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Private Candor v.s Public Prevrication

Reader comment on item: Pouring Cold Water on WikiLeaks

Submitted by Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Israel), Dec 14, 2010 at 09:42

The policy of Israeli leaders of being candid in private and prevaricating in public is the obverse of the policy of Arab leaders. I will give two examples, both based on my own personal experience.

Back in September 1976, I had an officially arranged meeting with the political adviser to then Defense Minister Shimon Peres. Toward the end of the meeting, I asked him "What is Israel's main problem?" He answered—and these are his exact words—"We cannot lie as well as the Arabs." I (naively) responded: "Then why not tell the truth?"

Now, before I recount the second example, which involves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a preliminary statement is necessary.

Critics of American foreign policy toward the PLO-Israel conflict know that it is based on moral relativism. (This was recently confirmed by John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN, who deplores the "moral equivalency" that permeates the American State Department.)

A few years ago, at an international conference in Jerusalem, I told Mr. Netanyahu that U.S. policy toward the Israel-PLO conflict is based on moral relativism. He responded by saying it would be more vivid to say it is based on "moral reversal."

He is quite correct. But he has never displayed the wherewithal to say this publically. Although the reason may be obvious to most readers, I ask "What has Israel paid in bloodshed for this failure to reveal the ugly truth about her friends and enemies?

And what has America paid and will yet pay for its foreign policy of moral equivalence-cum-moral reversal?


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