Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will be meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton here in Washington next week. This will be only the second time the Israeli FM has come to visit Washington during his term.
The contrast between the two officials could not be greater.
Secretary Clinton has rebuilt America's soft power by engaging relentlessly with partners and allies around the world. Even when these contacts disagree with US policy, the Clinton State Department has been vital at restoring American international respect. Her bold decision to openly engage with Islamist movements will safeguard US interests in the Middle East. Her work to shift the world from being complacent about Iran to unified against it has weakened Iran's government and severely constrained its room for error. She also played a critical role in the intervention in Libya which may have saved thousands of innocent lives and reaffirmed America's commitment to the values of Responsibility To Protect.
In contrast, Foreign Minister Lieberman has alienated Israel in the international community. By estranging Israel's partners and allies, he has decreased the country's security. His reactionary and irresponsible statements put him at odds not only with the majority of the Israeli people but with the government he serves. He has supported racial discrimination in Israel. He decries the corruptness of the international community while himself being investigated for corruption. He understands the fine nuances of diplomacy the way an elephant understands the fine nuances of ballet. He consistently has been the greatest liability of the Netanyahu administration.
Next week in Washington will be a veritable Goofus and Gallant guide to foreign policy.