The calls to bolster Israel's public-relations efforts concerning the Goldstone report are not enough. Indeed, the report is just part of the emerging trend toward isolating Israel as the world's leper, even though the "war crimes" of which it is accused do not even come close to those committed by its loudest critics. This proves once again that interests are what dictate the international agenda, and if interests are the name of the game, we need a planned counterattack, one that will exact a price from the aggressors and compel them to consider whether such actions coincide with their interests. From this standpoint, the calls to cancel trips by Israeli vacationers to Turkey are a step in the right direction, though this is not enough.
Since Israel is a small country, it's clear that most of these measures cannot be carried out by Israel alone. Rather, we need a broad coalition of forces in the West who share our concern about the tendency to capitulate to the aims of the global jihad, or Iran.
One step we can take by ourselves: We should make it clear that Israel would be happy to establish a commission of inquiry into Operation Cast Lead. But since it is inconceivable that Israel would be tried for actions from which other countries are granted immunity, the commission would be formed on the day the Americans and British establish their own inquiries into possible war crimes in Afghanistan. The same goes for the Russians in Chechnya, the Turks against the Kurds, and elsewhere.
Other measures can be taken, like encouraging international recognition of the Turks' massacre of the Armenians as an act of genocide; conditioning Turkey's entry into the European Union on Ankara's positions toward the West, including Israel; advocating a change in international law on war so it reflects the problems of combating terrorists who use civilians as "human shields"; and encouraging Western nations to level sanctions against Iran without waiting for the rest of the international community.
This is by no means an ideal situation, but it is preferable to the futile waiting game before gaining the consent of the other global players, particularly Russia and China. In fact, such efforts would also make clear whether the West is even interested in sanctions, or whether its representatives are using the Sino-Russian refusal as an excuse to continue to maintain trade ties between Western companies and Iran.
There is also the possibility of adopting the proposal by U.S. Senator John McCain to establish a new international body comprised solely of democratic states. McCain's proposed organization would replace the United Nations, which would in effect mean that those democratic states would resign from the UN. But perhaps this is too drastic a step, at least for the time being. Nonetheless, it is important that the world's democracies develop a joint policy to contend with the automatic majority enjoyed by nondemocratic states in UN institutions. Perhaps the very threat of a mass departure of democratic states from the UN - countries that account for the bulk of the world body's resources and moral standing - could help moderate the positions of the other countries.
Some of these measures are certainly contrary to the spirit of the current U.S. administration. They may even arouse Washington's anger. This alone is a reason why Israel must drift into the background and not take the lead in such a process. Nonetheless, historical circumstances prove that those who show they are not in anyone's pocket are the ones who gain a diplomatic advantage, so everyone has an interest in courting them. If the Obama administration grasps that Israel and its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters are not in its pocket, maybe he, too, will be more sensitive to Israel's needs when pursuing his policy.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now