“I have seen all the proposals made so generously by Ehud Olmert, but I have not seen any result”; so spoke Israel’s new Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, during his first address to the media after assuming his post. He went on to say that the way the free world has tried to deal with issues like Islamic sponsored terrorism and Iran’s nuclear program hasn’t worked, and that the real world security problems are coming from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq and not from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Lieberman specifically renounced the giving of concessions in order to gain peace. “The fact that we say the word “peace” twenty times a day will not bring peace any closer”, he added. He also said that the time-worn “Westphalia” conception of nation states is dead, and has been replaced by a modern conception of states, semi-states and “irrational international players” most noteworthy Al Qaeda and Iran. But what seemed to frost many diplomats the most, especially Egypt’s, was when he said he will only go there on diplomatic missions if his counterpart is willing to visit him in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. That remark caused the Egyptian ambassador to say he will “keep his hands in his pockets” should the two men even meet face to face.
Judging from the silence that emanated from his remarks, and the comments made by various international medias afterwards, Foreign Minister Lieberman did not go very far in regards to the strategies mooted by that world famous maestro of human relations Dale Carnegie, whose best selling book How to Make Friends and Influence People appeared in the late 1930’s, and is still widely used for perfecting human relations strategies by many people today.
Thus began the term of the man who is questioned and even feared in his own country, regarding his outlook on the present world order; especially when he ended his 15 minute reality trip by quoting an ancient Roman general who said in regards to peace: “Si vis pacem para bellum“– if you want peace, prepare for war – be strong!”
Dale Carnegie would never have used this strategy in his world famous books and self improvement courses; but again, Lieberman is not Carnegie, and doesn’t intend to be. And we can all be certain that Israel’s enemies and critiques are already aware of this…