Education Minister Naftali Bennett was right when he declared that the Foreign Ministry’s personnel “have a DNA.” But contrary to him, having been a member of that family for many years, I consider it a national treasure. And I am proud of it.
This DNA has brought the best and the brightest to the foreign service, and their leading motivation has been to serve the country, any time, any place and in all circumstances.
To say that presenting Israel’s policies abroad nowadays is an easy task would be a lie. Not only Israel’s enemies but also some of our closest friends and allies do not understand them, let alone accept some of their basic tenets. And yes, some of our devoted diplomats, those who have courage to act so, feel that it is their duty to report to the policy-makers in Jerusalem the problems they are facing, the question marks raised, the changes in public opinion. But more often than not we kill the messenger.
With the passing of time, I keep wondering (and grieving) at the instinct to destruction so prevalent in today’s politics, the determination to destroy, to shred to pieces all that was good and built with great pains. The Foreign Ministry, one of the best tools at the service of this country’s interests, has been taken apart by our prime minister, who offered large chunks of it and some of its basic tasks, as a consolation prize, to some of the ministers in his coalition. Thus, in the absence of a clear, complete and coherent view of the picture, the ministry is becoming irrelevant. Moreover, it is being turned into the punching bag of politicians who make it responsible for their own failures.
Unfortunately, it is our country that will pay the price for this behavior.