Israel’s Public Relations: The Problem And The Solution +

by Bernhard Lazarus –
Originally Published by Gatestone Institute –

Excerpt – “A knowledge of history is essential; therefore …”

It is worth noting that the Jewish State was effectively created through the efforts of the countries of the world in San Remo and Geneva years prior to the Holocaust.

Jerusalem, except for fewer than 200 years in the 11th and 12th Centuries, when it was the capital of a short-lived Crusader State, has only been a capital city under Jewish rule. At other times since the Roman conquest it was not even considered by Muslims, or anyone else, a provincial city of consequence.

In the War of 1948-49, Jordan illegally seized Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish inhabitants, destroyed all the synagogues and on top of the ancient sacred Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, after taking ancient Jewish headstones to use as the floor of latrines, Jordan built a hotel.

The aggression by Egypt, Syria and Jordan in June 1967 was overturned by Israel. Israel liberated Jerusalem, took control of the Golan Heights, from which Syrians had been shooting down at Israeli farmers, and entered the West Bank, which was under illegal Jordanian occupation.

Anti-Apartheid movements in South Africa wanted equal political and other democratic rights for all — irrespective of race — but never advocated the destruction of South Africa.

Israel currently has no Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the post of Minister of Information does not exist. This creates the message, as former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir put it, of being the “prime minister of six million prime ministers”.

An even more urgent condition is that Israeli authorities refuse to deal with the considerable number of renegade Israeli academics (and others) harming Israel on the international scene, presumably for their personal reasons.

“War is the continuation of politics by other means,” said by General Carl von Clausewitz nearly 200 years ago, has now morphed into: “Politics is war by other means”.

Enemies who are inferior militarily have understood this; hence, from the height of admiration after the Six Day War, Israel has hit bottom, sharing the position with the likes of North Korea.

How and why is this?

A knowledge of history is essential; therefore it is the first thing one’s enemies try to destroy. If one can falsely claim that biblical places such as Rachel’s Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs, the Temple Mount or even Jerusalem are Islamic, even though Islam did not, historically, exist until hundreds of years later, one can consequently claim that there never was a Jewish connection to the land – so then why should the Jews have it?

If you do not know where you come from, you cannot know who you are or what values are worth defending. Shulamit Aloni, as Israel’s Education Minister in 1992-1993, probably to accommodate the peace Israelis hoped would come after the Oslo Accords, purged Israel’s history textbooks of anything that might be deemed “politically incorrect”. Although she undoubtedly meant well, she did Israelis a major a disservice. The result was as if the U.S. government were to erase George Washington, the Federalist Papers and Abraham Lincoln from its textbooks and the ability to know one’s past.

It is therefore essential that those who challenge Israel’s right to exist and try to destroy Israel economically are met by historical reality. It is only through presenting facts rather than “narratives” that we can succeed in the media war. Israel should bring the old textbooks back — immediately.

Successive Israeli governments, in a combination of indolence, over-confidence and general neglect, have ignored this reality. Rectifying this overwhelming problem has often been left to underfunded and only partially-informed, if well-meaning, private individuals and NGOs.

Not so, however, in the Muslim world. Since the “oil crisis” and the start of Palestinian terrorism in the 1970s, the Muslim world, in concert with many European leaders, led by those in France, has fully occupied the media battlefield. They have using whatever fabricated, inaccurate arguments they and their public relations firms dream up. Meanwhile, despite much howling and crying foul, the Israelis have not met this information deficit with perceptible positive action.
Israel — the Jewish State

Israel, one of the world’s smallest states, roughly the size of New Jersey, has, since its inception, been under constant attack, physically, academically and in the media — most destructively from its own citizens. They claim the right of “free speech” and often even seem to enjoy watching the fatal results, as if needing to confirm a need for malignant power.

The establishment of the Jewish State was Theodore Herzl’s answer of turning the messianic dream of millennia into a political reality.
After World War I, the victors dismembered the Ottoman Empire and created a number of new Arab states as well as Mandates, one of which was Britain’s Mandate for Palestine. Palestine at that time was a geographic term only, invented by the ancient Romans in a still earlier attempt, by renaming Judea, to strip the land of its Jewish roots.

Britain’s Mandate to create “a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine” was confirmed, in 1922, by all 52 member states of the League of Nations. Its heir, the United Nations, in 1947, by two-thirds majority, confirmed the establishment of a much-reduced Jewish State, as the bulk of the territory originally mandated to the Jews had been handed over to the independent kingdom of Transjordan.

It is worth noting that the Jewish State was effectively created through the efforts of the countries of the world in San Remo and Geneva years prior to the Holocaust.
Population

In 1882, an Ottoman census showed 141,000 Muslims in the country; in 1906, of the 60,000 inhabitants of Jerusalem, 40,000 were Jews. Jerusalem, except for fewer than 200 years in the 11th and 12th Centuries, when it was the capital of a short-lived Crusader State, has only been a capital city under Jewish rule. At other times since the Roman conquest it was not even considered by Muslims or anyone else, a provincial city of consequence.

In the War of 1948-49, Jordan illegally seized Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish inhabitants, destroyed all the synagogues and on top of the ancient sacred Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, after taking ancient Jewish headstones to use as the floor of latrines, Jordan built a hotel, overlooking dead Jews.

During the British Mandate, which lasted until May 14, 1948, while the 1936 British White Paper restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine to 75,000 over a five-year period, Arabs from all the neighboring territories were allowed to flood, unrestricted, into the country.

The aggression by Egypt, Syria and Jordan, in June 1967, was overturned by Israel. Israel liberated Jerusalem, took control of the Golan Heights, from which Syrians had been shooting down at Israeli farmers, and entered the West Bank, which was under Jordanian occupation. Jordan’s King Hussein, promised by Israel that his country would be left if peace if it did not attack, instead, presumably worried that he might miss out on the spoils, entered the war. If one initiates aggression, one should be prepared to lose. Never in history has the victorious victim in a defensive war been requested to return territory to the aggressor. Germany, as the aggressor, lost thousands of square miles to Poland, as would be expected.

In 1979, Israel returned all Egypt’s land, held since1967, in exchange for peace. In 1994, a peace agreement was also signed between Israel and Jordan.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the Arabs demanded their own independent state – a demand not made when occupied by Jordan.

As to charges that there are Palestinian refugees and that Israel is an “Apartheid State,” the sad fact is that Palestinian refugees were caused by Israel’s neighbors themselves through starting a war against the new state in 1948. Arabs were told by their Arab brethren to leave the area to make it easier to defeat the Jews — after which, the Arabs were promised, they could return to their homes. Arabs fled to neighboring territories, where to this day they are basically incarcerated for Arab political reasons.

As Israel has absorbed 600,000 Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries, surely Arab countries, with their vast wealth and territory, can absorb what was originally 600,000 refugees — who chose to leave Israel of their own free will. The Arabs who remain are full-fledged citizens of Israel with full equal rights, all job opportunities, their own political parties, judgeships on Israel’s Supreme Court, and full membership in Israel’s parliament, and make up about 20% of the population.

As Germany absorbed millions of refugees after World War II, and more than 14 million people are estimated to have been transferred during the difficult birth of India and Pakistan, there should be no problem unless one wants there to be one.

Anti-Apartheid movements in South Africa wanted equal political and other democratic rights for all — irrespective of race — but never advocated the destruction of South Africa. The promoters of the current so-called “anti-Apartheid” movement against Israel are, in fact, openly striving for its destruction.
Peace with Israel’s neighbors

Most Muslim countries, in direct contravention of U.N resolution 181, do not recognize the State of Israel. To this day, their outspoken aim is the destruction of the county; hence a two-state solution and peace are impossible as long as the following reality exists:

Palestinian National Charter: Extract Article 19: “The Partition of Palestine in 1947 and establishment of the State of Israel are entirely illegal regardless of the passage of time”.

Fatah Constitution: Extract Article 12: “Complete liberation of Palestine and the eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”

Hamas Charter: Extract Article 13: “Initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions — are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement…There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad”.

It is obvious that one cannot negotiate until Israel’s neighbors rescind their destructive resolutions and show a genuine willingness for peace, in particular by educating their publics for peace instead of murder, and when everything can be put on the table for discussion.

It is also important to note that the UN Security Council Resolution 242, after 1967 war rejecting the word “the” before “territories” to be returned. Resolution 242 anticipated that Israel cannot be expected to go back to the 1949 armistice lines. Lord Caradon, one of the architects of the resolution, in a letter to The Times of London, explained:

“It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its position of June 4, 1967, because these positions were undesirable and artificial and just happen to be the places on the day the fighting stopped in 1948”.

The French, however, in their translation of the text of 242, inserted the “the”; since then, the English version has incorrectly inserted it as well, creating the totally false impression — “fake news” — that all territories are to be returned.
In Conclusion

Two other major problems in Israel have developed, which need most urgent attention.

Israel currently has no Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the post of Minister of Information does not exist. Presumably the former is handled by the Prime Minister when he has the time, whilst the latter falls between the cracks of other ministries. This creates the message, as former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir put it, of being the “prime minister of six million prime ministers”.

Israel has a diplomatic budget of approximately 0.15% of GDP — the lowest of all developed countries, although its needs are greater than any other. Canada, for instance, spends 0.25%; Germany 0.4% and the UK spends 0.75%.

An even more urgent condition, needing immediate attention, is that Israeli authorities refuse to deal with the considerable number of renegade Israeli academics (and others) harming Israel on the international scene, presumably for their personal reasons. It is incomprehensible how Israel’s government and universities allow the claim of “abuse of ‘academic freedom'” to justify those who support the openly anti-democratic forces advocating the destruction of the only democratic state in the Middle East. Never have the words of Abraham Lincoln in 1859 been more appropriate: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves”.

As Benjamin Netanyahu summed it up in a 2006 Knesset speech, “if the Arabs lay down their arms there will be no more war, but if Israel lays down its weapons there would be no more Israel.” |February 20, 2017

Source: www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9961/israel-public-relations

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