Sol Salbe sent me this funny cartoon about the imagined fate of Israeli consul general (Boston) Nadav Tamir, who wrote a leaked memo to the foreign ministry complaining that Netanyahu government provocations were driving a deep wedge between Israel and the U.S. If you imagine Lieberman offering Tamir a down jacket, snow boots, gloves and ski goggles, then it becomes even funnier.
As I wrote yesterday, Lieberman has already publicly asked for Tamir’s resignation so Tamir may not be long for the diplomatic corps. I have no doubt though that such an honest man can find honest work in another field (though I hope, as a major in the IDF, it isn’t in the Israeli military defense contracting business).
Prof. David Newman of Ben Gurion Univ. has published a terrific column in the Jerusalem Post (!) defending Tamir and laying out the salient policy issues:
The fact that Israel only continues to portray itself as the weak and threatened country, subject to continuous terror attacks and, more recently, a potential nuclear attack from Iran just doesn’t sell well when, at one and the same time, the government continues to undertake policies which negate many basic international standards of human rights for Palestinian civilians who are subject to its control.
Were Israel, as the strong power, to make real meaningful concessions on the issue of Palestinian statehood, the world would much more readily accept the very real security threats that the country faces and it would not be so antagonistic. But recent policies and statements by our leaders have sent a very different message to the world, and it is now our supporters and allies, not our enemies, who are criticizing us.
WHY SHOULD we be surprised when a worried diplomat sends a private letter back to his superiors in Jerusalem informing them of the damage being inflicted each and every time Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman or Uzi Arad are interviewed or make public statements?
…No diplomat has a problem with representing Israel’s legitimate right to security and its right to defend itself against terror…But when the government undertakes dubious policies which harms Israel’s reputation even among its allies, it is not only legitimate, but the clear duty of the diplomat to warn his/her government of the damage which is being done to Israel’s cause.