Obama and Netanyahu prior to UN meeting_311.
(photo credit: Channel 10)
For months now, all I’ve been hearing about is how isolated Israel is becoming –
and by its own fault. “They” say it’s because of the settlements.
say it’s the government policies and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s
intransigence – his reluctance to give in to more Palestinian demands. If only
Israel would behave, they say, peace is just around the corner and the nations
of the world would come running, begging to be our friend.
people have bought into this skewed way of thinking.
Tzipi Livni has said that “Israel’s isolation is affecting its security and its
economy.” She also said Netanyahu is leading Israel into an
Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently called for a special
cabinet session over concerns of Israel’s growing isolation.
secretary of defense Robert M. Gates remarked that Netanyahu is an “ungrateful
ally” whose policies are worsening Israel’s international isolation.
now US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, on his first trip to Israel as
Pentagon chief, said on Sunday that “it’s pretty clear that at this dramatic
time in the Middle East, when there have been so many changes, that it is not a
good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated – and that’s what’s
SO WHAT exactly is happening? For starters, Israel is not
“becoming” isolated. Many nations are actively isolating Israel in favor of
strengthened ties with the Arab world – especially now when new potential
alliances are quickly forming in the Arab Spring wake. Should Israel take it as
face value? Or is it, as the mafia puts it, “just business – not personal”? It
is outrageous that so many believe Israel is isolating itself. It is quite the
opposite. Israel seeks the building of ties with as many countries as possible.
The fact that Israel has diplomatic ties with “only” approximately 157 countries
is not for lack of effort. We recognize that the future of this country is
interwoven with that of other nations. And we also recognize that this can be
accomplished through friendly, bilateral relations, with each country satisfying
its differing needs.
Unlike philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who wrote that
“covenants without the sword are but words,” colonial isolationists in the 18th
century believed that America could pursue the cause of freedom and democracy by
means other than war. To them, American isolationism did not mean disengagement
from the global arena.
George Washington, in his farewell address in
1796, shunned political alliances with Europe because “Europe has a set of
primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation.”
circumstances change over the course of two centuries.
president George W. Bush, in his farewell address in 2009, said “We must reject
isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders
would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home
depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of
freedom, that cause will not be led.”
Israel, too, recognizes it must
forge diplomatic and economic ties with as many countries as possible to ensure
support and stability.
TWO HUNDRED YEARS ago, isolationism referred to a
nation’s reluctance to enter into politics or war with other nations. But the
world has changed. Today, isolationism has assumed a different
Since World War II, international bodies have been created to
maintain peace and security for all nations.
The majority of nations
today seek to enter into peace agreements and friendly alliances with one
Granted, every nation is guided by self-interest but this does
not prevent normal ties.
In effect, isolationism today should refer to
those states that refuse to enter into a peace treaty with other
And in my view, the Palestinians, among other misguided Arab
parties, fall into this category. They have repeatedly rejected the creation of
normal and friendly bilateral ties with Israel.
For this reason, Israel
is not becoming isolated.
Rather, there are many enlightened nations that
seek to maintain ties with Israel. Unfortunately, there are those, individuals
and nations alike, who are isolating themselves from the beacon of clarity and
sanity to take the side of evil. They believe, unquestioningly, what they are
told by morally corrupt institutions and listen wide-eyed to skewed and biased
Militant Islam, with which many of the aforementioned
identify, has the ability to gain even further traction now as the Middle East
undergoes significant change. This could prove exceedingly detrimental as it
would hamper, if not completely prevent, Israel’s efforts to forge ties with
nations with which it previously had none or strengthen ties where they already
In Modern Diplomacy,
R.P. Barston wrote: “Most states in the
course of their political history undergo some periods of extreme
abnormal relations with other states or organizations. In general, while
these are resolved, a growing number persist and are only imperfectly
Those misguided individuals and nations who still believe
Israel is on the path to isolation will long remain blind to the fact
that it is
they who are barricading themselves from the truth and isolating
an ever-progressive world.