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Slow Posting, Hat Tip To US Foreign Service Officers

Apologies to readers wondering why we have been running fewer posts this week.  My schedule in the Middle East has been packed, with teaching and meetings on both sides of the 1948 armistice lines.  I’ve been dividing my time between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Tel Aviv, and everywhere I go I find people are transfixed by the changes sweeping the region, concerned about the likely consequences of revolution in Syria, and frustrated and confused by America’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Having spent some time with US diplomats who deal both with Israelis and Palestinians, I am as usual impressed by their competence and diligence.  Few Americans ever see, much less fully appreciate, the work that our foreign service does.  The contacts they develop, the reporting they produce, and the work they do trying to support US policy — often at considerable personal risk — makes me proud of my country.  I’ve visited US diplomats at dozens of embassies and consulates around the world; the best of our diplomats are superb, and we are on the whole extremely well served.

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  • nadine

    It’s good to hear that our Foreign Service officers are of good quality. However, the dig I have always heard against them is not that they are stupid; rather, that the combination of Arab politeness, Israeli brusqueness, and the pervasive American assumption that all sides are equally reasonable and there must exist some compromise solution midway between the two sides, leads to a pervasive pro-Arab tilt in the US State Department. (That, and judicious applications of Saudi money to their ‘friends’)

    In short, they conclude that if the Israelis are so hated, they must have done something really bad to deserve it. Their gracious Arab clients couldn’t hate the Israelis so much just for being Jews, could they? Their Arab friends will earnestly explain their reasons.

  • Luke Lea

    Well, then, tell them to get their European colleagues to pony up for Palestinian reparations. They call it the Quartet but it sounds like a solo.

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