What Can We Learn from the American State Department’s Latest ‘Mistake’?

The “mistake” that recently occurred on the U.S. ambassador to Israel’s Twitter account may indicate a political trend in the U.S. State Department; rushing to return to Obama’s policies.

“In the morning you can already see that it is going to be a beautiful day.” This is what my late mother, bless her memory, used to say to cynically or ironically describe a human situation that came up when the context demanded it. I would say that this expression also applies to the “mistake” that occurred on the new U.S. ambassador to Israel’s Twitter account when the account’s name changed to “US Ambassador to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza,” right after the new president took office and the Zionist Ambassador David Friedman retired. This mistake foretells, from the first morning of Joe Biden’s presidency, what will come next.

Nadav Eyal described this below-the-belt blow from the American embassy to Yedioth Ahronoth as “a little mistake.” But this mistake happened amid renewed hopes of State Department staff who identify with the far left of the Democratic Party; there’s no other explanation for how such a mistake has not yet occurred during the 73 years of the state of Israel’s existence. The embassy claimed that the change in the name was caused by “unintentional editing.”

I have never heard of a country making such a fundamental mistake potentially minimizing Israel in the eyes of viewers and readers around the world and to drag it into a triangle of illegitimate entities that do not constitute states but rather undefined territories, such as the West Bank and Gaza. And while it diminishes the importance of and humiliates the state of Israel, it also glorifies those two territories because it equates them with the state of Israel and makes their status equal on a diplomatic level.

Even worse, the use of the term “West Bank,” which is the convention of our far left and of the Kingdom of Jordan, indicates that the mistake carries essential diplomatic weight and attributes a strong, clear anti-Israel position to the U.S. State Department. This is already a big scandal that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi needs to deal with. He should have clarified who was responsible for this scandal: Is it the diplomatic tone in Washington or is it the frustrated, anti-Semitic staff in the embassy itself? The answer — in addition to an apology by the embassy — should have been published officially in newspapers. The newspapers are also guilty: How did they not research who made this error? Maybe it was a cleaner who takes care of the embassy offices and accidentally pressed a button somewhere? And who gave the directive for it?

It’s true that the original wording was quickly restored, perhaps with the prime minister’s intervention, but there are things that are impossible to fix because they point to behind-the-scenes intent. Calling the U.S. ambassador to Israel an ambassador to the “West Bank” sounds like the United States negates Israel’s rights in Yehuda and Shomron. This is an intentional political trend on the part of American staffers in the State Department, who are in a hurry to return to Barack Obama’s policies.

This whole situation is depressing because it reminds us of the behavior of the U.S. State Department at the time that Israel was founded; when the behavior doesn’t change, it means that the staff hasn’t changed and remains hostile to Zionism. You‘ll recall that Clark Clifford, special adviser to Harry Truman and later named defense secretary under Lyndon B. Johnson, wrote in a long article that George Marshall, Truman’s secretary of state, actively opposed Truman’s support for the establishment of the Jewish state. Marshall tried as hard as he could to prevent Israel’s official recognition. Clifford even accused Marshall of sending false data to Truman so that the United States would vote against the establishment of a Jewish state in the U.N. General Assembly. But Truman despised the State Department staff and was the first to recognize the establishment of the Jewish state.

Whoever wants to attack the honor and status of the state of Israel cannot claim to be just making a mistake”; sometimes it is really anti-Semitism. As is well known, the plague of anti-Semitism is more rampant and toxic than COVID-19, especially because it is forever.

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