In the world of Israel’s ‘anti-diplomacy,’ anything is possible — including the extremely improbable.
There comes a time in every Israeli’s life when he or she must undertake a great challenge on behalf of the Zionist endeavor. This morning I learned that my country has found itself at the center of a diplomatic debacle with New Zealand, and it appears that I may have to be the one to tie the bungee rope around my waist, step into the ravine of international relations, and resolve it.
First, though, let us ask: how in the world does one run into conflict with New Zealand? It must take so much imagination and innovation to even start to ruffle kiwi feathers. Of course, the French sank a boat in Aukland harbor in 1985. It was the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior, which threatened to temper with the Republic’s South Pacific nuclear experiments. Les Français actually ran a commando operation on New Zealand soil, killing one activist. Indeed, they are known for being avant garde, and that fiasco is up there with Duchamp’s Pissoir.
But how did we, a far more conservative nation, get the New Zealanders mad? We are experts on fighting our immediate neighbors – but they are so far away, and so famously peaceful to begin with. What could we have possibly done to irk them? Or how did they manage to irk us?
It fits right in with most of our famous cases of faux pas; it has to do with refusal to share. In this case: the refusal to share an ambassador. It appears that, in a is not at all unusual arrangement, New Zealand’s ambassador to Turkey also serves as its ambassador to Israel. He is based in Ankara and is in charge of contact with several regimes of the Levant, including Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
As new Ambassador Jonathan Curr arrived in Turkey recently, he was due to present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. In addition, he was due to present a letter of introduction to the PA. New Zealand does not recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, hence the lesser ceremony.
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