While we cannot be sure and must take nothing for granted—especially when it comes to Iran’s threat to wipe Israel from the map—the greatest battle Israel faces today on the world stage is not military, but rather the unrelenting attack by those who would politically delegitimize her.
Make no mistake: The effort of the Arabs and the Left to delegitimize Israel has nothing to do with Palestinian Arab independence, but rather with totally destroying the Jewish state.
What are the key elements of this vicious delegitimization campaign? Most noteworthy are the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, efforts to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state in the U.N., the Goldstone Report, the Gaza flotillas, and rules of the U.N. making Israel the only nation not eligible to sit on the Security Council or be a member of its own Regional Group (even though, bizarrely and shamelessly, “Palestine” is a member).
What is the consequence of successful delegitimization? The late Dr. Ehud Sprinzak of Hebrew University has noted that a state’s “loss of legitimacy effectively means the loss of the right to speak or debate in certain forums . . . [in which it is seen as] altogether undeserving of existence . . . when a political entity, previously held to be legitimate, loses that status.”
Having failed to defeat Israel militarily, delegitimization is the primary mechanism the Arabs and the Left are now employing to kill the Jewish state.
A key weapon of delegitimization is disinformation—lies—to manipulate public opinion. The first lie—told ceaselessly by Palestinian Arabs—is that Jews have no historical claims to the Holy Land. The second lie is that Israel is a racist state. The third lie is that Israel is the aggressor in its battle for survival among the Muslim nations.
How can we supporters of Israel fight this brutal, relentless attack on the Jewish state’s right to exist? The claim that Israel seeks peace and defensible borders will not be enough. Efforts to proclaim Israel a model world citizen whose democracy, technology and cultural achievements, and tourist attractions make it an advantageous ally will not be enough.
Rather, we must conduct an aggressive relegitimization campaign to defend Israel, restore its reputation, and elevate it even higher in world opinion as a beneficent leader, truly a light unto all nations.
This means fighting the lies that Israel’s enemies tell day in and day out. The truth is on our side, but we must also have the will and resources to spread it. Written by Jim Sinkinson
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