web analytics
April 1, 2015 / 12 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Ministry of Extraneous Affairs

The civil servants at Israel's foreign ministry seem to believe it is their job to shape government policy rather than to be faithful to it.
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman played table tennis during a tournament held at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem back in 2010.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman played table tennis during a tournament held at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem back in 2010.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / Flash 90

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also abandoned the opinion of Prof. Yehuda Blum, who was the legal advisor of the ministry and the Israeli representative in the U.N., in which he proved that according to international law, the “territories” are not occupied, not to mention the documents that grant the Jewish people rights and sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel, such as the decision of the San Remo Conference in 1920.

During the past ten years, I have personally come across this way of thinking among more than a few staff members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is evident also in the way that the ministry functions. At the end of the year 2000, when the Palestinian terrorists resumed blowing up our buses and their passengers, I wrote a short article  in English about the world of the martyr, and the type of reward that he expects in paradise after he carries out his mission successfully. I sent the article to a senior official who was then responsible for hasbara, assuming that he would send the article to Israeli  representatives abroad, so that they could send it to local newspapers all over the world.

After two days I called to determine the fate of the article, and the official told me: “We decided not to make any use of the article.” I asked “Why?” And the official answered me: “It’s not nice to get involved with other peoples’ faiths, and it’s not our business to get into the fantasies of other cultures.” I thundered: “My friend, we are being killed in buses because of the fantasies of another culture!!!” “Nevertheless, he answered, “this is our final decision.” Two years passed and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to publish horrible photographs from terror attacks, but only on the internet. The faithful official has been promoted, and today he fills a senior position in the ministry.

In another matter regarding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which I was involved, concerning Israeli policy in the Palestinian matter, I was a witness to officials saying something like: “We must direct the government to adopt the policy that we think is correct.” In this case, “the correct policy” was the establishment of a Palestinian state with territorial contiguity based on the 1948 borders with slight border adjustments. The significance of this was that officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, public servants, see themselves as policy designers rather than workers who carry out the policies of the prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, who were elected by the public.

Those familiar with the British series “Yes, Minister” and its sequel “Yes, Prime Minister,” know exactly what I mean: public service has an agenda, and the role of the senior officials is to lead the minister, who is elected by the public, in the direction that the officials think is right. The minister is fed the information that the officials supply him with, so he thinks that he is making the decisions independently.

A THIRD MATTER regarding the agenda of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pertains to the subject of hasbara. The very fact that the previous government of Israel decided to establish a separate office  to deal with hasbara (and the diaspora) proves that there is a problem in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Even if this decision was made because of the need to find a job for an important person, the establishment of the ministry of hasbara indicates a certain lack of confidence on the prime minister’s part in the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who should be responsible for hasbara. It may be that they even quietly supported the establishment of this ministry, because they did not demonstrate against it or go on strike because of it, and my impression is that they are not comfortable with explaining the government policy anyway, because it is not consistent with their views. This might also explain the fact that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not making any effort to establish an Israeli satellite television channel, either in English or Arabic.

The Agranat report on the performance of the government during the Second Lebanon  War (2006) also dealt with the failures in hasbara, which was then the responsibility of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The conclusion drawn in the report was that an office of spokesperson and hasbara should be established. And that this office should be included in the office of the prime minister, and would function as a headquarters of national hasbara and  be responsible for all other agencies  of hasbara and spokesmen, such as those that operate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IDF and the Ministry of Internal Security.  The fact that this body had to be established proves that there are problems within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and principally that it has its own separate agenda, which is evident when the officials attempt to speak in the name of the government and prime minister and explain their actions, while holding views that are at odds with those of the government.

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Ministry of Extraneous Affairs”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    ' he proved that according to international law, the “territories” are not occupied, '.

    Nobody outside of right wingers in Israel accept that kind of bogus proof. The entire world — including Medinat Yisrael — accepted the *de facto* sovereignty of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan over Judea, Samara, and East Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967. That gives the territory in question the status of "occupied" with the possible exception of East Jerusalem, which was annexed to Medinat Yisrael.

    'not to mention the documents that grant the Jewish people rights and sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel, such as the decision of the San Remo Conference in 1920.'

    The San Remo Conference resolution had no legal standing; in fact its terms had to be completely renegotiated three years later at Lausanne and a year after that in the League of Nations. And in any case it did not propose giving the Jewish people sovereignty, nor did it specify a boundary for the "Jewish National Home" other than it be "in" Palestine.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
PM Netanyahu
Netanyahu Attacks the Iran Nuclear Deal as “Unconscionable” [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
.

Indifference to the pain of the many singles should require us to have our heart, not head, examined

hurva

The rededication of the Hurva caused international hysteria.Arabs called the action a “provocation”

Photo from President Barack Obama's past visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

{Originally posted to author’s website, FirstOne Through} TRUST Trust is the bedrock of a functional relationship. It enables one party to rely on the other. A trust that includes both intention and capability permits a sharing of responsibility and workload. The relationship between US President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu started off badly and further […]

jabotinsky with sword

Jabotinsky said “Go To Hell” was a good retort to opponents of the Jewish people; fitting for Obama.

Obama pulled off one of US history’s greatest cons,twice fooling a gullible electorate and most Jews

While in Auschwitz I felt a tangible intensity. I could sense that I was in a place of sheer evil.

Obama needs to wake up. The real enemy is not Netanyahu but Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad,IS

My beliefs & actions have led to numerous death threats against me; my excommunication by my church

In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]

Many so-called “humanitarian NGOs” frequently abuse Israel by applying false moral equivalencies

Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers

In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

More Articles from Dr. Mordechai Kedar
JIhadi John executing dual US-Israeli citizen Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist he beheaded last summer.

The Islamic State has started a fashion trend among Middle East jihadists; beheading is rapidly becoming the murder method of choice.

The 5,829 Bedouin women listed as eligible for single mother benefits in the Negev, raising 23,855 children, are actually silent polygamous wives.

To date, all the Bedouins’ legal land ownership claims that reached the courts have failed.

Western countries ignore the rights of Iranians to live in freedom like the citizens of the West.

What is the cause of the Shi’ite-Sunni conflict?

Lately, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries – Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are searching for a new political crutch.

This past month several dozens of jihad organizations operating in Syria came to the conclusion that the disagreements among them harm their fighting cause and strengthen Asad.

Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan Speech was not an attempt to emulate Obama by spreading false hope of an agreement with the Iranians.

Israel has not really convinced the world that Iran is a danger.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/the-ministry-of-extraneous-affairs/2013/03/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: