On the other hand, a government intent on subverting the influence of a diplomat giving it necessary but perhaps hard-to-swallow advice could do worse than create a diversionary flap focusing on internal protocol in order to contaminate said advice with the bacillus of controversy.
Here, according to the online edition of the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, is what Tamir wrote:
"The manner in which we [Israel] are conducting relations with the American administration is causing strategic damage to Israel. The distance between us and the US administration has clear consequences for Israeli deterrence.
"There are American and Israeli political elements who oppose Obama on an ideological basis and who are ready to sacrifice the special relationships between the two countries for the sake of their own political agendas," he continued. "Nowadays there is a sense in the United States that Obama is forced to deal with the obduracy of the governments in Iran, North Korea, and Israel."
Those last words must have stung.
If Tamir is correct in his judgment that Israel's failure to deal with the issue of West Bank settlements is making it difficult to rally American Jewish support for Israel, then future prospects for any lessening of tensions may indeed be grim.
When doing one's job can be interpreted as an act of courage, perhaps it is time to re-examine the policies that make what should be routine so hazardous.
: The Editorial Page
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