Palestinian protestors gather during a demonstration in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip on November 3
Palestinian protestors gather during a demonstration in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip on November 3. An internal report by Israel's foreign ministry says actions by politicians and officials are hurting the country's international standing, Maariv newspaper said on Sunday. © Said Khatib - AFP/File
Palestinian protestors gather during a demonstration in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip on November 3
AFP
Last updated: November 4, 2012

Heavy-handed Israelis cause diplomatic harm

An internal report by Israel's foreign ministry says actions by politicians and officials are hurting the country's international standing, Maariv newspaper said on Sunday.

The foreign ministry confirmed the report's existence to AFP while declining to divulge its precise details.

Maariv quoted from a leaked report by a newly formed ministry department examining responses to international campaigns against Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and Israeli settlements and to other aspects of what Israel calls "delegitimisation" of the Jewish state.

"There is no doubt that trustworthy management of a peace process would limit the effects of the various hostile anti-Israel campaigns," it quoted the document as saying, referring to a more than two-year jam in talks with the Palestinians, who refuse to negotiate as long as Israel builds and approves new settlements.

"We have become a sitting duck which is unsuccessful in forming its own comprehensive agenda and is obliged to respond to the agendas of others," it said.

The report was also quoted as saying international support for a Palestinian bid to achieve the status of non-member state at the United Nations, opposed by Israel and the United States, should not necessarily be seen as hostile.

"A recognition of the Palestinian move must not necessarily be viewed as an act of delegitimisation," it said.

The author, D.J. Schneeweiss, completed setting up the ministry's civil society department in July and is now Israel's consul-general in Toronto, Canada.

Foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor confirmed the 40-page report existed.

"The most sensitive thing he did was to say that all kinds of people in the government system mention the (delegitimisation) issue without understanding it... that by interfering they cause damage," he told AFP.

"The gist of it is an analysis of the whole delegitimisation issue," Palmor said, adding Schneeweiss concluded that, "all sorts of people addressing the issue, such as the information ministry, the strategic affairs ministry and the army, have no idea what they're talking about.

"It was very courageous to say so," Palmor said, but stressed the document was a briefing document left by Schneeweiss for his successors.

"It's not a position paper of the foreign ministry," he said. "It's food for thought."

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