Sunday, August 22, 2010

No Vacuum in Diplomacy

A friend who just returned from a vacation in Greece told that he was surprised that wherever he and his wife went, the local villagers were eager to tell of their support for Israel. Since he'd never been there before, he couldn't say if this was new, a sign of support for Turkey's new enemy.

One of the many advantages of having a nation state is that you play on the field of cynical national interests. Turkey doesn't like Israel these days? That's just fine with the Greeks. Should the Turks change tack, the Greeks will cool off.


Anonymous said...

Should the Turks change tack, the Greeks will cool off.

high politics surely will but other than that there are so many girls called Irene=peace from the last sabre rattling with Turkey that I doubt it

Also on "my" Dodekanes island I have been told stories of what my ancestors did to Jews which spoke of nothing but deeply felt empathy

btw as to the well educated Athenians I would not bet on them, they may be quite susceptible to canards.


peterthehungarian said...

After visiting Greece many times I would add this:
Your friend spoke about the local villagers - they always were somehow more understanding of Israel after hundreds of years of Muslim (Turkish) occupation and opression.
The vocal anti-Israel/anti-semite crowd are not the villagers but the "chattering" classes living in big cities.

AKUS said...

My understanding is that there is a relatively large, vocal, and fiercely anti-Israeli group of Palestinians and "intellectual" Greek hangers-on in places like Athens.

But so far, Athens has not been occupied by Turks, so the Greeks there may not yet have woken up as have the "simple [people" in the villages.

Anonymous said...

from my time on "my" island I would say that I have met no educated Athenian who doesn't "perpatai ta sinefa" (promenades on the clouds)

my point as to practically all learned people I have listened to to date is that no matter how admirable they may be on analysis when it comes to solutions they are all gaga, i.e. too willing to declare awkward little facts to be irrelevant.
Amazing isn't it that all that wonderfully well trained intellect (no irony intended) leads to a firm denial of reality as soon as binds/conundrums/dilemmata/Catch22s
need to be acknowledged then almost all insist that they know how to eat the cake AND keep it.


NormanF said...

Its a reminder of DeGaulle's famous dictum: No one has friends, there are only interests. And right now Israel and the Greeks have a shared interest in countering an increasingly Islamist Turkey.

Gibson Block said...

The Contentious Centrist whose father in law was from Greece, says that there is a long history of popular positive sentiment toward Israel. Here is a link.