Loyalty lows

November 24, 2016 22:57

While Binyamin Netanyahu begins his zig-zag on Lieberman's loyalty law, angering even more nationalist and Orthodox dissenters on the way, Giora Eiland shows here why the proposed law is a PR disaster -- and he also has a lesson for those in the UK who engage in advocacy on Israel's part.

Just like many of his predecessors, Lieberman fails to make the vital distinction between public relations and leading diplomatic moves. The objective of PR is to convince others how good and righteous we are, and how evil our enemies are. The PR effort is not insignificant, yet on its own it cannot create any kind of substantial diplomatic move.

A diplomatic move, on the other hand, is produced when some kind of third party also has some influence, as well as an interest in initiating action that would be commensurate with our interests, or at least, that the price we’ll pay for it will be smaller than its benefit. The essence of diplomacy is identifying such actors and creating an incentive for them to act in a manner that would serve us.

It appears that this fundamental rule has not been guiding Israeli diplomacy in recent years. We are operating in the opposite manner: Rushing to make declarations that creating automatic resistance, while at the same time also insulting potential mediators. Meanwhile, adopting this path also requires us to redouble our PR efforts later on.

Giora Eiland, by the way, is no leftist or post-, non-, anti-Zionist.

November 24, 2016 22:57

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