Daniel W. Drezner

Seriously, what’s the deal with Israeli diplomacy?

Like others at FP who shall go unnamed, I can’t resist having some fun at Vice President Joe Biden’s expense when he does something silly like say something that’s true but terribly stupid to say in public.    In the interest of fairness, therefore, let’s take a look at how a Biden trip in which he’s ...

Like others at FP who shall go unnamed, I can't resist having some fun at Vice President Joe Biden's expense when he does something silly like say something that's true but terribly stupid to say in public.   

In the interest of fairness, therefore, let's take a look at how a Biden trip in which he's the diplomatic guy in room -- his sojourn to Israel.  True, Biden hasn't been shy about opening his mouth -- although this qualifies more as "tough-minded diplomacy" rather than gaffe.

As for the Israelis.... well, let's take a look at Barak Ravid's Ha'aretz report, shall we?

Like others at FP who shall go unnamed, I can’t resist having some fun at Vice President Joe Biden’s expense when he does something silly like say something that’s true but terribly stupid to say in public.   

In the interest of fairness, therefore, let’s take a look at how a Biden trip in which he’s the diplomatic guy in room — his sojourn to Israel.  True, Biden hasn’t been shy about opening his mouth — although this qualifies more as "tough-minded diplomacy" rather than gaffe.

As for the Israelis…. well, let’s take a look at Barak Ravid’s Ha’aretz report, shall we?

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Jerusalem yesterday was not free of embarrassing moments.

The first occurred at the President’s Residence, at the start of a meeting between Biden and President Shimon Peres. The plan called for brief remarks, which usually means a few minutes. But Peres spoke for no less than 25 minutes.

Throughout the speech, the vice president sat in his chair waiting for his turn to say something. American reporters and others present at the scene said the whole thing was very embarrassing, because, as one put it, Peres "gave a whole speech, going from one subject to another."

Many of those present were shifting uncomfortably in their chairs, the sources said, while Peres’ aides exchanged worried looks and passed notes to each other.

In the end, his aides whispered to Peres that time was short, and he should hand the floor over to Biden – who did confine his remarks to a few minutes. The two then held their meeting, accompanied by their aides.

Seriously, what is going on over there?  This is hardly the first diplomatic screw-up they’ve had in 2010.  Most of this stuff is on the order of ticky-tack fouls, but it does add up

UPDATE:  Well, it’s good to know the Israelis aren’t the only ones making gaffes

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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