In defence of diplomacy - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Russell Cohen
    • 05.05.10 | 13:54 (IDT)

    "Sixty-two years after the prophecy of [Herzl's] Altneuland was realized, we, the generations of those who established the country, know very well that Israel's salvation did not come from prophets or from diplomats," said Rivlin, "but from those who dared to stop dreaming and start realizing the dream; in the hands of those who stopped waiting for the establishment of Israel and made the dream a reality." What a silly, silly thing to say! Herzl was all about diplomacy. Zionism needed equal parts diplomacy and hard work in order to succeed. If not, then why do we still celebrate the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference, the Mandate for Palestine and or United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) and regard them as Israel’s founding documents? If “[daring] to stop dreaming and start realizing the dream; [...] [not] waiting for the establishment of Israel and made the dream a reality” were enough, then why didn’t we declare our state in 1939, instead of in 1948, when it was too late for 90% of European Jewry? Maybe diplomacy carries a little more weight than Rivlin imagines. In the last few years (and particularly since Netanyahu’s unholy alliance took power) we have begun to realise just what diplomatic isolation can mean for a country such as Israel. Let’s celebrate Israel’s achievements, but let’s not fool ourselves that blood, toil, tears and sweat would have been enough. Without the diplomatic groundwork (Herzl’s “Charter”), it would have all been for nought.

    from the article: Israel's Independence Day: Nationwide ceremonies, celebrations
    First published 19:04 19.04.10 | Last updated 14:35 25.04.10
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