Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman once again has stirred up anger throughout the world by h is clumsy efforts at what he believes is effective diplomacy. In an attempt to prove Israel has a right to construct apartments in an area of East Jerusalem he ordered Israel diplomats throughout the world to make certain everyone in their country sees a photograph taken in 1941 in which the grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini is shown in the company of Adolf Hitler. This is an attempt to prove since he was deported by the British in 1941 the building he once lived in now belongs to Israel. Of course, the real reason for the picture is to portray Arabs as allies of Hitler during World War II and to justify — what exactly? Unfortunately, the world really doesn’t care in 2009 about a man who is dead and virtually unknown not only in the world, but to most Muslims.
Israel is arguing that Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab nation. This is factually correct, but present boundaries between Israel and Arabs were created by the UN partition plan and that document places East Jerusalem within Arab territory, not Israeli. All this silliness has done is emphasized the clumsiness of Lieberman as a diplomat and once allowed those who oppose Israel to proclaim when Jews are in trouble, they play the Hitler card. The French foreign ministry summoned Israel’s ambassador to that nation and he was informed “an immediate freeze in settlements, including east Jerusalem is indispensable for preserving the two-state solution.”
Lieberman still does not grasp the job of a foreign minister is to play to the world, not to local Israel politics. The Nazi issue has no place in 2009. Of course, if Arabs wanted to play the Fascist card, they could display photographs of Jewish Italians who were members of Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party. Hitler and Mussolini are dead, let’s deal with issues of 2009.