World Politics

The pugilism of diplomacy

The pugilism of diplomacy

"When one doesn't want to, two don't fight" popular saying

Lula was disastrous in his comment when he put Hitler and the Jewish people in the same sentence and compared it to the conflict in the Gaza Strip. He made a serious diplomatic mistake. Incidentally, when diplomacy, which exists to avoid or stop conflicts, is the cause of a crisis, it means that everything is wrong.

Here's an aside: why is it that every time there is a heated debate on a certain topic, comparisons are made with Hitler, the Holocaust and the Nazis? Nothing compares to the horrors of war and the scourge of its victims. This is so common that the American political philosopher Leo Strauss coined the expression "Reductio ad Hitlerum" in 1950, which describes the logical fallacy of comparing something to Hitler or Nazism in order to discredit the opposing argument. American lawyer Mike Godwin created the maxim, dubbed "Godwin's Law", according to which "as an online discussion lengthens, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler or the Nazis arising tends to 100%". For me, whenever this exaggerated comparison appears, I tend to distrust the original arguments (or lack of) of the person making the comparison.

Returning to the diplomatic crisis, the Israeli government's response was immediate but disproportionate. Trying to take advantage of Lula's blunder to improve his domestic and foreign political position, the Israeli premier hit back (once again on a cyclopean scale) and returned the diplomatic blunder. The crisis between the rulers is on.

The international community despised this diplomatic clash and didn't even mention the episode, demonstrating the unnecessaryness and lack of relevance of this exchange of barbs.

Brazil and Israel are in very different positions in the international community. While Brazil has been trying to regain its importance, using the environmental agenda as its mainstay, Israel is experiencing internal crises and is in a constant state of alert and military tension. It was the target of an unprecedented terrorist attack, but overreacted, decimating tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians who had nothing to do with the terrorist acts. The international community has already recognized these excesses by the Israeli government and is demanding effective measures to put an end to this horror.

On the domestic agenda, the situation is also quite different. The Lula government's approval ratings are gradually rising due to its economic agenda. The Israeli prime minister, who was already experiencing internal problems before the terrorist attacks in October, continues to be widely criticized and is likely to end this crisis in total disrepute.

Lula thus generated an unnecessary negative agenda. He could criticize the excesses of the war without touching the wound of Nazism, a fact so sensitive and dear to the Jewish community. It was a blow below the belt. Israel's prime minister returned the low blow by humiliating the Brazilian ambassador in public. There is a consensus in diplomacy that criticism takes place behind closed doors.

It remains to be seen whether, in this diplomatic boxing match, the Brazilian government, which threw the first hook, will return the right cross it received, or go into the clinch waiting for time to pass to calm the heated tempers. The only certainty is that in this diplomatic boxing match there are no winners or technical draws. Everyone loses.

About Author

Maurício Ferro

What do soccer, wine, law, politics, and economics have in common? Much more than you can imagine. And contrary to what the popular saying says, they can and should be debated and analyzed, yes. Welcome to Maurício Ferro's site, a channel to create and exchange thoughts and opinions. Maurício Ferro is a lawyer, graduated from PUC university in Rio de Janeiro, with a Master's degree and specializations from universities such as the London School and the University of London. He studied OPM at Harvard Business School. Author of published works in the commercial and capital markets areas, and acting in the Board of Directors of large companies, he based his legal and executive career with a focus on Business Law. But his passion goes beyond the corporate world. A passionate Flamenguista, Mauricio knows the ins and outs of the professional world of soccer and other sports. He is a partner in innovative companies such as 2Blive, a global startup focused on technological solutions to fill the education gap, especially in areas of great need such as Africa. He also invests in the Flow Kana company, based in California, and focused on the scientific production of cannabis for various purposes, such as medicinal, clothing production, or recreational use. To all these ingredients, add a deep knowledge of wine and the delicious ways of winemaking. That is the recipe for what you will find here.

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