IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, right, with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford (Photo: Yariv Katz)

YNetNews By: Alex Fishman


Clandestine ties with Jordan, secret coordination meetings in Moscow, encrypted conference calls with the Americans, joint drills with the Greeks, and relations with military attaches from over 30 countries. As the Foreign Ministry collapses and Israel’s international standing is undermined, the IDF is coming out ahead on the diplomatic front.


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There was another report this week of an alleged Israeli airstrike in the Damascus area. Israel isn’t touching the subject, the Russians are quiet, the Americans are quiet, and even the Syrians are quiet. This quiet isn’t a coincidence – behind this silence lies a complicated web of agreements and understandings serving the interests of the strongest and most influential actors who are involved in the region: the US, Russia, Iran, and Israel.


Everyone speaks to everyone – directly and indirectly – and everyone coordinates with everyone. This is the secret diplomacy of those in uniforms. This is a type of diplomacy which foreign ministries have no hand in. Those whose jobs it is to manage this intricate web, who deal with questions of who flies where and when in Syrian airspace, are the “foreign ministries” of the various armies, who operate primarily under the radar. 


In Israel, the effects of this are even more salient. As the Foreign Ministry weakens, and Israel’s diplomatic status in the world diminishes, Israel’s alternative diplomacy continues to strengthen. Bodies such as the Mossad’s Tevel Division – which deals in secret diplomacy – and the International Relations Unit of the IDF- whose scope has been widened under IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot – have entered into the vacuum left by public diplomacy.


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