Did you follow all that? Let me explain. Yesterday, a pro-Israel shmatteh called Israel Today published a statement from an unnamed foreign ministry official who essentially threatened that evangelicals who attended the Christ at the Crossroads conference in Bethlehem would be “targeted” by Israel authorities. The ominous nature of the statement alarmed not just the attendees, but their friends, family and allies throughout the world. Was the Mossad hunting for them? Would they be deported? Were some nice StandWithUs shlichim going to visit them and teach them the error of their ways?
When CATC activists challenged the ministry to confirm the authenticity of the statement, they were told no one had made such a statement. I e-mailed the author of the article and asked him to share with me the original statement so I could confirm whose story was correct. He didn’t reply, though the news outlet did publish this response defending itself.
Now those crack diplomats, playing at the top of their game, have conceded that a foreign ministry official did in fact make such a statement, but in a “personal,” not official capacity:
CATC delegates and speakers met privately with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. MFA officials told these leaders that Palmor’s comments were genuine, but they said “he spoke in a personal capacity.”
It reminds me of the flaying John Kerry took when he told the media during his presidential race that he against the Iraq war before he was for it. Or was it the other way around?
Given that we now know the Israeli official was Yigal Palmor, and he is the ministry’s press representative, and he specifically mentioned in his statement what the views of the ministry toward the conference were, this latest explanation is even dumber than what preceded it.
This is the same foreign ministry which appointed an ambassador to Norway with no previous diplomatic or even political experience, who promptly exposed himself to both embassy and residence staff and was recalled home. The ambassador manque then retired from the diplomatic service ending one of the shortest foreign ministry careers in Israeli government history. By the way, despite massive coverage of the story in Norway, no one in the Israeli media has reported a wink about this story.
Who’s running this asylum masquerading as a foreign ministry? Why, none other than Avigdor Lieberman, who the Israeli and western media have been selling as the new moderate, responsible version of the old Yvet. You remember that guy: the former Moldovan nightclub bouncer who beat up teenagers at his settlement home and made outrageously provocative statements about any Arab leader whose name he could pronounce (which wasn’t many). Before I forget, he just told the world that Israel should invade and occupy Gaza (again) to empty that terrorist hornet’s nest. That moderate guy.
Yes, Israel’s foreign policy is in excellent hands, just as the rest of the government is. Nothing but sober, pragmatic, realists running the show.
Who was it who said that Israel didn’t need a foreign service, that it needed only an army?? Given its history of diplomacy, there’s little doubt that this is informal state policy.