Israel's PR Challenge in the Battle for Public Opinion

Israel is at this moment involved in yet another battle in its century-long war against Arab hatred and aggression. As a result, men I do not know and would not care to know are firing rockets in the hope of killing me, my friends, and my countrymen. The obvious surrealism of such a situation is compounded by the knowledge that, very soon—if they are not already—other people I do not know and would not care to know will be announcing that it is all our fault.

Israel’s PR campaign in this particular battle has been noticeably better than it has in the past. Nonetheless, it is only a matter of time before our enemies fully mobilize. With protests already spreading across the world, it is also only a matter of time before the majority of the establishment media, which silently—and often not so silently—agrees with their demonization of the Jewish state, begins to give them the upper hand in the battle for public opinion.

These particular critics inevitably portray themselves, and the media establishment inevitably concurs, as anti-racist activists fighting a racist regime. Israel, they claim, is an unholy evil akin to apartheid South Africa, and nothing it does short of surrender and suicide can be morally justified. At the same time, nothing Israel’s enemies do, however monstrous, vile, and bloodthirsty, can be morally objectionable. At best, it is simply “an understandable result of” some real or imagined Israeli crime.

It is worth pointing out the implications of this. Many of Israel’s critics are, in fact, making a very simple claim: Arabs have earned the right to murder Jews. It is necessary, unfortunately, to explain precisely what this means: One people (the Arabs) can slaughter another (the Jews) with justice and morality on its side; while any resistance on the part of the latter (the Jews) to the designs of the former (the Arabs) is a monstrous crime. And the distinction, lest we forget, is made on the basis of a single factor: race.