Ron Ben-Yishai

Israel’s growing isolation

Our global status is gradually being eroded as international pressure grows

Part 2 of analysis


What should concern us about the deterioration in our ties with Turkey is that the Turks are not alone.


In recent years, up until several months ago, Israel’s intelligence community estimated that the fears of Arab Sunni-majority states in the face of the Iranian-Shiite threat would prompt a process of rapprochement between them and Israel. This assessment appeared to materialize during the Second Lebanon War: The positions adopted by most Sunni states, ranging from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, towards Hezbollah and its patrons in Tehran left little room for doubt as to where they stand.


However, then came Operation Case Lead in Gaza and changed the picture. The sights of carnage and ruin in the Strip, reinforced by the inciting commentary offered by Arab satellite networks, provoked unrest on the Muslim street. This unrest jeopardize the moderate regimes, which were forced to issue scathing condemnations over Israel’s actions and even adopt substantive steps against it, in line with Arab League demands.


The chances of tightening regional cooperation further declined after a Netanyahu-led rightist government was formed in Jerusalem, with Avigdor Lieberman becoming a major partner in it. The wave of hostility and media incitement grew in the face of Israel’s refusal to freeze construction in the settlements and the building in east Jerusalem, which were accompanied by provocative statements on the part of Netanyahu and his ministers.


All of the above curbed the Obama Administration’s nascent attempt to advance the resolution of the conflict by integrating it within the Saudi normalization initiative. Gulf States, which realized that the US Administration is failing to elicit Israeli concessions, responded (in line with popular pressure) by refusing to offer confidence-building gestures. The Goldstone Report on the Gaza war and the tensions in Jerusalem, which were fanned by radical Jewish and Muslim pyromaniacs, added more fuel to the fire.


The situation is not much better in the rest of the world. The developments reviewed here are gradually eroding Israel’s status not only in Asia, where most of the world’s Muslims reside.


We are seeing an anti-Israeli tide in Europe and in South America as well that at times gives rise to latent anti-Semitism. The list is long: Ranging from the media-covered conflict with Sweden over the “harvesting of body parts” affair (which was needlessly inflated by us) to the Norwegian decision to boycott the stocks of Elbit. It continued with the embargo imposed by Britain on the importation of spare parts to the Israeli Navy and the boycott on goods produced in the territories; finally, Honduras’ ousted president charged Israelis with using poisonous gases against him.


We are dealing with an accumulation of positions, declarations, and actions adopted by organizations and governments worldwide with growing intensity, in the aims of isolating Israel and thereby pressuring it to modify is political positions and force military restraint upon it. And this is the good case scenario.


According to the more negative scenario, they are trying to brand Israel as a “pariah state,” undermine the legitimacy of its very existence, and revoke its natural right and duty to defend its citizens – similarly to the manner in which the international community “took care” of the apartheid regime in South Africa.


Part 3 of analysis to appear Wednesday evening


פרסום ראשון: 10.14.09, 11:59
 new comment
This will delete your current comment