Question of the Week – Week 51

star-survey-150This weeks question (s)

How do you feel about Israelis petitioning foreign parliaments to recognise Palestine? Is this a different question if it was Israelis petitioning foreign parliaments to change a decision made by the Knesset on any issue? Please comment freely.

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There is, or at least was†, an American idiom that Politics stops at the water’s edge. In other words, raising partisan disputes would not best represent the united front of a strong, whole America Israel. Winston Churchill worded it brilliantly. Didn’t he always?

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.

The Internet has made the travelling moot but the principle remains.

This explains, at least in part, why I am so offended by Israelis, no matter what their achievements, who having failed in democratic elections, time and time again, to persuade the Israeli public, take their case to foreign parliaments, in the hope of undercutting the elected government of their own country. Do you feel the same?

It is not simply that I disagree with their reasoning on recognition of Palestinian State. Liberal democracies allow a wide range of opinion including those that arguably are stupid, suicidal or insane but the implied condition of democracy is after the election the elected government is the government of all us.

There is no not-in-my-name in a representative democracy.

Particularly in Israel, with a hyperactive Supreme Court to protect natural justice, there is no excuse for it.

I wonder why a more public diplomacy savvy  government doesn’t produce a similar letter proclaiming that the Israeli people do not want you to recognise a Palestinian state, at least, not now? It shouldn’t be hard to find two or three times more distinguished signatures in touch with Israeli opinion.

Extra Credit

Knesset hall

Hall of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament)

Photo Attributions
Amos Oz By Michiel Hendryckx (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

† The attacks on George Bush opened the dam and the attacks on Barak Obama, coming from the opposite side have made it a norm.

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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