The Princess Bride – a study in diplomacy

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.

One striking scene in the 1987 movie ‘The Princess Bride,’ Count Rugen is about to haul Westley off to be tortured to death. But first Rugen must deceive the heroine Buttercup by pretending to help Westley on his way to a ship leaving the realm. Rugen declares: “Come, Sir, we must get you to your ship!” But Westley smiles wryly and says: “We are men of Action. Lies do not become us.” The Count gives a tiny smile and responds: “Well spoken, Sir.” Rugen’s smooth diplomatic speech concealed wicked intent.


  • The American writer Isaac Goldberg once said, “Diplomacy is to do and say the nastiest things in the nicest way” (in ‘The Reflex,’ October 1927).


  • Before becoming one of the greatest mass-murderers the world has ever seen, Joseph Stalin once wrote: “A diplomat’s words must contradict his deeds – otherwise what sort of a diplomat is he? Words are one thing – deeds something entirely different. Fine words are a mask to cover shady deeds. A sincere diplomat is like dry water or wooden iron” (Joseph Stalin, ‘Elections in Petersburg,’ 1913).


  • Someone has recently said that diplomacy is the art of selling a deal you don’t want, to people you don’t trust, for reasons you won’t admit to.


These sobering words help in anchoring a balanced consideration of recent Middle East events.


“Unnamed diplomatic sources say …”

Diplomacy today often leaks quotes from ‘unattributed sources’ to world media. These anonymous quotes, though depersonalized in nature, truly represent government policy and soon-coming actions. Yet they are floated as if they are only ‘hints about future possibilities.’ After all, these policies might need to be withdrawn if there is too much public outcry.  Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Russia Thomas Pickering stated it this way: “In archeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known.”

Over the past three months of war – triggered by the October 7, 2023 jihadi terrorist group Hamas’ demonic attacks and atrocities on Israeli citizens living next to the Gaza Strip – Western governments were at first sympathetic and supportive regarding Israel’s suffering. They even showed a measure of understanding for the Jewish state’s determination to seek and destroy those jihadi forces responsible.

But very quickly, hobbling conditions and limitations were first ‘floated’ by the West – first as ‘concerns’ but within a month or two they were then declared as state policy:


  • Israel was initially permitted by the West to eliminate Hamas terrorists hiding among the pro-Hamas supportive Gazan population. Yet Hamas’s war strategy is based on using the Gazan population as human shields, and then capitalizing on the resultant suffering to turn world sympathy against Israel.  And indeed, just in the past week Israel has been brought before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, accused of genocide by many countries – even though it was simply defending itself against genocidal attacks from jihadi forces


  • Israel was lectured by the US, the UK, France and Germany about the need to permit and increase the flow of humanitarian aid to Gazans – food, water, electricity, medicine – but this aid went straight into the hands of Hamas. This served to strengthen their jihadi war machine as it continued to fire rockets at Israel’s civilian population and hold on to Israeli hostages. POTUS Biden promised that such aid would never reach Hamas, but it did – immediately – and still does on a daily basis – without the West interdicting Hamas as it harms Israel. This ‘aid request’ from the West soon became an ‘aid requirement’ – robbing Israel of the ability to pressure Hamas into releasing Israeli hostages suffering cruelly under jihadi captivity, torture and rape. Israel is being forced by the West to aid its enemies as they torture Israelis in the jihadi tunnels of Gaza.


  • Immediately after the pogroms of October 7, the US State Department expressed clear awareness that Hamas needed to be removed from control in Gaza, and that the time was certainly not right for pushing for a Palestinian terrorist state to be set up either in Gaza or the West Bank. But within two months, first ‘unnamed sources’ in the US administration and then the POTUS, Secretary of State and other US official spokesmen began to declare that the PLO/Palestinian Authority (itself a terrorist organizations – see and needed to take over from Hamas and establish a Palestinian state in both the West Bank and Gaza. At this point, only 7% of all Israelis believe that such a state would be a good thing. The vast majority believe that the PLO state would be overthrown in short order by a Palestinian population which is openly overwhelming supportive of Hamas and its October 7 atrocities. Israelis discern that all Palestinian leaders are terrorists and that any international push to establish a Palestinian state would be a continuation of Hamas-like terror. Any nation which pushes for that is coming up against a united Jewish nation opposed vehemently to such an outcome.


In the same way as former POTUS Barak Obama did not realistically discern the Iranian threat (to the Middle East, to Israel and to the world) but instead opened up the financial sluice gates and allowed for a slippery path to nuclear weaponization, today other hands and leaders are repeating existential errors in breathing power and political energy into jihadi monsters.


Israel – the new banana republic

In a recent newsletter ( ; November 2, 2023) I pointed out how ‘unnamed U.S. sources’ were raising hints that ‘it would be a shame if something happened to Israel’s wonderful democratically elected government’ and that, just in case something might happen to the Netanyahu government, “Biden aides already are engaging an array of other Israeli politicians – some in power, some not – on the war effort. According to the two [unnamed] senior administration officials as well as the current and former [unnamed] U.S. official, those talks have also provided a way to gauge the thinking of various Israelis who might take the helm of the country. While Biden administration officials have offered public declarations of solidarity with the Israeli government during the current crisis, aides are also trying to get ahead of what Netanyahu’s downfall could mean for the future Israeli-U.S. relationship . . . Netanyahu hasn’t been a favorite of the Biden team. His increasingly hardline positions over the years have upset Biden aides who still support creating a Palestinian state.  With an eye toward the future, [unnamed] U.S. officials are talking to Benny Gantz, a member of the current unity government; Naftali Bennett, a former prime minister; and Yair Lapid, an opposition leader and former prime minister, among other Israeli figures, the former [unnamed] official said.”

“Even the best-case scenario for Israel in this war would not likely keep Netanyahu in power,” said Hagar Chemali, a former National Security Council and Treasury Department official in the Obama administration. “I still believe Netanyahu is on his way out because Israelis are already publicly questioning whether he is really the right person, not just to win this specific battle against Hamas, but the broader war for a peaceful and secure Israel.” Bibi has been elected and re-elected as PM in Israeli elections; he has served longer than any other Prime Minister, even longer than Ben-Gurion. Yet U.S. State Department officials, speaking anonymously, seem to have greater insight and discernment about what Israelis think, than do Israelis themselves.

Treating the Jewish state in such a manner is often described as treating it like a banana republic. The term ‘banana republic’ was first found in print in 1904, describing Central America social and political realities. This term can be a pejorative word used to describe a weak country that aids and supports a stronger power (or superpower) in exchange for certain kickbacks or perks. America’s realpolitik toward Central American banana-producing countries has often been characterized by this term.

History shows us that, when Israel attempts to reclaim its God-promised land and its biblical borders, or when the Jewish state’s IDF attempts to decisively crush its enemies, it is then that various superpowers step in to reign in Israel from achieving those goals. It may have been Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons in 1956 and 1973, or American orders to Israel to stand down or retreat in 1991, 2006 and 2021.

In 2021 POTUS Biden made many calls to PM Netanyahu during May’s Operation Guardian of the Walls. During their fourth phone call, on May 19, 2021, Biden was unhappy that Israel was insisting on completing the administering of a death-blow to Hamas. “Hey, man, we are out of runway here. It’s over!” said Biden. The ‘Times of Israel’ reports: “Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire two days later. The longtime Likud leader was replaced one month later by a short-lived unity government headed by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid.”


The game of thrones

A January 18, 2024 article in draws back the current veil somewhat, showing that there is now some baring of teeth in the pressure being applied to Israel. The US administration is threatening to do what it did before in 2021 – to work behind the scenes against Israel’s democratically elected government in order to set up a new government, one more quick to bow to American directives vis-à-vis establishing a Palestinian state. This state (falsely called ‘the two-state solution’) would be run by terrorists in Gaza and the West Bank. Here is clear evidence of these Machiavellian machinations:’


  • “The Biden administration is bypassing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in plans for post-war Gaza, discussing the future of the Strip and the region with Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab nations . . . Quoting [unnamed] officials, [a report] said the U.S. president had grown frustrated with Netanyahu as evidenced by the lack of communications between the two leaders in recent weeks after they had spoken regularly in the wake of the Hamas attack on October 7 . . . The officials said the Biden administration is trying to lay the groundwork with other Israeli and civil society leaders in anticipation of an eventual post-Netanyahu government. In an attempt to work around Netanyahu . . . Two [unnamed] senior administration officials told the network that Biden’s hopes for a regional shift that would reshape the Middle East was linked the to the establishment of a Palestinian state, as a result, one official said, the president’s aspirations may have to wait until a different government comes into power in Israel.”


US State Department Matthew Miller indicated that the Israeli Prime Minister had rebuffed a US push for a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank. Miller stated that Israel “faces some very difficult choices in the months ahead . . .  The conflict in Gaza is going to end. It will end, and at the end of that conflict, someone is going to have to rebuild Gaza, someone is going to have to govern Gaza, someone is going to have to provide security in Gaza . . . For the first time in its history, you see the countries in the region who are ready to step up and further integrate with Israel, and provide real security assurance to Israel, and the US is ready to play its part, but they all have to have a willing partner on the other side . . . There is no way to solve their long-term challenges, and there is no way to solve the short-term challenges [facing Palestinians and Israelis] without the establishment of a Palestinian state. We had direct conversations with [Netanyahu], and now we are having a public conversation with him as well, but it’s going to be a process,”

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke this week at the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, stressing the same point as a strong U.S. pressure point:


  • “A central diplomatic initiative of the Biden administration was to try to . . . generate both tangible benefits for the Palestinian people and a political horizon towards two states . . . Now, the strategy post-October 7th does not deviate very much from that.  We still want to see normalization tied to a political horizon for the Palestinian people.  The current Israeli government has expressed quite strong views publicly about the Palestinian question. But ultimately, you know, the Israeli government will have to make its choice about how best to guarantee and ensure the security of the State of Israel, and it is President Biden’s firm conviction that the best way to do that is two states.”


Part of this concerted pressure can be seen in Israeli media obediently towing the US administration’s line and political talking points. Today’s January 19, 2024 Jerusalem Post on-line highlights three articles all of which sound like they have been authored beside the Potomac. Here are the titles: “Netanyahu, Israel’s war cabinet cannot delay calls on Gaza any longer;” “Israel’s emergency government close to collapse as Gaza war continues;” “The Benjamin Netanyahu era is over, sources in Likud say.”


The day after the day after

Tone of the main talking points of the US administration revolves around the term ‘the day after;’ what are Israel’s plans (hint, hint – a Palestinian state) after the IDF defeats Hamas. Of course, as the US and the West attempt to hobble Israel from decisively defeating Hamas (just as has happened 15 times over the past two decades), it is not a foregone conclusion that there will be a ‘day after Hamas.’ So over the past few days, ‘unnamed U.S. sources’ have switched terms and are now stressing a new concept – ‘the day after Bibi Netanyahu.’ In other words, since Netanyahu will not bow to our directives to establish a Palestinian state, we will establish a different Israeli government to replace Bibi, and then we will establish a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s immediate response to these leaks was direct: “Those who speak of the day after Netanyahu are talking about the creation of a Palestinian state led by the Palestinian Authority.” He added:


  • “Every territory that we withdraw from – terror is leveled against us,” Netanyahu said, explaining that this included southern Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank, which he referred to as Judea and Samaria. This is why, in any future arrangement (or even if there is not a future arrangement) “Israel must maintain security control over all the territory west of the Jordan River.” This conflicts with the idea of Palestinian sovereignty, but “there is nothing that can be done about that. I have explained this truth to the Americans,” he said, adding that he also prevented an attempt to impose on Israel a harmful reality. “An Israeli Prime Minister has to be able to say ‘no’ even to our best friends. To say ‘no’ when it’s necessary and to say ‘yes’ when it’s possible,” Netanyahu said.


There is wisdom in the sharp retort that Ahab King of Israel made to Ben Hadad, the king of Aram/Syria regarding assuming victory in battle without YHVH’s counsel: “Then the king of Israel replied, ‘Tell [Ben Hadad], “He who straps on his weapons had better not boast like one who takes them off.”’” 


What will ‘the day after’ be for all these nations who are pushing Israel to submit to a drawing and quartering of the Promised Land, surrendering its heartland to jihadi murderers (many who are descendants of Edom; see Ezekiel 25:12-14; Ezekiel 36:1-15)? This is what ‘the day after’ is all about. This concerted push is bringing the judgment of the God of Jacob down upon the nations who set their hand to such a cursed endeavor (Joel 3:1-2; Genesis 12:3).


Solving the conflict without a peace process


Here are four quotes to round off this newsletter. Each one is worth chewing on:


  • “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow”; Henry John Temple, 3d Viscount Palmerston; remarks in the House of Commons defending his foreign policy, March 1, 1848.—Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates, 3d series, vol. 97, col. 122


  • “A real diplomat is one who can cut his neighbor’s throat without having his neighbor notice it” (Trygve Lie, first Secretary-General of the United Nations)


  • A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a tactful way that you’ll look forward with pleasure to making the trip St. Louis Star-Times”; Missouri, November 1937)


  • “Resolution occurs when one party realizes it can no longer pursue its aims and gives them up. This usually follows its unambiguous vanquishment, either a military collapse (as in World War II) or internal rot (as in the Cold War). ‘In every case I can think of,’ writes strategist Michael Ledeen, ‘peace has come about at the end of a war in which there was a winner and a loser. The winner imposed [his] terms on the loser, and those terms were called “peace”’ . .  . Hardly a single major interstate conflict has concluded due to someone’s clever schema. The idea that a ‘peace process’ can take the place of the dirty work of war is a conceit. Again, to quote Ledeen, ‘Peace cannot be accomplished simply because some visiting envoy, with or without an advanced degree in negotiating from the Harvard Business School, sits everyone down around a table so they can all reason together.’ The oft-heard mantra that ‘there is no military solution’ . . .  in short, has things exactly wrong” (‘The Only “Solution” [for Israel] is Military’ New York Post, 25 February 2002)



How should we then pray?


  • Ask the God of Israel to grant increased understanding and revelation to Israel’s leaders about how to proactively deal with superpower pressures and witchcraft


  • Pray for a biblically sound prophetic ministry to be restored to the leaders of Israel, and that the world-wide body of Messiah would be moved by the Holy Spirit to focus with intercessory intensity as we progress deeper into World War III


  • Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 136 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP/PLO.  At this moment some hostages are being tortured, raped and starved (this based on testimonies of recently released hostages). Hamas is also holding onto many corpses as bargaining chips


  • Pray for Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza to be decisively shattered and for all chains broken off the Palestinians living there – that there might be a ‘Free Palestine’ indeed, not under jihadi control – and for Iran’s role in jihadi deception, dissimulation and anti-Semitism to be exposed and rejected by world leaders


  • Pray that Israel’s leadership be granted justice, clarity, moral courage, discernment and divine strategies in utterly destroying the jihadi threat in all of its aspects, and for minimal loss of life for Israel’s defense forces and for those Gazans who are truly innocent


  • Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth


Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey


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