Saturday, November 14, 2015

Is Israel isolating itself?

Uri Savir,

Image from article, with caption: Israel's Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer (2nd R) attends a forum with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not pictured) hosted by the Center for American Progress in Washington, Nov. 10, 2015.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s famous aphorism that “Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy” is even truer today than in 1975 during his Middle East shuttle diplomacy. Traditionally, Israeli foreign policy, with the exception of its relationship with the United States, focuses on convincing the world of its righteousness in its struggle against the Arab world. Most often, it is composed of public diplomacy campaigns rather than being defined by common interests shared with other states, even hostile ones. ...
The Netanyahu government has engendered probably the greatest international isolation of Israel ever. Relations with the US administration are at an all-time low, especially after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's lost battle against President Barack Obama’s Iran policy. The European Union is more critical than ever of Israeli policies, especially those regarding settlement expansion. The labeling of goods imported from settlements is now coming into effect in EU countries and boycotts of Israel are debated in many European capitals, mostly within the academic world. 
At the United Nations, Israel finds itself in not-so-splendid isolation, with only the United States and a very few Asian and African states voting in its favor. ... 
A senior diplomatic source in the Israeli foreign service told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that there is an air of great concern, if not panic, among many of Israel’s ambassadors regarding the bilateral relations with some of Israel’s best friends in the world. ...

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