Almost a meeting….

March 6, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
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If anything demonstrates the totally dysfunctional nature of Israeli advocacy this incident proves it.

Ambassador Dave Sharma

Ambassador Dave Sharma

In an admirable effort to keep foreign diplomats fully informed of Government thinking on a variety of subjects, meetings are held with Knesset members, Ministers and Departmental heads.

With an impending review of Australian aid to UNRWA due to take place in the middle of this year and bearing in mind that this UN body has plenty of unanswered questions to explain, Bezalel Smotrich, a member of the coalition (and Bayit Yehudi member) arranged a meeting at the Knesset with Dave Sharma, the Australian Ambassador to Israel. No doubt the idea was to not only discuss the scandal of UNRWA but also to touch on other topics which concern Australia and Israel alike. After all, both countries are deeply concerned about the threat Islamic terror groups pose, the rising crescendo of hate and incitement prevalent in the media and of course matters of trade and tourism. In other words, there are plenty of things to talk about.

Therefore it is absolutely astounding that having travelled from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for a pre-arranged meeting, it turns out that the get together lasted just under five minutes. Apart from saying gidday mate, mentioning the weather and perhaps some other non consequential subject, it was all over before you could sing waltzing Mathilda. In other words, there was no meeting in the real sense of the word.

Apparently the reason was that MK Smotrich had to dash into the Knesset hall in order to cast votes. While this is a legitimate activity and one which given the slender one seat majority the Government enjoys, a vital duty, one has to wonder at the balagan it creates.

Why schedule a meeting with a foreign diplomat who has to drop other things and travel to the Capital, at a time when the Knesset is in session?

It is not rocket science to work out a more suitable opportunity when other distractions, no matter how legitimate, would not intervene.

Instead, in yet another display of ineptitude a glorious opportunity to further cement good relations with one of our few friends is frittered away. Another meeting is to be scheduled but the damage is already done. That’s the second time in the space of a week that official dysfunctional behaviour has likely caused upset and chao


One Response to “Almost a meeting….”
  1. Ron Jontof-Hutter says:

    Unfortunately this state of affairs has gone on for years. Israel’s diplomacy and dysfunctional advocacy is a disgrace.
    Israel needs to spend a respectable sum on diplomacy, appoint a proper foreign minister, listen to those that have something worthwhile to say, stop offending friends and fire diplomats who follow Liel , former ambassador to South Africa who goes around the world promoting BDS.
    Perhaps we can then see some improvements.

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