The small nation of Israel today faces new and creative challenges, and the most recent conflict regarding protests against illegal immigrants is one which has the potential to create a crisis PR situation of massive proportions. The world media is beginning to paint pictures of “racial riots” in Israel – of Jews attacking blacks. These are powerful images which have the potential to very much harm Israel’s world image.
Israel needs to do everything it can – and quickly – to ensure that proper language and messaging surrounds this debate and the rightful public anger which exists. After a lengthy meeting late last week at my NY PR firm with Likud Member of Knesset Danny Danon, who is the Chairman of the Knesset’s Immigration and Absorption Committee, I realize clearly this is yet another issue of undue media balance, and undue international flak.
Among the challenges Israel faces in this sensitive situation is not allowing a few unruly hooligans to define this very real issue. This clearly is not a racial issue of “Africans” or “blacks” – it’s an issue of a small country’s ability to absorb illegal immigrants. A hundred thousand African migrants in the tiny country of Israel is a tremendous number. Why should the State of Israel have the responsibility to absorb these people, who aren’t entering Israel from a border war zone, but rather via the sovereign nation of Egypt. One wonders why it is Israel’s responsibility. Don’t other nations have such responsibilities? And where is the UN now to urge Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others to take these wretched souls?
Should the tiny country of Israel, with its demographic and economic challenges, have to absorb people who choose to move? And if they choose to try to move to Israel, there are rules of the land which must be followed – and aren’t being followed.
As Danon explained to me, “the State of Israel is engaged in a war against an enemy state composed of infiltrators and located within Israel… deportation now is the only solution.”
One wonders if similar proportional numbers were to enter NY would there be any discussion about the need to remove these people – or would government services rightfully deport them? Deportation now simply says illegal aliens, who are harming our country in so many ways, can’t stay. What exactly is the controversy? It’s a non-starter – a government official asking for the law to be enforced?
Some choose to perverse Judaism by talking about the need for Jews to absorb all refugees, an absurd concept even given the unique sensitivity which Israel already is applying in this situation. Throughout history, from inside and outside the Jewish community, there has been a perversion of Judaism which says that universal social justice is the core Jewish mission. It’s simply not true – while of course Jews have this as a commandment, there are many commandments – and ensuring Israel remain a safe Jewish state of course overrules other commandments.
The Jewish nation is under siege on a daily basis – from Iran, from Palestinian terrorists – As Ze’ev Jabotinsky said:
We were not created in order to teach morals and manners to our enemies.
While the media and others may paint unfair pictures, the reality is that for Israel to be a “light unto the nations,” Israel has to actually exist as a Jewish nation. And the enemies of the Jewish people – including the media – aren’t the ones who should teach morals and manners to Am Israel.
Let’s just hope that in the year 2012 those leading the fight for Israel to remain a Jewish state recall the importance of Public Relations. A hundred thousand illegal immigrants ain’t following the rules and have to be handled accordingly – regardless of their color.