22 August 2013

Daniel Seaman's troubles and Steven Plaut to the defense

His words are unacceptable and do not express the position of the government of Israel. He was instructed to immediately cease making such statements,” the National Information Directorate said in a statement regarding Seaman’s offensive posts...
For any other public servant in any other more or less civilized country, this quote would have been a fitting epitaph of the said servant's career.

Taking into account the illustrious career of Daniel Seaman in his different roles related in different ways to the public image of Israel, which career I had rather a misfortune to watch for some time and to blog about in detail, with some additions later, the case is mind-boggling. No matter what manner of public fails was committed by Danny, no matter how many hackles he succeeded to raise on the collective hide of the journalists and other people he was supposed to serve and face during his 10 years as the acting director of our Government Press Office and several years in his next post as deputy director-general of the now defunct Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, he seems to thrive. That the man was made responsible for anything even remotely related to "Public Diplomacy" sounds like a bad joke - if you care to peruse the links above.

But you don't really have to, especially if you suspect your humble of being somehow prejudiced. Just take in the contents of the first link, the one from Times of Israel. I have chosen this link on purpose. First of all, to make sure that it is focused on facts, unlike like the much more aggressive and poisonous one from Haaretz. Secondly, to prevent any possible reader from deflecting the subject from the main issue to the political arena. To concentrate on what is really important: our public image and public diplomacy - the two closely related domains, which, we all can safely agree, are in a state of SNAFU for too many years to count.

And if you read the ToI article, you will quickly reach the conclusion that took me a lot of time and effort to research for these blogposts linked above: the man in charge of our "Public Diplomacy" is quite sure that the best way to deal with any kind of criticism aimed at our real or imaginary faults is to say "fuck you" to the critics as loud and clear as possible. This was, in fact, the essence of his activities as a public servant and the main tool in his arsenal. And this is, in fact, the man who was destined to perform this task:
In his new job, Seaman was tasked with creating a network of advocacy units in Israeli universities...
The only way I can imagine the "advocacy" being carried out by Daniel Seaman is by instructing the students to send numerous e-mails and Tweeter, Facebook, Instagram etc messages, all containing two words: "Fuck you". What other kind of advocacy the man understands, I am afraid to even start to guess.

So yes, it was more than amazing to read this:
Although Daniel Seaman has been suspended and ordered to delete his offensive Facebook posts, he might still get the senior post he was tapped for last month.
Doubly mind-boggling, I have to say.

To be fair: Daniel Seaman's heart may be in the right place. For all I know, he is a true patriot and has our best interests in mind. It is just that his temper and his talents are obviously too far from anything diplomatic, requiring tact and careful consideration. But the fact that the least suitable government positions are being chosen for him only attenuates everything we know about Bibi's chaotic and inexplicable personnel management decisions, which plague his office for years.

And then, of course, there is a curious advent of Prof Steven Plaut coming to the rescue, in a rather unique way. The first I have seen the article Defend Daniel Seaman!, it started with the sentence:
"Israel's fascist Left has a new cause." The word "fascist" was later excised on the linked site, however on two other sites (at least) I have found the original text untreated - Britannia radio:

and Israpundit:
(click on the images to enlarge)
The spirited defense put up by Prof Plaut is akin to defending an arsonist by calling to burn down the courthouse. Or, if you will, defending the man who is at his best saying "fuck you" to all and sundry by saying "fuck you" to all and sundry. And what can be said about this pearl:
Now it turns out that Seaman is sharp tongued in a rather endearing fashion.
Try as I might, I just cannot see very much in all the above with which to disagree!
Obviously the views of the two gentlemen on public diplomacy happen to match. Too bad for our diplomacy. But all in all, not too bad for "freedom of speech" of "poor Daniel Seaman". Not if Bibi goes ahead with that appointment, clear reasons for not doing so notwithstanding.

At least there will be one obvious reason why our public diplomacy continues being fucked. In a rather endearing fashion.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Actually Snoop I see the dim outlines of a deep Elder project. Danny ostensibly in disgrace leaves Israel in apparent exile and is hired by MSNBC! Danny with Al, Ed, etc unleashed!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That only if US viewers are pining for a lot of bleeps from their screens. But I would be glad to see it happening, Danny still has his US citizenship, I hope.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

This one looks more like Jennifer Aniston before the nose job. What's it called?

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Kingfisher - a common one. There are three kinds of kingfisher here. A beautiful bird really.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Looks like a ginormous humming bird. They grow 'em big in your neck of the woods.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Actually kingfishers are practically everywhere. I remember shooting on in Phoenix AZ.

As for this specific shot: some photographers these days like these shots with beating wings getting this fuzzy outline. The main condition is that you have to have at least a part of the body not fuzzy. This specific shot was made in relatively low light, so the body is darker than it usually is.