“I agreed that a third party will be in the territory, be it NATO, UNIFIL or another force. I don’t want an Israeli presence on my land. This way Israel will get security, and I will get sovereignty.”

Abbas has also extended invitations to Peres to go to a peace rally in Jericho and Netanyahu to addresses the Palestinian nation on live TV.

Now the debate of whether this is all lies, double speak and positioning all miss the point. The purpose of diplomacy is to get what you want. Abbas wants to be seen as the peace maker and Netanyahu as the war monger. He wants to reverse the damage that Arafat did when he walked away from Camp David.

With this new diplomatic assault the response of Israel has been silence. As Abbas goes around determining the agenda of what Obama and Netanyahu will speak about on the 6th of July Israel is too busy shouting within the coalition about who spoke to Turkey. One thing is sure, the PA are delighted.

Maybe it’s due to the MFA refusing to help the Prime Minsters Office arrange any diplomatic trips due to pay disputes. Perhaps it’s a fear that everything will fall apart if Netanyahu says anything at all. The only thing that is certain is that the appearance of silence on the peace process is the most stupid move of all.

This is no longer about peace, this is about survival. We were once renowned for our diplomatic genius, now we are more inapt then Ahmadinejad. Enough with complaining about media bias, it’s as effective as footballers complaining about the World Cup ball for their bad performance.

My solution, when everyone in the world is watching you, don’t point somewhere else and say look over there, don’t point at the camera and insult the viewer, don’t look at yourself. Offer a vision. Netanyahu, Prime Minster of Israel and self proclaimed leader of the Jews is supposed to be Mr. PR. Let’s see him prove his worth.