Realism and foreign policy

Greece has a lot to gain from pursuing closer ties with the state of Israel. The regional balance is shifting and, as a result of this changing international environment, Athens must forge new alliances and strategic relationships. It must do so, of course, without turning its back on its longstanding allies in the Arab world. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s two-day visit to Athens makes him the highest-ranking Israeli to visit a country traditionally closer to the Arab world than to the Jewish state. Recent efforts by the administration of Premier George Papandreou to strengthen diplomatic ties with Israel have raised eyebrows among critics of the Jewish state. It is these same people, however, who insist on viewing foreign policy matters through a prism of ethics. However, critics should not fail to keep in mind that diplomacy must obey the rules of pragmatism and not be demarcated by ideology.