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Why Israel ignores global criticism of Gaza flotilla raid

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Alon Liel, a former director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, says that in the recent past, the prospect of international isolation prompted former Israeli prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert to make concessions to the Palestinians.

The same pressure is less likely to influence cabinet ministers in the current government, such as conservative Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, he adds.
"Their approach is: 'No matter what we do the world will hate us,' " he says. "So far, I see the Israeli siege mentality affecting the government."

The sense that Israel faces international critics bent on undermining its legitimacy is more than a conservative perspective. It spans Israel's left-right political divide.

"It is a sentiment that exists today more than in the past, because the trend is de-legitimizing Israel and isolating Israel internationally," says Yossi Alpher, co-editor of, an Israeli-Palestinian opinion forum.

"Where it becomes dangerous is when decisions are made and when it obscures the fixable causes of this delegitimization campaign. There are causes which are treatable and there are causes which are not," he says.

Israel still needs the US

Still, the "deck stacked against us" view is offset by a recognition among policy makers that Israel needs the international community, particularly the US and Europe to solve many of its foreign challenges.

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