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March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Ministry’

Foreign Ministry Strike Strands South Floridians

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The strike at the Foreign Ministry and its consulates worldwide has left hundreds people stranded, including several from South Florida.

“All I really need is someone to put a stamp in my passport” that expired last month, Delray Beach, Florida businessman Shimon Cohen told the Miami Herald. He charged that the strike violated his “basic human right of free movement.”

The strike was prompted by a government reorganization of the ministry after the creation of  a new Ministry of International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs.

Chaim Schacham, the Israeli consul general for Florida and Puerto Rico, said the strike was necessary. “Because we’re diplomats and we speak diplomatically, they didn’t take us seriously at first,” he added.

Cohen said he understands the beefs of the ministry workers  but “a passport is a necessity, not a luxury.” He said, “I cannot be held as a prisoner here based on what is happening in Israel. Let them settle it within the borders of Israel.”

That assumes that Israeli knows what its borders are.

Deal to Keep Foreign Minister Post for Lieberman Upheld as Legal

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein has upheld a deal whereby Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to keep the Foreign Ministry post open for Avigdor Lieberman if he is found not guilty of charges of breach of trust.

Weinstein said the agreement is kosher, only 24 hours after he ordered his assistant to investigate charges by the Ometz government watchdog organization that the deal is illegal. Ometz claimed that the Netanyahu-Lieberman agreement was in fact a coalition deal that needs approval by the Knesset.

Lieberman resigned as his Foreign Minister  last December after being indicted on a charge of promoting a former ambassador to Belarus who informed his boss of information concerning a criminal investigation against him.

Ometz argued that besides illegal, the agreement would place Foreign Ministry workers in an awkward position if they have to testify against Lieberman while knowing he may be their boss if he is acquitted. The assistant attorney general answered that government works often have to testify against superiors.

Weinstein’s decision knocks off the table the demand by Future (Yesh Atid) party chairman Yair Lapid to become Foreign Minister. If Lieberman is found guilty, the position will be up for grabs, but that presumably will not happen until after a collation government is finally agreed upon.

Netanyahu has been trying to persuade Lapid to accept the Finance Ministry portfolio, which has proven to be a can of worms for every Finance Minister since Netanyahu himself held the post in the Sharon government and helped turn the economy around.

Liberman Done In by Former Deputy

Monday, December 24th, 2012

The person behind the recent frantic efforts of Israel’s police to extend its investigation in order to enhance the indictment against Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, has turned out to be none other than his deputy – Danny Ayalon. And as you may recall, Ayalon has been dumped by his boss from the top spots on the party’s Knesset candidate list. Rumor had it that Liberman only told Ayalon about his demotion in the car on the way to the press conference where said list was presented.

Hell hath no fury like a deputy foreign minister scorned, it turns out.

On Monday night, both the Channel 10 and Channel 2 news editions have reported that new testimonies were collected from members of the Appointments Committee at the Foreign Ministry—which approved the appointment of Zeev Ben Aryeh to the post of Israel’s ambassador to Belarus.

Ben Aryeh was convicted of passing to Liberman information about an investigation which was being conducted against the latter.

The new information appears to be making things a lot worse for the former FM.

Both news channels report that the most significant testimony against Liberman was provided by Ayalon, who was chairman of the Appointments Committee. Ayalon’s testimony appears to implicate Liberman in actively promoting Ben Aryeh’s appointment.

However, that’s not the only new testimony picked up by the police. According to the reports, more testimonies have been taken which support Ayalon’s accusation.

It was further reported that Liberman is expected to be summoned as early as next week to a police interrogation, and that he will be confronted with Ayalon’s testimony.

Channel 2 has also reported that Liberman is expected to argue that Ayalon’s testimony is infected by the latter’s need for revenge following his humiliation at the hands of his boss.

Liberman resigned his post last week, and this new twist might prevent him from campaigning or even being permitted to resume his Knesset membership.

Liberman’s successor at the helm of Israel Beiteinu will likely be the candidate at the number 2 spot, Yair Shamir, son of the departed Prime Minster from Likud, Yitzhak Shamir.

Ayalon will remain as the Deputy Foreign Minister until the elections.

How America Facilitated the Yom Kippur War

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Let’s take a moment to consider probably the most profound and least discussed episodes in the Jewish State’s short history – America’s refusal to honor its commitment to enforce the 1970 Egypt-Israel ceasefire.

A refusal that was ultimately responsible for the Yom Kippur War.

The last time I can recall that a national leader saw fit to allude to this terrible series of events was then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s 30 September 2001 address at the main memorial service for those who died in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Sharon noted that Israel was surprised in that war by Egypt because the Egyptians did not honor the 1970 cease-fire agreement and thus the lesson of the Yom Kippur War is that one must always pay attention when agreements are not honored.

For reference below is the 13 August 1970 statement by the Defense Minister Dayan on the immediate Egyptian violation of the 7 August cease-fire agreement.

Now we know the following:

#1 The Egyptians moved anti-aircraft missiles close to the Suez Canal the very moment that the cease-fire went into effect.

#2 The US had a spy plane that flew over the area that first day and photographed the violations. They were aware that first day that the Egyptians had violated the agreement. It should be noted that at the time the US asked Israel to provide evidence and for several days said it was waiting for evidence of violation.

#3 Whereas before the agreement was signed, the US promised Israel that if the Egyptians moved up their missiles that the US would press the Egyptians to pull them back, when they finally had to face up to the violation, the US explained that they could not pressure Egypt.

#4 The US ultimately compensated Israel with “black boxes” for Israeli aircraft that were meant to offset the damage to Israel’s security caused by the Egyptian violation.

#5 Those same anti-aircraft missiles ultimately provided invading Egyptian forces protection from the Israeli Air Force at the opening of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

#6. Without the anti-aircraft cover, the invasion would have been quickly repulsed.

#7. In point of fact, in all likelihood, Egypt would have never tried to cross the Suez Canal if the anti-aircraft missiles hadn’t been deployed in the Canal area.

Simply put, if the United States had honored it’s word in 1970 and insisted that Egypt pull back the anti-aircraft missiles to their pre-truce positions the Yom Kippur War would never have taken place.

There is certainly much to be learned from the events of 1970 and the nightmare that followed in 1973.

Much that is extremely relevant to our own times.

Israel paid dearly in 1973 for accepting the Egyptian violation of the 1970 agreement.

And the Jewish State may yet again pay dearly if it continues to accept the ongoing security violations of Oslo in the Gaza Strip.

================= Statement to the Knesset by Defence Minister Dayan, 13 August 1970: [From the Foreign Ministry of Israel Website]


On the night when the cease-fire between Israel and Egypt came into effect, the Egyptians, with Soviet help, began to move SA-2 and SA-3 missiles into the standstill zone, embarked on the construction of new missile sites, and moved missile deployments closer to the Canal in flagrant violation of the cease-fire. On 13 August, the Minister of Defence made a statement to the Knesset:

The Minister began by citing the full text of the agreement as follows:

A. Israel and the UAR will observe a cease-fire effective at 2200 hours GMT Friday 7 August.

B. Both sides will stop all incursions and all firing, on the ground and in the air, across the cease-fire lines.

C. Both sides will refrain from changing the military status quo within zones extending 50 kilometres to the east and the west of the cease-fire line. Neither side will introduce or construct any new military installations in these zones. Activities within the zones will be limited to the maintenance of existing installations at their present sites and positions and to the rotation and supply of forces presently within the zones.

D. For the purposes of verifying observance of the cease-fire, each side will rely on its own national means, including reconnaissance aircraft, which will be free to operate without interference up to 10 kilometres from the cease-fire line on its own side of the line.

E. Each side may avail itself as appropriate of all United Nations machinery in reporting alleged violations by each other of the cease-fire and of the military standstill.

F. Both sides will abide by the Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the treatment of prisoners of war and will accept the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross in carrying out their obligations under that Convention.

The Minister then explained how the agreement was drafted and accepted by the parties:

Israel Sends Teams Of Doctors Around World To Restore Eyesight

Monday, January 16th, 2012

An initiative that sends delegations of Israeli doctors to work in eye surgery camps around the developing world has already helped restore the eyesight of over 2,000 people.

Israel sends teams of ophthalmologists to perform cataract and sight restoration operations over a two week period. Camps have been set up in Cambodia, Ethiopia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The camps are constructed by MASHAV, the Israeli Agency for International Development Cooperation, under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry.

Iran Confirms Receipt of US Letter Regarding Strait of Hormuz

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Iran confirmed on Sunday that it had received a letter from the US government responding to Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz should sanctions prevent it exporting oil.

“America’s message over the Strait of Hormuz reached us through three channels. It was given to our UN representative, the Swiss ambassador conveyed it to the Foreign Ministry and also Iraqi President Jalal Talabani gave the message to Iran,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The New York Times reported that the contents of the letter conveyed to Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneni that closing the Strait would constitute crossing a “red line.”

Iran has not yet decided if it would reply to the letter.

An Idiot’s Guide To Diplomacy

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

     The simple fact that a state’s foreign ministry’s job is to use the tools of diplomacy to advance the state’s national interest has escaped the attention of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.


      This month Israel extended an official invitation to Martin Scheinin, the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, to visit the country to examine Israel’s counter-terror efforts.


      During his eight-day visit, Israel gave Scheinin the red carpet treatment. He met with Livni, officials from the Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry, IDF, Shin Bet, the prime minister’s counter-terror bureau, members of Knesset, the former and current Supreme Court chief justices, lawyers, academics and victims of terror. He was taken to visit Hadarim and HaSharon prisons to conduct interviews with jailed terrorists. He was brought to the Ofer military court to observe trials of terrorists.


      Scheinin also visited the Palestinian Authority and met with officials in PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s office. He visited Bethlehem, Nablus and Ramallah and toured the route of Israel’s security fence.


      Livni no doubt invited Scheinin to visit because she believed that by showing him what it is actually doing, Israel could convince Scheinin that it is not a human rights violator. Scheinin would finally see that Israel does more than any other country to uphold the human rights of its enemies. Indeed, he would see that Israel knowingly endangers the lives of its own citizens to protect the rights of its enemies.


      And so he came and left, and on July 10 issued his preliminary report. No doubt to Livni’s surprise and the surprise of her staff, Scheinin’s report found fault with every single counter-terror technique that Israel employs. The security fence that prevents terrorists from entering Israeli population centers is bad because it is built past the 1949 armistice lines and makes it hard for Palestinians to get from place to place. Checkpoints, also aimed at preventing terrorists from killing Israelis, are bad because they make it difficult to move around.


      Targeted killing of terrorists is bad because terrorists are people too. Israel’s interrogation methods for terrorists are bad for the same reason. Israel’s ultra-liberal courts are bad because their definition of “terrorist hostilities” in which Israel is permitted to use force is too broad.


      Scheinin promised he will soon submit a full report on his visit to the UN’s Human Rights Council. That report will extend his criticism to every action undertaken by Israel to protect its citizens from murder that he didn’t mention in his preliminary findings, including “the demolition of houses; the use of ‘human shields’ by the Israeli Defense Force; the movement of goods and people to and from Gaza; the use of and procedures surrounding the administrative detention of security suspects and military courts to try terrorist suspects; the use of military force by Israel, including outside its own territory.”


      Just to show his objectivity, Scheinin also promised his full report will discuss “the rights of victims of terrorism and their families.”


      There is absolutely no reason to be surprised that the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights drew the conclusions he did. After all, he is employed by the UN Human Rights Council and as such is duty-bound to advance the interests of his employer.


      Since its establishment in March 2006, the UN’s Human Rights Council has proved itself to be even more discriminatory against Israel than the anti-Israel UN Human Rights Commission that it was established to replace. In its year and a half of operation, the Council, which is dominated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its extremist agenda, has devoted all of its condemnations – three special sessions and nine resolutions – to attacking Israel. It has granted immunity to Palestinian terrorists and Hizbullah.


      Needless to say, it has ignored the genocide of black Muslims by Arab Muslims in Darfur. It has ignored Iran’s active incitement of genocide against Israel. It has ignored Saudi Arabia’s gender apartheid and its prohibition of the practice of any religion other than Islam in the kingdom. And the list goes on.


      In June the Council voted to make attacking Israel a permanent item on its agenda. It also institutionalized the mandate of a special investigator of “Israeli violations of the principles and bases of international law.” As former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler noted recently in the Boston Globe, this is “the only indefinite open-ended and one-sided investigative mandate” in the UN.


      The Council’s gross discrimination against Israel aligns seamlessly with the UN’s treatment of Israel in general. In 2006, Israel was the country most subject to UN vilification, criticized 135 times. Sudan, which came in second, was criticized 69 times. Iran was criticized 23 times. The United States ranked fourth on the list, having been criticized 38 times.


      All this simply shows that the UN generally and its Human Rights Council specifically is institutionally predisposed to criminalizing and condemning Israel. Unfortunately, Israel’s Foreign Ministry ignores this predisposition and so makes it impossible for the government to properly respond to reality.


      Since the UN views criminalizing Israel as one of its central goals, its representatives have no interest in recognizing the truth. To the contrary, they understand that it is their duty to act as engines to propagate lies about Israel.


      Were Israeli officials to understand this basic truth, they would realize that inviting Scheinin to their country in the manner they did only served to give him more credibility in attacking Israel. Now, every time he lies about Israel’s actions, he can wrap himself in the legitimacy of having been a guest of the Israeli government.


      Since she first entered the Foreign Ministry two years ago, Livni has distinguished herself with her patent inability to understand the nature of diplomacy. She operates under the delusion that “personal chemistry” rather than institutional and national interests will determine the results of diplomacy. As a result, she believes that if she has a pleasant conversation with a foreign emissary, it means his home government will be nice to Israel.


      As an institution, the Foreign Ministry operates under its own set of delusions.

Specifically, it refuses to accept that some – indeed many – organizations and states truly believe their interests are advanced by attacking Israel. Were the Foreign Ministry to accept this simple fact, it would be forced to go on the offensive and attack those institutions and states.


      But the Foreign Ministry is not interested in going on any offensive. And so, rather than attacking Israel’s foes, it lavishes them with attention and legitimacy. At the same time, Foreign Ministry officials go out of their way to attack Israel’s supporters who insist on pointing out the inherent hostility of institutions like the UN that make criminalizing Israel their primary goal. 


      The axiom that a Foreign Ministry’s duty is to use diplomacy to advance the national interests of its state leads naturally to the conclusion that the rule of thumb for diplomats is to be good to their country’s friends and bad to their country’s enemies – because as a result, more people and states will wish to be its friends and fewer will want to be its enemies.


      Livni’s conferral of legitimacy on Scheinin, and by extension the UN Human Rights Council, shows that she and her ministry are incapable of accepting this basic truth.


      Caroline Glick is deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Her Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the last week of each month.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/an-idiots-guide-to-diplomacy/2007/07/25/

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