Hanoch Daum
Photo: Rafi Deloya
The real fool is Erdogan
Ayalon erred in handling Turkish envoy, but Turkey’s PM did worse

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon indeed bears the responsibility for the foolish act undertaken last week. However, I am not talking about the failed attempt to reprimand Turkey’s ambassador to Israel, but rather, about the zeal shown by Ayalon in clarifying in words matters that should have been conveyed through pictures alone.


After all, the beauty of diplomacy is its nuances: The photo of the ambassador waiting outside the door, the ambassador sitting on the low sofa, and the single flag on the table. All of it is legitimate, and moreover, it has been done more than once in the past (as an experienced diplomat told me last week.)


However, when all of this is uttered explicitly, in words – here I am sitting at a higher chair, and here I am refraining from shaking his hand, and here I am making a sober facial expression – the diplomatic charm turns into Israeli rudeness.


In fact, this is reminiscent of these boys who on their first trip abroad swear the passersby in Hebrew, taking pleasure in the fact that nobody understands their language.


Yet nonetheless, we have to admit the following: It’s hard to be disappointed with Deputy Minister Ayalon. After all, we are talking about a guy in glasses who joined Yisrael Beiteinu because he realized this will enable him to become a Knesset member and a deputy minister.


After all, he did not really sympathize with the “No Loyalty No Citizenship” campaign. He does not really hold the same views as party head Avigdor Lieberman. He is also not really the public’s representatives at the Knesset. He is Lieberman’s representative.


Turkey to pay price

Yisrael Beiteinu voters voted for Lieberman, and got Ayalon as one of his satellites. And as one of Lieberman’s satellites, gentle diplomacy is not something that should be exaggerated. It is always better to speak bluntly, even if this later requires seven apologies in writing and verbally.


However, this is the time for an important reminder: Ayalon is a deputy minister; A Knesset member chosen to the post by one person. Ayalon erred as result of his eagerness to appease his lovely boss. This is indeed a mishap, but not one that involves the top echelons of the government.


On the other hand, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who blasted President Shimon Peres and then walked out during his speech, and also claimed that Israel steals water, and also dangerously joined forced with Iran, is the real fool here.


Indeed, Erdogan is the one who, at the end of the day, will lose his state’s chance to become an equal partner in the family of nations.


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