Sweet and sage words, certainly. But there's something to be said for having fuck you money. What do Iran, Russia, Syria, Egypt, Mexico and China have in common vis a vis diplomatic relations with their neighbors near and far? The don't respond to what they don't care to respond to. They project a wall of don't give a fuck to many types of criticism. Does China care what you think about Tibet? Nope. They don't even respond. Does Russia worry about protests regarding Ukraine? No. Does Mexico seriously consider American interests regarding the border, the drug cartels or illegal immigration? Or even address them in the press or at the government level? Not in the least. They don't bother with trying to craft a hair splitting spin on what everyone already knows is nonsense. In years of genocides and atrocities is Syria trying to make friends even with their allies? No of course not. They don't even give their Russian arms dealers the time of day. Is there really any such thing as Iranian diplomacy? No, there isn't. They're unconcerned with our public perception of them. Or even if we have a firm opinion about them.
That's fuck you money. That's being willing and able to tell your critics to fuck off and die and choke on horse cock in hell. Don't take it personally but please by all means go fuck yourselves with a road flare. Protest my ass. And they don't seem to suffer very much for it. Sometimes it even works to their advantage. Because if there's something you can count on, the west, particularly the US would rather be hated than ignored. Israel should give far LESS attention to some things because strategically that's the better play, the stronger move. Not everything requires defending. Not everything requires an excuse. Sudan's president is an indicted war criminal who is flown around Africa BY the UN. He needn't ever worry about seeing the inside of the courthouse at the ICC because he's never articulated any response to whether the claims are just and reasonable or not. And yet all the time Israel lends weight to her own critics by giving their grievances attention and air time. Why? Why give crazy Jew hating goat fucking retards the benefit of the doubt? Israel is a tiny country without unlimited resources. Spend the effort where it matters and make far more strategic and studied decisions about the value of diplomacy.
Which takes me to my second and related point - what IS diplomacy? IS it marketing and ad campaigns or is it something less obvious and more inscrutable? China's view of diplomacy is a basket of issues and factors which are good for Chinese economic strength, not good will. No one cares that there are hundreds of thousands of Chinese government workers, technicians and soldiers in Africa today backstopping Chinese commercial interests there (as BTW there are thousands of French government troops and staffers in the Central African Republic protecting their interests). Diplomacy is the public face, such as it is, of that integrated effort, most of which no one sees. Since their efforts are focused on neither being liked NOR feared, they don't worry about how they are perceived. They just proceed. China has learned the most valuable lesson from the British empire of the 18th and 19th century - that success in projecting and protecting national interests is only through a combination of government initiatives and economic trade and relationships. Where one doesn't work the other one has to. This is how England was able to maintain a vast empire with a tiny number of government staffers in key locations around the world. It was the economic interests of private industry that kept the whole organization running. Not 'diplomacy' per se but a cold blooded rational view of what their national interests were. Israel needs to look at her relations more in terms of right and wrong for Israel, that which is good for Israel vs that which is not, and not in terms of are they liked or not. No one likes them. No one likes anyone and they never will. The French don't like the Germans the Brazilians don't like the Argentines. No one likes the Americans and no one can fucking stand the Arabs.
Getting on in the spirit of good will is nonsense. "Bridge building" and "Confidence building measures"....that sounds good for the media and some of the NGOs that pay for them but everyone knows it's complete horseshit. Do you know why there is a NATO? Because the US did 90% of the heavy lifting for a half century so that western Europe didn't have to. The very concept of NATO wold disintegrate the day after the US withdrew and we'd suddenly hear Merkel and Hollande extol the virtues of a new era of cooperation with Russia whatever the cost. Because what is good for them is good and what is bad for them is bad. A little bit of Aristotle and a little bit of Machiavelli. I think Israel has lost the thread of this line of thought, hoping against hope that being liked and being respected are interchangeable. But they are not. I'm afraid that learning this lesson is going to be painful and chaotic but that's the nature of national interests at its core. As my great aunt the ex communist like to say "Don't throw yourself on their mercy it's a painfully small target".