In an action that signals a hardening of Israeli attitudes in international geopolitics, Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman declared that “the era of groveling is over” in terms of Israeli relationships with other nations (see link below). This statement was made at an unprecedented meeting at which all Israeli Ambassadors to all other nations were summoned.
Foreign Minister Lieberman singled out relationships with Turkey and the Palestinian Authority in particular. He said Israel has “made enough gestures” toward the Palestinians and “does not need to give any more” to the Palestinians. The tone of his comments signaled rather strongly (in my opinion) that the Israelis now need to see some real concessions from the Palestinian side if there is to be any progress in Israeli-Palestinian relations. According to this media story from the Jerusalem Post, Lieberman directed some of his comments to the Israeli Ambassador to Turkey who is perceived to have been representing Turkey’s interests to the Israeli government rather than representing Israeli interests to Turkey.
Foreign Minister Lieberman is known for being a hard-liner in the Netanyahu government, but it is unlikely that this unprecedented meeting took place and that Lieberman made such strong statements without Netanyahu’s approval. While his remarks were addressed to a meeting of Israeli ambassadors, the remarks were clearly meant to be heard and understood by all foreign governments as well. The Israelis are facing an existential crisis as Iran is almost ready to have nuclear weapons and has declared openly its intention to “wipe Israel off the map.” The Israelis also are threatened by tens of thousands of missiles in the hands of Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy force in Lebanon, and by an unknown number of missiles in the hands of Hamas in Gaza. Lieberman is clearly weary of having other nations tell the Israelis to make endless “concessions” to a mostly imaginary “peace process” while the Palestinian Authority isn’t pressured by any nation to make concessions to the Israelis. Turkey’s sliding into an anti-Israeli stance is a serious development as Turkey has had a warm relationship with the Israelis for a considerable period of time. Turkey’s warming up to Syria and Iran recently is especially threatening to Israeli security interests.
The Israelis may have a bit of a “siege mentality” right now. If so, one can hardly blame them. However, they are not alone in the world. A recent blog highlighted a budding Israeli alliance with Greece, and the Israelis need a regional ally such as Greece. Regrettably, President Obama’s administration seems to be the most anti-Israeli administration in U.S. history, but Americans themselves remain strongly pro-Israeli in their sentiment. This acts as a political restraint to Obama’s policies toward the Israelis. Zechariah 12 ought to be a great encouragement to the Israelis and to all of Israel’s friends in the world. It prophecies that at the end of this age [which is now, as can easily be seen in my article Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days?] In Zechariah 12, God promises to defend Judah (the biblical name for the Jewish nation called Israel) and Jerusalem “though all the people of the world be gathered together against it” (verse 3). Verse 8 repeats that promise, and verse 6 declares God will make the nation of Judah strong against its enemies. He’s already done that as the Israelis are currently the only nuclear-armed nation in the Mideast. The Israelis are not in the habit of making menacing threats against others, but no one should doubt that in a dire existential crisis, those Israeli nuclear weapons will be used.