Worldview of Israel’s elites is gutting Israel

Martin Sherman of the Jerusalem Summit gives an upbeat message on Israel’s potential in the PR battle in his article The Entire World is not Against Us but advises that the elites aren’t capitalizing on it.

[..] This of course raises the question of “why?” Why is all the potential affinity for Israel not being energetically harvested; why is all the latent aversion towards its adversaries not being resolutely harnessed? For in under any dispassionate analysis of the objective parameters, the poor image of Israel on the international stage is difficult to fathom. So why does the county fare so poorly in the media war?

[..] The answer to this is shocking but simple: Israel is losing the war for international opinion because – in the final analysis – she does not really want to win it! Or at least the official organs charged with administering this war do not.

The key to the answer lies in the worldview of the entrenched elites in Israeli society – the legal establishment, media establishment and that portion of the academic establishment which interfaces with the media (notably the social sciences and humanities but not the natural and exact sciences.)

This is the body that de facto influences the course the country takes, far more than the de jure results of any elections, and its worldview is one that that is incompatible with portraying the Arabs, Arab society, and Arab regimes as they truly are.

It is therefore also incompatible with achieving victory in the battle for public opinion. This worldview, motivated more by socio-cultural animosity for their domestic adversaries rather than any genuine affinity for the national interest, cannot be reconciled with an accurate portrayal of the Arab world – especially the Palestinians – as a viciously cruel and intolerant society permeated by violence and corruption at almost all levels.

For any such portrayal would make nonsense of the support for Israeli withdrawal to frontiers that would leave the country in a perilously precarious situation – with its international airport, its maritime harbors, its major roads and railways, power stations, water installations all hopelessly vulnerable to attack.

How could anyone justify, especially in the wake of the recent war with the Hizbullah, abandoning such vitally important territory to a regime dominated by radical Muslim elements, where journalists are harassed, press freedom trampled on, political opponents lynched, honor killings of women by their male relatives endorsed or at least socially condoned, homosexuals hounded, and Christians persecuted?

So to vindicate adherence to a worldview that advocates far reaching concessions to the Palestinians – something that has perversely and paradoxically become the cultural litmus test of “enlightened liberal” identity – the propagation of two falsehoods has become an essential prerequisite. Both are highly detrimental – indeed crippling – to Israel’s ability to garner international support:

    * Projection of a fallaciously favorable image of the Palestinians – which precludes victory in the battle for the hearts and minds of the international community.

    * Creation of an equally fallacious illusion that without capitulation to Palestinian demands, ubiquitous international isolation and animosity are unavoidable – which creates the impression that defeat in this battle is inevitable

Unless the Israeli public realizes this and rises up against the detrimental conduct of its establishment elites, it will be impossible to arrest the country’s ongoing slide into oblivion.

March 31, 2007 | 8 Comments »

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. I was a pretty good chess player as a kid; that is, I was able to compete successfully against individuals who were generally better players with a lot more playing time than I had under my belt. In fact, I usually jumped into an advantageous position early in the game and maintained it throughout. In the end however, I was frequently checkmated. One reason for this was simply that I never took the time to read a good book on winning at chess. There was however, another factor at work: I did not have the killer instinct. I enjoyed the game immensely and was quite skilled but had a definite block that prevented me from finishing off my opponent.

    I’d like to suggest that the Jewish nation suffers from the same impediment. While the Jews are highly skilled players at, shall we say, the game of survival, they are restrained by their own humanity in achieving real victory — a restraint not shared by the Arabs. Consider the killing of thousands of Palestinians by King Hussein during Black September or the massacre of over 10,000 Palestinians in Hama Syria. Palestinian “resistance” ceased after these incidents. Israel has certainly had its opportunities to permanently disincentivize violence amongst the Arabs of Palestine — not to mention Syria and Egypt — but has always stopped short. History suggests that the US or UN stepped in to save the Arabs at pivotal moments but in truth, Sharon and other Israeli Generals could have proceeded to take Cairo or Damascus within days (if not hours) had they been so ordered.

    Israel is suffering today — on the battlefield and in the world media — because its long-standing ambivalence in the face of naked Arab aggression is seen by all as moral decrepitude. The “occupation” has led to global opprobrium not because it is viewed as inhumane but because it is viewed as a sign of irresolution and frailty and the world despises these qualities. Listen to Olmert when he says,

    We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning…

    Who would wish to support or identify with that kind of palpable cowardice and defeatism? If Israel no longer believes in her own moral authority and self-determination; why should any other nation believe in her?

  2. The antagonism between socialist and capitalist and communist ideologies is often not grasped completely by any party.

    These are all merely systems which of themselves are not good or evil. It is the introduction of the human element which makes them what they are gives them their virtue or immorality.

    A man could engage in forms of all these philosophies at the right time for the right reason with a positive and moral result. On the other hand all these systems can be exploited and used to gain power, wealth, and advantage at the expense of others.

    That is why I see no salvation any of system for they are no better than the people that employ them.

    That being said, the free capitalistic system, besides being the most profitable and having the greatest capability of sustaining a society, offers more to offset the evil that will indeed enter exploit it.

    There is a time and place for some of the principles of communism and socialism if participation was non-binding and voluntary – that’s basically what some types of charity are – But they should not be a system of rule, they should be an occasion.

    Whenever communism and socialism exist as a system of rule they tend to tyranny and oppression every bit as much as capitalism tends to greed. They also cannot exist as systems without compulsion. This is why I say that there can be occasions on which people bind together pooling resources and efforts, but this should be for a specified cause with non-binding participation and of complete freewill.

    All these philosophies are tools and there is no absolute system that will bring virtue to the world, not socialism, not communism, not capitalism – but there is a time and a place for all things. However, virtue must come from within humanity, for without it, whatever system exists will become a source of harm.

    BUT WE DIGRESS from the article, which I thought was on spot and affirmed, albeit, in a more sophisticated manner, what many of us here have often alluded to in our own ways.

  3. George Orwell defined Socialism as “common sense.” Common sense agrees with, and is comfortable with, the fact that people are different. It seems to me that modern-day “socialists” try to force-fit sameness on all people, which is absolute nonsense, and flies in the face of what is. They do this essentially through the “politics of envy.” Weak people with an axe to grind. Look at the trial of Conrad Black for example. Class warfare, it’s being called. The dumbing down of society so that people with energy and know-how to do things well, can’t. (Can’t have that can we?)

    Don’t know how Orwell felt about the free market system, but in my experience it’s what makes the world tick, even if it’s because of the fact that it keeps government out of places they shouldn’t be… which is almost everywhere.

  4. Felix

    Words constantly undergo a change of meaning even to the point of coming to mean the opposite of what they originally meant. You hold to the old meaning and refuse to accept the new use of the word “left”. Today we all know what we mean by the “Left”. e.g.anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, anti-religion, anti-power, anti militarism, pro-multiculturalism,. The list goes on . We know what we mean when we use it. That’s one areana. then there is the arena of economic policies with the left in favour of government responsibility to support for the poor as opposed to the view on the right that the poor must be taught to take care of themselves. i.e. state sufficiency rather then self sufficiency.

    I ignore the latter arena and focus on the former arena.

    You will not be able to hold to old meanings. So best always to define your terms.

  5. Thank you Ted for placing the “left” into quote marks. I very much appreciate that. It means that you are beginning to look more sharply at this “left” and ask more serious questions about them.

    They are traitors and there is a long history of betrayal behind these people, and the Jews and Israel is only PART of this betrayal.

    The writer above hits the nail on the head.

    At a simplistic level, the Arabs set out to sell a product which they packaged as “Palestine”. They have used vast resources to sell this product which is ironic because the main message they sold was that the Palestinians were poor and destitute.

    Why this was widely accepted leads into deeper waters.

    It is too facile just to say anti-Semitism. There were other factors.

    One of the main ones is that the Left degenerated (under the terrific blows from Stalinism)

    Socialism should be the logical partner for the oppressed Jews.

    Then also remember in this context it suited and it has suited right wing capitalist parties and people to portray socialism like that. What could be more perfect for their pro capitalist propaganda.

    Look at those awful leftists, like Pappe, Steven Plaut says continually. And Plaut knows what he is doing. But A BIG PART OF THE STRUGGLE IS TO EXPOSE THE PRETENSIONS OF PAPPE TO BE SOCIALIST IN ANY WAY. Find another term perhaps. Traitor?

    Why Palestinianism prospered also takes you back to the Atalena affair and to the PROMOTION of the Dir Yassin myth by the Israeli Government itself.

    In short it is complicated but its complexity can be understood.

  6. Essentially he is arguing that the “left” does not agree with a strong Israel and prefers Israel to be a state like any other state.

    The elites are not prepared to attack the Arabs orally or militarily. Thus Israel is losing on the PR front and the military front.

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