By Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, www.IsraelNN.com
As part of evaluating the competitive landscape of the popularity of nations, in a process referred to in marketing circles as “place branding,” Israel, to no one’s great surprise, comes up short in brand likeability, ranking last out of 35 nations included in an August 2006 survey conducted by nation-branding expert Simon Anholt; even less attractive to respondents than Indonesia, Estonia, and Turkey.
How could this have happened to a country that is the Middle East’s only thriving democracy and that enjoys a remarkably robust economy that has spawned some 1,000 startup high-tech companies, for example, second only to the U.S.? How, in short, would you go about making the world hate Israel?
This is how you would accomplish that objective if you were an enemy of Israel:
Even after 60 years of its existence, you question the fundamental right of Israel to even exist and regularly, though falsely, condemn it for being created “illegally” — through the “theft” of Palestinian lands and property — and thus decide, because of its original sin, that it has no “right to exist” and is merely a Zionist “regime.”
Of all the 100 million refugees who were dispersed around the globe and were re-assimilated since World War II, you choose only the Palestinians to languish in barbaric refugee camps where their lives are used as political fodder to denounce the existence of an Israel that supposedly has deprived them of a home.
You have the United Nations set up an agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), whose sole function is to make sure that this one group of refugees in the whole world is coddled. Give only this group of refugees a collective, as opposed to individual, “right of return,” and not only to those refugees who supposedly lived in and left what is now Israel, but all of their descendants, as well.
You use the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to repeatedly demonize and delegitimize Israel, making it a pariah in the world community and issuing an edict that equates Zionism with racism. In 2006-07, if you are the Human Rights Council, you pass one hundred percent of your condemnatory resolutions against Israel.
You inculcate Palestinian children, nearly from birth, with seething, blind, unrelenting and obsessive hatred of Jews and the “Zionist regime,” so that kindergartners graduate with blood-soaked hands while toting plastic AK-47s and dedicate their lives to jihad, while older children are recruited to hide explosives on their bodies to transform themselves into shahids — a new generation of kindling for radical Islam’s cult of death.
When Israel launches a military strike against nests of terrorists or in response to ceaseless rocket barrages, you term their response “disproportionate,” another escalation in the “cycle of violence,” a violation of human rights, aggressive, militaristic, with Apache gunships “pounding” terrorist neighborhoods.
If you are the Palestinian media, and members of the world media who are either intentionally biased or willing to be duped by anti-Israel propaganda, you repeatedly report on supposed Israeli human rights violations, such as an alleged “massacre of the 21st century,” a horrible war crime and example of “genocide” committed by Israel against Palestinians in the village of Jenin.
You talk about the Israeli security barrier as an “apartheid wall” and describe it as a massive, soaring, unbroken division through Palestinian neighborhoods and communities, overlooking the fact that the wall is towering and solid concrete only in those regions that have been repeatedly assaulted by terrorism, and that 90 percent of the hundreds of miles of barrier comprises mere wire fence.
You use the “apartheid wall” image to create a broader misconception about the Palestinians living under a South African-style apartheid regime, disingenuously equating race restrictions that blacks lived under in Soweto with the open society of Israel, in which Israeli Arabs have more rights than in any Arab state and are asked only not to murder Jews in their midst.
On campuses where a coddled and insulated professoriate often express antipathy for the perceived ills of capitalism, the usurpation of “Palestine” by Israel, and the denial of the civil and economic rights of the Palestinians, you contend that Israel’s very existence is not at all about self-determination (something you deem appropriate only for the Palestinians) and all about greed, globalism, colonialism, exploitation, and undeserved political and economic might.
You fund Middle Eastern Studies centers on university campuses and use them as anti-Israel, anti-American “think tanks” where scholarship is tainted with ideology and singularly focused on the Palestinian cause. You fund the active and vocal Muslim Students Association on campuses across the US that hold “Israel Apartheid Week” and “Holocaust in the Holy Land” festivals at which propaganda, Jew-hatred, apologies for terrorism and further demonizing of Israel take place.
In the Arab world, you play fast and loose with history in your attempt to create a historical narrative conforming to your own political agenda, erasing any link between Palestine and the Jews. Though Jerusalem is mentioned not once in the Koran and over 669 times in the Jewish Bible, you claim that Jerusalem is now the “third holiest site to Muslims,” that, as Yasser Arafat announced at Camp David in 2000, the Temple Mount was never a Jewish site, that Jews now “occupy” Muslim lands.
If you are in the Muslim world or the netherworld of Jew-haters, you question the actual extent and truthfulness of the Holocaust, first complaining that the Palestinians should not have been made to suffer the loss of their homeland because of the German’s extermination of European Jewry — leading in some part to the creation of Israel — and then at other times questioning whether the Holocaust even occurred and accusing Zionists of using the fictitious event as a way to falsely extract sympathy from the world community and force them into giving Palestine away to the Jews.
You write academic books questioning the strength of the “Israel Lobby,” and wonder out loud if Jewish influence and wealth forces us to lose credibility and threatens America’s national security on behalf of Israel.
You do all of these things as part of a concerted effort and also as random, independent efforts on the part of Israel’s enemies, and you do it for the 60 years of Israel’s existence, and then you are shocked — shocked! — when Israel is shown to rank unfavorably in surveys which measure the public perception of nations and how they compare to one another in the world community. But you are pleased, because you know that if Israel cannot be annihilated with armaments and rockets, perhaps you can make it cease to exist simply by making the entire world loathe it for being what it is.