Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
It’s remarkable that with all the strife and conflict emanating from every corner of the globe, Israel is the country that perpetually dominates the headlines. With Iran thumbing its nose at the international community with the threat of nuclear proliferation, North Korea launching a torpedo attack and sinking a ship from South Korea, and car bombs killing countless civilians in Baghdad on an ongoing basis, why is it that Israel is the hot topic of conversation – and condemnation – throughout the world?
The widespread effort to vilify Israel is by no means a new phenomenon. Ever since its inception in 1948, Israel has been a magnet for false accusations and ill-placed criticism.
Whenever there is an incident involving Israel and its Arab neighbors, the world is ready to pounce and find fault with Israel’s actions. The pundits pan Israel’s every move, the commentators criticize Israel’s every move, world leaders lambaste Israel’s every move.
In 1960, after Prime Minster David Ben-Gurion announced that notorious Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had been captured in Argentina by Israeli intelligence agents and was being brought to Israel to stand trial for his heinous acts during the Holocaust, the UN Security Council condemned Israel for the circumstances surrounding Eichmann’s detention.
In 1981, the world condemned Israel for destroying Iraq’s nuclear reactor. In 2009, the world could not wait to endorse the findings of the Goldstone report, which accused Israel of “war crimes” during Operation Cast Lead. For a decade, as thousands of rockets rained down on the Israeli city of Sderot, the world remained silent – yet when Israel took action to defend itself and protect its citizenry, the world screamed its condemnation. Advertisement
And, most recently, in the wake of a premeditated provocation in the waters off Gaza in which Israeli forces were compelled to engage in self-defense measures in order to save their lives, nations around the world clamored to be the first to condemn Israel and were jockeying for position to see which would issue the sharpest critique of Israel’s actions.
Instead of the usual rush to condemn Israel we’ve become accustomed to, there is now an all-out race. As far as the international community goes, Israel’s every move is contemplated, criticized, and then condemned. The world is eager to pass judgment on Israel and denounce it at every turn.
The scrutiny Israel receives after each and every act is unparalleled in the international community, and the criticism consistently levied against the Jewish state is virtually unmatched. There are rogue nations and terrorist organizations that seemingly get a free pass while Israel, a democratic country, is condemned repeatedly. Even the UN, the world’s peacekeeping body, seems to be poised and waiting to strike whenever Israel is in the spotlight.
As they sprinted to condemn Israel following the flotilla incident, world leaders inexplicably turned a blind eye to the fact that Israel was simply reacting to a blatant attempt by a group of “activists” to embarrass Israel by manufacturing an artificial conflict whose very nature put human lives at risk.
Where is the outrage at the irresponsible and cavalier actions of the Free Gaza Movement, whose botched publicity stunt with the flotilla led to the loss of human lives? Where is the indignation at the admission that this group deliberately sought to instigate a conflict with Israel? The silence of the international community in this regard is deafening.
The maritime blockade of Gaza was brought about by the aggressive tactics of Hamas, whose stated desire to eradicate Israel has resulted in cowardly terrorist attacks leaving countless casualties among Israeli men, women, and children. With Hamas in control of Gaza and ready, willing, and able to launch deadly rockets at Israel, Israel was given no choice but to impose measures to ensure that additional weaponry and military arms do not fall into the terrorists’ hands.
Yet it is Israel, not Hamas, that perpetually bears the brunt of the world’s ire. By repeatedly questioning decisions taken by the Israeli government to engage in self-defense and take necessary precautions to safeguard its citizens, the international community ignores the reality of the facts at hand and instead perpetuates the myth that Israel is the aggressor.
Rather than censure Israel at every opportunity, it would behoove world leaders to sit back and analyze the circumstances before acting as judge and jury in the court of public opinion.
The race to vilify Israel may be on, but at the end of the day none of the participants in this inane competition will emerge victorious. There are those who believe that crossing the finish line first and issuing the quickest and strongest condemnation of Israel translates into a victory. In truth, however, the real winner is the State of Israel, which consistently perseveres in the face of great adversity.
As for Israel’s opponents who run to disparage it at every turn, they will inevitably falter before they reach the finish line – leaving Israel to run a celebratory lap, head held high.
About the Author: N. Aaron Troodler is an attorney and a principal of Paul Revere Public Relations, a public relations and political consulting firm. Visit him on the web at www.PaulReverePR.com or at www.JewishWorldPR.com or follow him on Twitter: @troodler.
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