Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
An increasing number of Jews, including Israeli Jews, say Israel has no real leaders and that few Diaspora Jewish organizational heads will sacrifice their cushy positions for Israel – a country beloved by God but rendered repulsive by more than 40 years of lethal Saudi- and Soros-funded propaganda and by the internal corruptions that plague all nations but are particularly dangerous to Jews when they behave this way in a Jewish state.
While prophets may no longer roam the land, we do seem to have a good number of defenders of both the faith and the truth, among them Bat Ye’or, Caroline Glick, Philippe Karsenty, Ken Levin, David Mamet, Melanie Phillips, Naomi Ragen, Gabriel Schoenfeld and, dare I say it, this writer in my own humble way.
Along with our non-Jewish allies we have often been stigmatized as reactionary “racists” both by militant Islamists and by politically correct Westerners. But here’s the reality:
Every day, perhaps every hour, the war against the Jews and the West escalates. The poisonous results of more than sixty years of “soft jihad” via propaganda are palpable. Muslim and Arab governments and media, the United Nations, international human rights groups, the Western intelligentsia, and many European nations have all signed onto the Case Against Israel’s Existence.
On the brighter side, a desperate handful of filmmakers have arisen these past few years to counter the mainstream media’s Big Lies against Israel and Jews and to document the truth. Pierre Rehov has made many important films that I was privileged to personally champion, including “The Silent Exodus,” “Holy Land: Christians in Peril,” “The Road to Jenin,” and “Suicide Killers.” Wayne Kopping and Rafael Shore made the searing film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” which has been shown on many campuses and before many organizations and denounced by Islamists and their Western dupes and sympathizers. And there have been others.
Now comes “The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost.” Michael Yohay is the documentary film’s award-winning director and producer (he was in charge of the news footage for IDF activities from 1993-2005) and Gloria Greenfield is its producer and marketing director.
The film provides us a first-rate education on the issues. It sets the historical, geographic, political, military, archeological, and legal record straight in a way that is clear and persuasive. Its cast of “actors” range from Ehud Barak to Alan Dershowitz to Caroline Glick to Dore Gold to Tzipi Livni to Benjamin Netanyahu to Shimon Peres to Natan Sharansky – to name just a few. (Full disclosure: I am also one of the talking heads and am honored to be in such distinguished company.)
Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and prolific author, begins the film by explaining that he is pro-Israel “not only because I am a Jew…but because I am a civil libertarian” who fights for “human rights” and “woman’s rights” and “because I am a lover of peace.”
Dershowitz discusses Jimmy Carter’s cowardly refusal to debate him face-to-face when Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid came out. Dershowitz characterizes Carter’s book as “essentially congratulating the Palestinian leadership for rejecting Camp David and Taba.”
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminds us that “there has been a reversal of the … facts of history” and suggests that “the only way to make the case for Israel is to go back to the historical facts.”
Eilat Mazor, the prominent archeologist, talks about Jerusalem’s biblical-era Jewish roots. She refers to her discovery of a clay tablet bearing the name of a high official from the time of the prophet Jeremiah as “a direct hello from the past.” Archeologist Gabriel Barkay notes that “Jerusalem is mentioned by name 667 times in the Bible but is not even mentioned once in the Koran.”
Ambassador Dore Gold points to Israel’s excellent record in terms of allowing religious diversity to flourish and fears that “turning over the old city to the Palestinian Authority would be disastrous for the holy sites because we have seen across the Middle East from the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan to the Shiite Mosques in Iraq to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus that radical Islam shows no tolerance for the holy sites of other faiths.”
Authors Michael Oren and Benny Morris along with Netanyahu, Professor Gerald Steinberg and CAMERA’s Alex Safian are our history teachers as to what really happened in 1947-1948. About the so-called intractable refugee problem, Netanyahu points out “that the Arabs have very cleverly turned the result of their aggression (in 1947 and again in 1967) into [their] cause.” Arabs claim they attack Israel “because of the Arab refugees which are the result of the Arab aggression against the tiny Jewish state.”
Eloquent experts (police and army officers) explain the Security Fence, the nature of a Kassam Rocket, the history of Palestinians who, characteristically and literally, hide behind children to launch such rockets at Israeli children, and the agonizing military and moral decisions Israel must carefully make and at such expense to itself.
This is a film you will want to show not only at your synagogue, but at your child’s or grandchild’s high school and college. It should be screened for Hillel staffers, for Muslim student groups and for every major Jewish organization both here and abroad. It should have a permanent home in every household where truth is prized.
In a better world, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon would summon the General Assembly, lock the doors, and screen this film at the United Nations.
About the Author: Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology, a Middle East Forum fellow, and the author of fifteen books including “Women and Madness” (1972), “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003), and her latest, “An American Bride in Kabul” (2013). Her articles are archived at www.phyllis-chesler.com.
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