Can Israel’s Image be Salvaged and Polished?

Posted on May 29 2012 at 07:31:42 AM in Politics

Once there was a time where Israel was seen for what she is, the tiny little country holding tenaciously onto a small, insignificant, former wasteland which was barely visible on maps which is surrounded by the entirety of the Muslim Lands which stretch from the North African Atlantic Coast all the way to the Indonesian and Philippine Islands in the Pacific Ocean. She was viewed as that sparkling gem of freedom, liberty, individual rights and democracy in the midst of a sea of oppressive, repressive, despotic, tyrannical states which crushed human spirit. Israel was once the underdog who had to scrap and fight for her survival against near unimaginable odds and who had managed successfully to do so at every turn. Israel once stood for equality of mankind, individual liberties, endless possibilities, religious freedoms, and unbelievable scientific and cultural achievements that not only survived but thrived against all of the odds stacked against her. What happened that took a place of such acclaim and hope and turned world opinions so horribly against her. How did Israel transform from her once proud and laudable stature into a nation spurned by the world at large, constantly answering charges of crimes against humanity, oppressor of religious beliefs, and usurper of Palestinian lands with an expansionist agenda eyeing all the lands between the Rivers Nile and Euphrates to expand and conquer for the sake of a Greater Israel?

The answer to this enigma is twofold, first is the rise of the ancient hatreds out of history and second the exquisitely planned and expertly executed assassination of the Israeli character carried out on all of the world’s stages beginning with the United Nations and finding its way into every new outlet even to include all too many within Israel herself. After the failure of the Armies of Egypt and Syria during the Yom Kippur War, which was launched in a surprise attack on Israel starting on Saturday October 6, 1973 which was both the start of Yom Kippur and the Sabbath, the Arab nations sought a different approach in order to defeat and destroy Israel. Initially, the combined forces made sizeable gains on all fronts before Israel fully mobilized, which took longer than usual as almost all public and private services and operations were on essential only staffing for the high Holidays, and mounted a counter strategy. This defeat of the combined forces of Egypt and Syria after scoring complete surprise and taking full benefit of every possible advantage available convinced the Arab World that a new, innovative and alternative approach was needed. Thus was the protracted victory through attrition due to terrorism and guerilla warfare tactics was adopted and with it the carefully planned and executed campaign to demonize Israel in every form of media, on every available stage in the world, and through commitment to use organizations such as NGOs and PACs. Quickly, this new tactic began to show progress in the world media the Arab and Muslim offensive to turn the Israeli reputation in the perspective of the world from shining gem and exemplary outpost of freedom in the Middle East to that of a pariah state brimming with oppression and guilty of the occupation of lands which rightfully belonged to the Palestinian People requiring the reestablishment of the ancient state named Palestine. Their success brought with it a steadily increasing number of nations, governments, unions, organizations, political parties, politicians, colleges and the United Nations with its entire assembly of NGOs and commissions.

So, against such an advanced campaign to delegitimize, defame, divest, boycott, and eventually destroy Israel, what can be done to prevent these schemes from eventually attaining their goals? The first step required appears to be counterintuitive, which is for Israel needs to stop apologizing and answering every single charge or allegation no matter how seemingly insignificant simply to attempt to prevent being overwhelmed by negatives. Israel needs to get out from under the repressive effects of the Oslo Accords which have been skillfully applied in a manner that has handcuffed Israel and those who protect her while having no ill or restrictive effects on the Arab, Muslim and Palestinian side. This step could be easily accomplished by taking two simple and immediate steps. The first is to file a complaint with the Security Council of the United Nations requesting they sanction the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PLO for failing to amend the Palestinian Charter by removing the still standing section which calls for the utter and complete destruction of the State of Israel and the subjugation or elimination of its Jewish people. Follow up with pressure in order to get some response, even if it is simply a motion noting the Palestinian failure to comply without making it an actual judgment carrying a penalty for noncompliance. The other step is to provide the Palestinian leadership with copies going to the United Nations General Security Council, the United States, the European Union, Russia, all the leaders of European nations, all the leaders of the Arab and Muslim world and generally announce this last and final offer for peace through the establishment of a state for the Palestinian people called Palestine. This proclamation should state with accompanying map the borders Israel is willing to offer in this final attempt to reach an amicable peace. Where these borders are drawn is actually of little importance as the Palestinian leadership have painted themselves into a corner where they are unable to accept any peace proposal even if it contains each and every one of their wildest aspirations as by doing so they will have committed an unforgivable sin and would have to face the repercussions from their own people. This proclamation should also contain a second map which denotes the borders Israel is prepared to declare should the Palestinian leadership refuse this final offer. Once whatever deadline has been reached which was written into the offer, Israel should annex whatever sections of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as they require or even simply desire and exile the leadership of the numerous terror groups along with the political leadership of the Palestinian Authority back to their pre-Oslo accommodations in Tunis, Tunisia.

Israel and the Israeli people need to recognize a truth about people and the ways in which the world works; nobody, no organization, no country, no world body, absolutely nothing will be kinder and like you more than you are able to express the same feelings about yourself. This is a basic truism about people and a basic truism that also applies to countries. As long as Israeli politicians, newspapers, organizations, broadcasters, or people are unable of praise and giving testimony to the goodness of Israel, the world at large will continue to disrespect, disregard, and assume the worst evils of Israel. If Israel really desires wiping the tarnish off her international reputation, she first must change her voice which speaks so loudly to the world which consists almost exclusively of detrimental degradations impugning Israel’s character and denouncing her rights for the respect shown a state who acts and rules honorably. One of the initial tasks which must be accomplished to rehabilitate the Israeli image in the world would be to either redirect or found new news services which speak in English and other languages other than Hebrew which take an attitude and view of Israel that is positive and not simply regurgitate echoing every claim and disparagement spoken by those who would erase Israel and likely the Jews from the face of the Earth given the slightest opportunity. If Israel but echoes the propaganda which are released by her enemies while ignoring the truth, then the world has but one side of the discussion and will never hear the other side, This has the effect of limiting the conversation to the only view being projected, the Israel is an evil and horrid entity. We have had a recent set of events which give perfect example to this phenomenon.

During Shabbat for the last month the Arabs, with incitement, encouragement, cooperation and support of Israeli Jews who hold great spite and hatred for anything Zionist in nature, set fires to the fields surrounding the Yitzhar community in Samaria. When emergency personnel arrived to extinguish the flames before they spread to the community and the homes within, they were greeted by the Leftist Jews and their Arab compatriots showering them with rocks attempting to deny their ability to put out the flames. When the residents of Yitzhar responded in kind to protect the firefighters, the leftist Jews from B'tselem made sure to catch this on tape. Afterwards, these leftist Jews further edited the tape and distributed to the television news departments and sent selected picture to the print media along with a suggested dialog scurrilously depicting the situation as the Jews from the community of Yitzhar as having started the fires and initiating an attack on the Arabs completely unprovoked. This was the sole evidence available as the Jews who live in Yitzhar are observant Jews and thus unable to film the confrontation due to the Sabbath. This past week they had received allowance from their Rabbis allowing them to film the altercations even on the Sabbath. This week the television news organizations received both films, the heavily edited film from B'tselem as well as the longer and unedited film from the Yitzhar community. The news outlets unanimously showed the B'tselem video while deciding not to show any of the Yitzhar taken raw film which showed the Arabs exiting a Red Crescent ambulance and setting the fires and one of the Arab men pulling a knife and setting to attack the firefighters. The Arab was wounded by IDF troops who were called to protect the firefighters and disperse the rioting Arabs and B'tselem Jews. Israel will have no chance of escaping the scorn and rebuttals from the world as long as the Israeli news organizations for the most part appear to be a further outlet for Al-Jazeera News or Palestinian Authority or Hamas Official News Station. The other side of this erroneous picture drawn by the liberal Israeli press has been the near total blackout of the ever escalating rock attacks and car-jacking being perpetrated by Arab gangs in Judea, Samaria and Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. These attacks have included daily incidents against the new Jerusalem light rail system which runs through one of the major Arab sections of Jerusalem.

Add the one last slant often taken by much of the world media is the propensity to report every single retaliatory strike by Israel in response to rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians in the communities and cities within range of these munitions fired from Gaza. While the rocket and mortar attacks originate from Gaza where Israel has already removed all their citizens and all IDF troops from stationing within Gaza leaving all of Gaza under direct and independent Hamas rule, the Israeli retaliations target weapon storage facilities, rocket manufacturing locations, and the smuggling tunnels which cross the Gaza borders either heading to Egypt to facilitate supplies being brought to Gaza or to Israel which are used to infiltrate and attempt to attack or abduct Israelis. These reports almost universally report the Israeli strike in active and forceful terms while making only the slightest references to the initial rocket attacks and using passive terms to describe the terror strikes. This is also often the view expressed in Israeli television and other new sources. If Israel actually wishes to retrieve their former respect, then they must first recall the pride and justness of their actions and transfer this emotion and perspective to their reporting and make such the centerpiece of their activities with not only the rest of the world, but with each other in their everyday dealings and reporting. Simply reporting the entire story is all that is required. Israel has no need to pretty up the truth in order to be depicted as honorable, they have honorable as their source guiding their every move. All Israel and her reputation require to shine once again as the virtuous country they are is for the truth to be told without any requirement for polishing or positioning it in anything but a cloak of virtuous honesty.

Beyond the Cusp