Thursday 21 September 2017

Where Israel is concerned it's always Groundhog Day

Departing Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai says instant amnesia undermines a true understanding of his country

‘Two states for our two peoples — Israelis and Palestinians is the only solution for our conflict’
‘Two states for our two peoples — Israelis and Palestinians is the only solution for our conflict’

Boaz Modai

It is five years since I arrived in Ireland with my wife Nurit and our two boys to represent the state of Israel. This month, my term as ambassador, and that of Nurit as my deputy, draw to a close.

During our years here, my family and I have visited most parts of the country. We leave Ireland with fond memories of the beauty of its landscapes and of the hospitality of Irish people. Everywhere we went we were touched by the genuine warmth of the reception given to us.

The theme of remembering prompts other thoughts of a more sober kind relating to our mission in Ireland. The 24-hour news cycle and the saturation news coverage made possible by advances in media technology have downgraded the role once played by memory in political and diplomatic discourse. Historical events, even recent ones - highly relevant to discussion of today's news - are often consigned to oblivion within a few months. It seems we live in an age of instant amnesia.

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