After reports reached Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority is trying to persuade about a dozen European Union member states to upgrade the PA’s diplomatic status, the Foreign Ministry on Monday ordered every Israeli envoy abroad to begin “urgent” diplomatic activity. The aim is to thwart Palestinian efforts at drafting a United Nations resolution that would recognize a unilateral declaration of statehood and put international pressure on Israel to halt settlement construction.
Acting Foreign Ministry Director General Rafael Barak sent a classified cable to Israeli charges d’affairs, in which he called for an immediate public relations campaign at the bureaus of the premiers, foreign ministers and parliament in each country.
The PA is in the midst of three diplomatic activities aimed at the international community, Barak wrote in the cable: advancing a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlement construction, securing international recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and improving the diplomatic stance of Palestinian representatives in Europe, East Asia and Latin America.
Israeli officials expect Ecuador to shortly announce it is joining Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia in recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called his counterparts in Mexico and Chile in the past few days and asked them not to make a similar move. He also asked senior officials in the Obama Administration to support Israel’s stance in Central and South America.
Akiva Eldar writes:
Attaining a permanent settlement with the Palestinians appears to be about as likely as the opening of an Iranian embassy in “united” Jerusalem. Almost no day goes by without some other country recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. According to the WikiLeaks documents, even the Germans, Israel’s steadfast supporters in Europe, have lost their faith in the peaceful intentions of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Even loyal partner Ehud Barak and Nobel Peace laureate Shimon Peres have ceased to praise the “new Bibi.”
There is even the hope that the Labor ministers – who constitute the shriveled fig leaf of the prime minister – have discovered the emotion called shame and the option called opposition.
And then, just when it seemed that the deterioration in Israel’s international standing and the cracks at home would open the eyes of the Israeli public, the Jewish-American Superman soars in the skies over the Capital Hill.
He shows the Jewish-Israelis that there is no need to be frightened by the U.S. president, that there is no need to be unnerved by the Europeans and that the United Nations remains insignificant.
The Superman (or woman) strikes a winning blow against the claim of the “defeatists” that it is impossible to conduct negotiations over a piece of land while building on it at the same time. This figure proves that Israel can block U.S. efforts to advance negotiations toward the establishment of a Palestinian state, and then block the efforts of the international community to recognize such state. Our current Superman sells the illusion that the Jewish and Democratic state can exists indefinitely in the Middle East without bringing the violent conflict to an end.
This Superman is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Howard Berman.