Israel’s Outgoing Foreign Ministry Chief Dispels ‘Myth’ of Jewish State’s Diplomatic Isolation
The adoption this week by UNESCO of a resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has caused many people to question the value of Israel’s new diplomacy, the recently resigned director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told The Algemeiner on Thursday, hours after addressing a gathering of international lawmakers in the Israeli capital.
However, said Dore Gold, founder and president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs think tank, “Such an attitude does not recognize the important advances that have already been made.”
“The total number of states abstaining and voting against the resolution was greater than the number of states that actually supported it,” he said. “It is important to remember that changes in UN voting will take time, and no one should look for instant gratification in this area.”
Gold was offering an addendum to the speech he delivered during the Israel Allies Foundation’s annual Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference, devoted to refuting what he called the “myth running through the international community over the last two-to-three years, according to which Israel is isolated more than ever.”
As the Hebrew press reported, Gold told the conference, attended by more than 20 members of parliament from 17 countries,
As director-general of the Foreign Ministry up until recently — in which capacity I read the cable traffic from all over the world — I learned that there is no basis to this myth.
Under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there has been a flowering of Israel’s diplomacy around the world. Starting with the Far East, Israel has made significant progress in negotiating free trade agreements with South Korea, China, Japan and India. For the first time, the prime minister of Singapore visited Israel. This kind of activity did not occur in the past.
If we check Israel’s situation in the Arab world, behind the scenes, Israel and the Sunni Arab states increasingly see the Middle East region in the same way.
Israel also broke new ground in Africa, largely due to the prime minister’s July 2016 visit to the Entebbe Airport to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Israeli commando raid to liberate Israeli hostages.
The event quickly became a meeting of seven African countries with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the echo of the Entebbe Summit reached South Africa and northward to the Sahara Desert. And it allowed for new Israeli initiatives, which had not been undertaken in many years.
Major developments are occurring in Latin America, in countries like Argentina and Brazil, which I am sure will lead to new Israeli diplomatic initiatives over time.
The three-day conference, which began on Wednesday, is sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. Topics on the agenda include delegitimization efforts against Israel, Palestinian incitement and the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
Gold cited “personal reasons” for stepping down from his Foreign Ministry post earlier this month.