ISRAELI P.R. MAN
By Richard H. Shulman
My associate attended a speech given officially in behalf of Israel. You tell me whether the speech is uplifting and inspirational, as from one who loves the near-miraculous Jewish state, which is confronted by a near-demonic Arab jihad.
The youngish Israeli public relations man started by admitting that Israel has lost the public relations war. He attributes the Arab victory to photographs showing occupation. My associate suggested not allowing the photos to be published. The speaker replied, that that's not democratic. Israel, a country without direct election of legislators, separation of powers, a restrained judiciary, independent or diverse media, or independent industry, worries about wartime censorship as being undemocratic? The US and Britain know how to keep the media from doing too much harm at the battlefield. Why doesn't Israel?
Why doesn't Israel make the case of its not being occupiers? The answer is that half the Israelis think they are. They either don't know the history and the issues or have a Diaspora mentality that appeases foreigners at their own people's expense.
Take that young speaker, for instance. He concedes that "two peoples have claims to one land." "Both sides have their rights and wrongs, so they must compromise." What we castigate as CNN, the Arabs castigate as "ZNN." Points of view are relative, he supposes.
I don't think that morality is relative or that points of view based upon morality and the historical record are relative. No believing Jew should, either. When the Jews lose their religious underpinning, they get swept away.
There is no question but that the European branch of CNN has gone out of its way to present the Al Qaeda and other anti-Western, anti-Israel viewpoints. This has been well-documented. The opinion, or, rather the propaganda, of the Arabs, totalitarians who constantly seek sympathy as victims and who complain that whoever isn't totally with them is totally against them, should not be taken seriously. Therefore, one expects Israeli P.R. speakers to challenge the Arab line, not give it equal credence with Israel's. One cannot win a war by conceding that a barbaric enemy has comparable rights and behavior. Nor would one be correct.
The Arab jihadists are trying to conquer the world. Their claims to the Land of Israel are poor ones, used as cover for jihad. The P.R. speaker inadvertently reveals the problem with Israel's foreign policy, and fails to challenge it. The problem is that Israel is not fighting the Arabs, except to stave them off. It is trying to appease them. Peres offers them all of Yesha and much of Jerusalem. Sharon wants them to stop fighting long enough so he can pretend terrorism has abated, and then offer them half of Yesha. Each thinks that the Arabs would be satisfied. Neither is taking into account the Arab goals. Jihad's goal is all or nothing. The Arabs are fanatics. Appeasement of fanatics always fails. They must be defeated and destroyed.
"Compromise?" Jordan was created in a previous, giant compromise, which failed to bring peace. There is no reason to attempt further compromise with fanatics who advance phony claims, such as that Arafat's Arabs are a separate people or are deserving of anything. To compare the two sides as both having rights and wrongs, when the Arabs are murderous, aggressive bigots, and the Israelis are law-abiding, civil, humanitarians, at least towards the Arabs, is ridiculous and unfair.
Built into the type of compromise suggested for peace are the seeds of the next Intifada. Each time a compromise is made or suggested, a large Arab population would be left among the Jews. That Arab population then demands independence.
The speaker's biggest surprise was that, while many US Jews boycotted the "NY Times" for its anti-Israel bias, he endorsed it as a source of information. In my Internet news commentary of seven pages each weekday, I devote much attention to "Times" bias.
The "Times" uses phony pictures, misleading headlines, value-laden vocabulary, uncritical presentation of unverified Arab statements and Israeli Army studies presented as if in doubt, more space and sympathetic wording for the Arabs, false statements of history, omissions of stories that would show the Arabs offensive and Israelis the victims, value judgments in news columns, and other kinds of deception.
Did he know that the "Times" has been anti-Zionist for decades? The owners feared that if they were perceived as Jewish nationalists, their US citizenship would become suspect. The publisher formed an anti-Zionist organization (the American Council for Judaism). He was an ally of the anti-Zionist Palestinian, Judah P. Magnes. The paper recently apologized for having minimized the Holocaust, lest it be seen as being a "Jewish" paper. (Such bending over backwards is not anti-Zionism but is distinguishable from antisemitism.) The current publisher enshrined "advocacy journalism" rather than objective journalism as its ruling doctrine.
The "Times" shares the State Department's subtle policy for the destruction of Israel, which meshes with the Arabs' phased plan for the destruction of Israel. The idea is to get Israel whittled down, so the Arabs can do the dirty work and administer the coup de grace. That's the "NY Times" that the speaker "loves!" How can Israel make effective propaganda when its spokesmen mistake their enemies as their friends?
By half surrendering, the speaker legitimizes Arab claims. No wonder Israel is losing at public relations! The Israeli Foreign Ministry makes the Arabs' case!