Playing to the Crowd

By Liu, Melinda; Contreras, Joseph | Newsweek, September 22, 1997 | Go to article overview

Playing to the Crowd


Liu, Melinda, Contreras, Joseph, Newsweek


On her first visit to the Mideast, Albright takes her message to the people. Did anyone listen?

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT DIDN'T hide her disappointment. "I'm not going to pretend to you that I've accomplished a lot," the secretary of state told reporters as she left Israel last week. Despite her trademark strategy of "public diplomacy," the peace process remained as stuck as ever.

No one had supposed Albright could singlehandedly drag Benjamin Netanyahu and Yasir Arafat back to the negotiating table. But there had been at least a slim hope she might prevail by going over the two leaders' heads. Albright took her case straight to the people, speaking to them on Israeli television and Palestinian radio. She wanted to send a message to Arafat and Netanyahu via a channel they wouldn't dare ignore: their own people. As of late last week the effort seemed futile. Albright boarded her plane, saying she would return "whenever the leaders have made the hard decisions." Until then, she vowed, "I am not going to come back here just to tread water."

Albright has made her name as a most undiplomatic diplomat. Her sharp tongue and her love of playing to the crowd have made her enormously popular with American audiences. The question is whether Albright's public diplomacy is a strategy that works where it counts--outside the United States. The Mideast could very well be a test that utterly defies solution, no matter what the approach. Nothing tried so far has been able to revive the near-dead Oslo accords. "I am a realist and not a magician," she told an Israeli audience. "I cannot pull a rabbit out of a hat if there aren't the makings of it there."

Still, Albright's performance disappointed many Israelis and Palestinians, who agreed she had misjudged her audience. It made no difference that careful logic was behind her tactics. A senior administration official says the secretary made it her first priority to gain the Israelis' confidence (in the first 24 hours of her visit, she met no Palestinians). Having established her credentials as a friend, she then proceeded to put Netanyahu on the spot for his "unhelpful" behavior. "Israel should refrain from unilateral acts--including what Palestinians perceive as the provocative expansion of settlements, land confiscations, home demolitions and confiscations of IDs," she declared in a nationally televised speech at a Jerusalem high school. She publicly urged Netanyahu to declare a"timeout" on the expansion of West Bank settlements.

But such public berating of an Israeli leader can backfire. "There are things that leaders can agree to behind closed doors," said Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States, who went on to say that no Israeli government could be seen to do something on the settlements as a result of outside pressure. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Playing to the Crowd
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.