Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Saturday characterized recent Palestinian political moves against Israel as “diplomatic terrorism,” repeating a term used last week by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, but one which raises some eyebrows among Israeli officials.

One official said it was a mistake to use the word terrorism in reference to diplomatic, nonviolent steps, and that it cheapened the word “terror.” What exactly is the definition of diplomatic terrorism, the official asked.

Ayalon, speaking at a cultural event Saturday in Bat Yam, related to Friday’s  Land Day events and said they were a further expression of the Palestinian “strategy of confrontation, and are a continuation of the diplomatic terror that Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] is using against Israel in international forums.”

Liberman first used this term last week while condemning the PA’s initiative at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to send a fact-finding mission to probe the impact of the settlements on Palestinian human rights. Israel has said it would not cooperate in any way with that mission, and cut off all ties with the Human Rights Council.



“Israel will continue to successfully deal with Palestinian attempts to impose unilateral steps on Israel in the UN or on the ground,” Ayalon said.

According to senior diplomatic officials, in addition to the steps taken at various UN bodies, the Palestinians are unilaterally promoting projects with European countries in Area C, without Israel’s approval.

The Oslo Accords divided the West Bank into three areas of civil and security control.

While Areas A and B fall under various levels of Palestinian control, Israel maintains full control over Area C, which represents some 62 percent of the territory, but is mostly rural and includes only 6% of the Palestinian population.

The deputy foreign minister said that Israel would increasingly make use of what he termed “e-diplomacy,” which he said is replacing traditional face-to-face diplomacy, and is making it possible for Israel – through the use of technology – to spread its message to “many millions in the world, directly and without any middle man.”

Last year, as part of this e-diplomacy campaign, Ayalon released YouTube videos titled "The Truth About the Peace Process" and "The Truth About the West Bank" in which he presented a historical narrative meant to help wage Israel’s public diplomacy battle.

“Social media in general and YouTube in particular are major battlegrounds in the clash of narratives and public diplomacy.

It is vital that a strong rights-based Israeli presence is seen and heard, especially for the YouTube demographics who are more interested in easy to digest explanations,” Ayalon’s office said in a statement released last year.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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