Familiarity And Contempt

Olmert’s office just humiliated a senior Brit diplomat, showing contempt for both diplomatic protocol and its Brit friends. For Israel’s own good, the Brits should administer a hefty slap.

The story (my ellipsis):

The Foreign Ministry has issued a formal apology to Britain’s deputy consul-general to Israel following an upsetting incident during a visit to the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, where she was subjected to a strip-search despite having diplomatic credential…

(Janet) Rogan, the deputy head of Britain’s diplomatic mission to Israel, was accompanying a delegation of British Treasury officials who were holding several high-profile meetings with Israeli officials.

The security guards demanded Rogan go through a physical security check, to which she refused, presenting her diplomatic credentials. An exchange of harsh words developed and Rogan was ultimately taken behind a screen and physically searched, having to lift up her shirt.

Rogan stated in her complaint that the other members of the delegation were shocked at what had transpired and that by the end of the process Rogan was upset and had begun crying.

A formal apology was issued to and Israeli Chief of Protocol Yitzhak Eldan apologized to Rogan in person.

Sexually abusive officials aren’t unique to Israel – there are plenty in the TSA and UK Immigration. And Israel is a democratic nation with a free press, which is why this story surfaced. But these perverts do a lot of damage. They’re often women, and prey on people they see as weak – young women and the old.

Blair’s security team would never strip search the Israeli ambassador in London, and Olmert’s team wouldn’t touch Condoleezza Rice, so it seems there’s an institutional contempt of the Brits in Olmert’s office.

His security team is also porous, because its sexual predators focus on the weak and miss the real terrorists – almost invariably strong males.

So, the Brits will want to encourage Israelis to respect them, and help Olmert to clean house.

And in the dirty world of diplomacy, that means either withholding help or aiding Isarel’s enemies.

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