July 4th Israel Politics
By Micah Halpern
Sunday July 4, 2010
I've Been Thinking:
Today is US Independence Day. As is the tradition across the world, ambassadors and counsel generals have barbeques and invite VIPs and local leaders to celebrate this historic anniversary.
Israel is no different. Today, US Ambassador to Israel, James B. Cunningham, held a July 4th event. Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, did not attend. According to the foreign minister's office "The minister was on a tour of northern Israel and announced a few weeks ago that he would not be attending."
Israel's foreign minister missed the July 4th celebration hosted by the US ambassador. He did not miss the annual Independence Day celebrations of other countries, like Kenya and Kazakhstan.
This is a clear slap in the face to the United States. It is a slap in the face that, in this case, is long overdue.
Liberman has been regularly dissed by the United States. Even when this Israeli foreign minister is in Washington, DC he is not invited to meet with administration officials. Not a single person in the White House from the president down to his lowliest aides will meet with Avigdor Liberman - not in public and not even in private.
Like him or not, Liberman is also the Foreign Minister of Israel. That title alone should warrant official meetings with United States officials. It's called diplomacy, it's called protocol.