Israeli research and study centres, as well as the Zionist lobby, are working overtime studying Israel's opponents in the Middle East, primarily Syria, Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas. Some leaked reports have confirmed that many Israeli experts are engaged on looking at the causes of the decline in Israel's diplomacy and how the Zionist state can restore its primacy, without which Israel's political, security, military and economic abilities will also be damaged.
In this context, a senior researcher at the Institute for Zionist National Security, Hirsch Goodman, said that Israeli diplomacy started its decline after the second Lebanon War in 2006, through the invasion of Gaza, the failure to deal with the Freedom Flotilla and ending with the diplomatic failure to prevent a resolution on the desirability of a nuclear-free Middle East at the Reduction of Nuclear Weapon Proliferation Conference.
In the face of this failure, which Israel is not used to, there has been a growing awareness of the necessity to seek a new qualitative solution in the Middle East that will give Israel a better position to implement its agenda in the region. According to Israeli sources, there is an increased focus on the need to use more coercion and diplomatic compulsion against Iran and Syria. Coercion coupled with military action is seen as the preferred option against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Hamas and its Palestinian allies.
Goodman adds that the role played by the media in Israel and US is to entrench the notion that the current Middle East reality does not provide any real possibility for achieving peace. Thus, Israel, in cooperation with the United States, has to try to modify the reality in the region to accommodate the Israeli concept of peace, where the media, dependent on the decision-makers in Tel Aviv on the political and security level, focuses on the link between the rise of Hezbollah and the weakening all Israel's deterrence. The emphasis is on the claim that for Israel to increase the strength of its deterrence factor, it is essential to weaken the power of Hezbollah; the media also seeks to link in readers' minds that a strong Hezbollah could encourage armed Shiite groups in Iraq, the Gulf and Yemen, posing a real threat to US interests across the region.
In the Palestinian territories, Israel links the rise of Hamas to the erosion of its internal security, thus emphasizing that Israel's internal stability will be improved when Hamas and its allies are weakened. As in the case of Hezbollah and the "Shiite threat", the media and lobbyists seek to link the power of Hamas to the potential for Sunni groups to rise and threaten US interests in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, the Gulf, Morocco and other countries with a majority Sunni population.
Hirsch Goodman holds Israel's intelligence bodies responsible for the failure of diplomacy, due mainly to the growing gap between the intelligence community and the media. Israel's public loss of face arises, he believes, from the intelligence bodies' reluctance to disseminate information and, when they do, doing it very slowly.
Goodman demonstrates this failure with the film made by the Israeli intelligence showing the Israeli commandos who stormed the Freedom Flotilla being injured by Turkish activists; he thinks that this was a failure to present a proper case to the Turkish public and the world at large. It did, according to Goodman, cause more adverse reactions because of the delay in releasing the footage.
The result is that Israel faces economic losses because of diplomatic weaknesses. Boycotts, calls for sanctions and the reluctance of foreigners to visit Israel, combined with attacks on the Jewish state in international forums, have reached a level that is unprecedented. This is confusing friends of Israel.
According to Hirsch Goodman, the intelligence services must act promptly to avert further danger: "It is time that these services started collaborating with Israeli diplomats," he added. The Zionist narrative must be marketed worldwide because the once-famed Israeli diplomatic skills now have neither weapons nor worth.
Source: Al Quds Al Arabi
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