For the failure or – perhaps more accurately – the virtual absence, of Israeli PD [public diplomacy — ed.] strategy goes beyond the problem of what it is not doing for Israel in presenting its case and promoting its image. No less damaging is what it allows others to do to Israel in undermining its case and perverting its image…
Continued impotence and incompetence in the (mis)conduct of Israel’s public diplomacy is becoming not only strategic threat to the country but is beginning to imperil Jewish communities abroad.
Well, yeah… But this is unfortunately nothing new. Israel army’s incomparable valor and skill on the battlefield has been juxtaposed to the incomparable incompetence of its official hasbara (PR) efforts for decades. This incompetence has limited or even allowed the reversal of the country’s military victories on the ground over and over again.
However, while there may be some benefit in complaining about it in order to (yet again) bring the dire situation to people’s attention, know one thing: The situation is NOT going to change any time soon. The problem is related to deeply-entrenched technicalities such as funding and staffing at the Foreign Ministry that, barring a miracle, could not be fixed quickly even if their was a will to do so.
So instead of (or at least in addition to) complaining, it is incumbent on all those that care about Israel to fill the void that Israel’s official representatives are not.
Dennis Prager sums up the “Middle East problem” in 5 minutes:
Let’s sum up those 6 minutes in one sentence:
Israel wants peace with the other side; the other side does not want Israel to exist and is willing to fight to achieve what they want.
Some might disagree on how to define “the other side”, but it is clear that there IS another side that does not want peace, that they have enough influence that there can be no peace, and that they are not going to magically disappear.
The nice thing about summing up the problem so succinctly is that it makes it clear why the many attempts at peace that have failed, failed: Peace fails to materialize when one side doesn’t want it. They might say they want peace, if only they can have land or a state, but if they don’t really mean it then there will be no peace.
When people, or at least Israelis, fully understand that the other side doesn’t want peace, regardless of what they might say, we can stop wasting time and lives on failed peace processes that bring less peace instead of more.
Close to 50 generals and admirals have signed a letter that termed
Israel a key element in U.S. global strategy.
…The retired officers, who have toured Israel, said the Jewish state was highly important to U.S. policy in the Middle East and Mediterranean region.
“We brought with us our decades of military experience and, following unrestricted access to Israel’s civilian and military leaders, came away with the unswerving belief that the security of the State of Israel is a matter of great importance to the United States and its policy in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean,” the letter, released on April 2, read. “A strong, secure Israel is an asset upon which American military planners and political leaders can rely.”
“…We also recognize that the important countries of the region won’t like us any better if we shed Israel as an ally.”
“They will wonder how quickly we will shed them when they are inconvenient.”
….The retired senior officers said they could not rule out the prospect that “political differences may be allowed to outweigh our larger mutual interests.”
“As American defense professionals, we view events in the Middle East through the prism of American security interests,” the letter said. “In the Middle East, a volatile region so vital to U.S. interests, it would be foolish to disengage — or denigrate — an ally such as Israel.”
The admirals and generals said Israel and the United States have engaged in defense and military cooperation at all levels. The letter cited training, law enforcement, counter-insurgency as well as research and development.
The United States would require Israeli cooperation for a range of threats, the officers said. They said this would include nonconventional and ballistic missile proliferation as well as CI [counterintelligence] operations.
Unfortunately, the great strategic importance of Israel to the US and the unreliability of the Arabs is something that has to be learned over and over by new American administrations, usually the hard way.