Israel losing the public relations war against Palestinians

Israel losing the public relations war against Palestinians, by Caroline Overington.

Seventy years ago, a clear majority of the world’s leaders believed in Israel’s right to exist as a home for the Jewish people.

How could it be otherwise? More than six million of Europe’s Jews had died in the Holocaust. Those who survived lost their entire families. The creation of Israel, two years after the Holocaust, was reason to feel hopeful about humanity. …

The idea was always for Jews to share the Holy Land with the Palestinians. Israel accepted those terms in 1947. The Palestinians did not. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, it immediately came under attack from Arab neighbours. Israel has not known a day of peace since. It has given an inch, in some cases miles, but peace has not been forthcoming.

Israel won a six-day war for survival in 1967 by seizing the Golan Heights and the West Bank and East Jerusalem; and Israel to this day refuses to relinquish all that was taken, citing security concerns. Incensed Palestinian terrorists have had to find new ways to attack Israel, often shocking the world. …

In 2003, Israel began building a wall to keep the suicide bombers out. The number of attacks against Jewish civilians has since fallen dramatically. Incensed, the Arab world calls the wall an “apartheid barrier.” Israel, for good reason, calls it a “security wall.”

Despite or perhaps because of the ongoing security threat, Israel thrives. The GDP per capita is $35,000, which is healthy. Israel remains a parliamentary democracy, which is the best kind of government. There have been Arabs in the Knesset, or parliament, since the first parliament, in 1948. … Israel remains a thriving, delicate, precious, youthful democracy in the Middle East.

The new left, perhaps driven by courting the votes of immigrants and Muslims in the west, has changed sides:

But the language of the world is changing.

The hatred of Israel, felt by so many, is now the fault of the Jewish people. Israel is to blame for failing to make peace with their neighbours.

It is the Jewish people that stand in the way of a two-state solution, by refusing to relinquish land taken in a war for Israel’s survival.

In this version of the world, it is the Palestinians, and Hamas in particular, that dearly want to live in harmony with Israel.

That this idea could ever be allowed to take hold is evidence of just how badly Israel is losing the public relations war.