The problem is much deeper. The problem is that Israel is the subject of a new type of propaganda war. All propaganda wars in the past, such as in the Second World War, played out in what we call modern society. People said straightly what they thought. If you listened to Hitler you understood clearly what he wanted to say.
Today, we live in a society which is called post-modern. That means it is far more chaotic and far more fragmented. So while many Arabs say exactly what they want, Europeans and Americans are far more confused and very often speak from behind masks.
Israel’s government hasn’t understood how to deal with a propaganda war in post-modern society. Israel should establish a body which analyzes this war and develops answers. For example, if Israel is attacked militarily, Israel has an instrument – the Israeli Defense Forces. It is a very advanced military. If Israel is attacked by spying, or terrorists, we have the Mossad and a domestic intelligence agency which is very sophisticated. We are now working on a cyber-war unit which probably, within a few years, will be the most sophisticated in the world.
But in the propaganda war, which is part of the total war against Israel, Israel is totally backward. Its government doesn’t understand that it should develop new tools and a new unit which oversees the propaganda battlefield. That is why Israel is losing the propaganda war.
Don’t you think stating explicitly “The land is ours” would help too – something that Israel almost never says? As matters stand now, the world hears the Arabs claiming the land is theirs and the Jews responding, “Maybe, but we can’t give it to you as long as you’re violent.” Is it so surprising, then, that many neutral bystanders listening to the two sides wind up backing the party that claims the land actually belongs to it – even if it is using violent means to acquire it?
We’re dealing with a very complex issue. What you said is one aspect of it….
But you will also never hear an Israeli politician say that the criminality in the Muslim world is much greater than the criminality and violence that comes out of any other religion. That sort of statement is taboo even though it’s the simple truth. You will also never hear a liberal American Jewish leader say these obvious things.
If we start looking at it, we see that Muslims are the most persecuted people in the world because this year at least 70,000 Muslims will be killed for religious, ethnic, or political reasons – and they will be killed by other Muslims. What I’m saying to you is the simple truth, but you will hear hardly anybody telling you that.
Can you talk a bit about Christian anti-Semitism, which is one of the topics addressed in your book? Because of the strong evangelical Christian support for Israel, some Jews are unaware of the sizable pockets of Christian groups that still oppose Israel, especially among liberal Protestants.
Yes, of course, but we always get to the same point. In the blood libel of the Middle Ages, they said the Jews needed blood for baking matzos. Today, you get people who say Israel goes into Gaza because it likes killing children and women. It’s the same motif, only dressed up in another dress.
You had the largest paper in Sweden saying that Israel was killing Palestinians because it needs its organs. You had the third largest paper in Norway having a cartoon on how bloody brit milah is. Leading English papers a few years ago showed how Prime Minister Sharon was eating a child.
About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and holds a Masters degree from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies.
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