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Israel’s First 100 Days of a Different Foreign Policy

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For about a decade, Israeli foreign policy was mired in the morose idea that the international community is a Darwinist environment. The only alliances Israel could rely on were based on economic or security interests; there was no place for a dialogue based on shared values or friendship between peoples. Instead of an active, positive foreign policy, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government adopted a policy of pessimistic suspicion.

In the domestic arena, pessimism as a worldview brought Israeli society to the brink of collapse. In the international arena, it caused the last few governments to neglect the vital work of building alliances based on values. And this happened at the very moment when global crises – the banking crisis, radical Islam, the climate crisis and the coronavirus crisis – made the international community realize there’s no such thing anymore as local problems. All problems, big and small, ultimately become global.

Pessimism in diplomacy is a mistake. Even worse, it’s a lazy mistake. The claim that “they’re all antisemitic and there’s no point” was simply an excuse for a government that was busy with other things and stopped making an effort in the international arena. It’s impossible to go for years with no foreign minister (or one denied any power), to close diplomatic offices abroad, slash the ministry’s budget over and over, leave dozens of embassies unstaffed, ignore the deep changes in American and European societies and then whine that they don’t understand us.

The results of this neglect and pessimism were........

© Haaretz

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