I came across a very peculiar news a few days ago, which reported Ahmadinejad, during his visit to Lebanon this week, is also planning to travel to the Israel-Lebanon border and symbolically, throw a stone at Israel. At first glance, my reaction was mere laughter at the pettiness of the gesture. Moreover, I doubted anyone was serious about this, and least of all, show concern. However, today, another news bit followed, which told of Jerusalem’s reaction and the comical importance Ahmadinejad’s visit to the border has taken for them with the Israel Foreign Ministry and security services conducting security evaluations of the visit! I was aghast how such a comical and almost insignificant gesture can turn into a diplomatic row between Israel and Lebanon. I also believe there are better ways to subdue this matter in more mature fashion.
Given Ahamdenejad’s mental make up and characteristic attention-seeking nature, the Israeli officials’ sensitivity towards the issue is playing right into his hands. The man craves public attention and loves to be in the limelight, no matter how negative the nature of the issue, hence the string of provocative remarks and actions. He likes to be talked about, and feels perhaps, he’s a man of some stature in world politics.
Naturally, the optimal way to disarm such a person is simply denying what he seeks and craves the most; reckoning and importance. In my humble opinion, the best possible statement that could have come out of Israel on the matter would have been:
“we are not concerned about Mr. Ahmadinejad or anyone of his stature visiting our border" (with emphasis on the title “Mister” rather than “President”)
In fact this has the potential for a more fitting reply that would render any similar provocative gestures from the petty dictator inconsequential. The Israelis can add:
“.... But should Mr. Ahmadinejad wish to follow through with this charade, we are even ready to provide the stone which he is to throw”
and if they feel a wee bit naughty, although inconceivable, they can add more:
“... and we shall make sure the stone is light and small enough, given the stature of Mr. Ahmadinejad”
You can never underestimate the impact and potency of humor in defusing and resolving much of the world’s ills. Humor can be a tremendously powerful weapon, at the same time, rather humane and non-lethal.