Friday, January 04, 2013

It's your policies, stupid

There is a bit of conventional wisdom among Israel and its supporters that Israel has a public diplomacy problem.  If only Israel explained itself better, the notion contends, then the global public would be more sympathetic to Israel.

A think-tank in Israel called Molad recently came out with a report backing up something I have long been saying: rather just the opposite, Israel does public diplomacy quite well, but can't cover for bad policies.

Israel is quite adept at public diplomacy, and is an early-adopter of new mediums and platforms.  It does a good job of engaging its diaspora, and fostering people-to-people connections.  Its public diplomacy promotes Israeli innovations, and its cultural diplomacy can be dynamic in scope and often showcases iconclastic sides of Israeli life.

But...all that can't cover for the fact that occupation and settlement-building is TERRIBLE policy, and no amount of public diplomacy can change that.  It's lipstick on a kosher pig, at best.

As Murrow contended, not even the best public diplomacy can cover for bad policy.  It's time for Israel to learn that maxim.

No comments: