Many of us have been spending hours and days trying to win the public opinion wars.
On Facebook, we post photos that are being used to show Israel’s cruelty alongside the original context of those same photos. It is almost comical to see that photos with snow in the background ae being accepted by anyone as if they were taken in July in Mediterranean Gaza. It is far less amusing to see a collage of the slaughtered Jewish Fogel family, butchered in their sleep by Arabs from the neighbouring village – neighbours who work on the grounds of the Fogel’s Jewish settlement – being used as propaganda by those butchers, against Israel.
Short videos have been prepared by Dennis Prager and others, explaining the history of “the Middle East conflict,” which predates the State of Israel (1948), never mind the “occupation” of 1967; which provided tens of thousands of jobs for Gazan Arabs – and ended with the expulsion of 8,000 Jews from their homes and greenhouses 9 years ago. There are clips detailing the fact that, upon expelling the Jews from Azza, the Israeli government left three thousand (3,000) greenhouses standing, in order to provide livelihood for the now-independent Gazan Arabs. The day after the IDF pulled out its last soldier, on film for all to see, the Arabs destroyed their own potential economy. Their poverty, as well as their election of Hamas to power, is their own doing.
Even the date of the “blockade” of Gaza’s waters is being publicized, to make it clear that initially, upon withdrawing from the Gaza strip, Israel allowed the Arabs to import what they wished. The blockade, supervision actually, of imports began only after the missiles returned, despite the Israeli government’s assumption that pulling out of the Gaza strip would bring peace to the southern towns, which have been Gaza’s missile targets for the past 14 years.
Fact sheets are being collated – how many civilian casualties any other war has cost the world. Budget analyses are compiled – how much money the international community has poured into Gaza, since the Oslo accords 21 years ago, and since Gazan Arabs received independence 9 years ago. These sums are compared to the costs of necessary infrastructure which has not been built, and put against the costs of the ammunition, weapons and underground roads (“terror tunnels”) that have been built over the past decade or so, with the intention of murdering as many Jews as possible. Mention has been given by many individualsto the payment which terrorists and their families receive form their government
The Hamas charter is translated to English. Translated, too, are the speeches of Arab leaders, including Abu Mazen (the “moderate” PLO leader) , celebrating the murders of Jewish children, giving a hero’s welcome to each murderer Israel released from jail- again, in the hopes that meeting the Arabs’ demands would bring an end to over 100 years of anti-Jewish violence, murders and pogroms.
A month ago, when three Jewish teens were kidnapped and murdered by Arab terrorists, the mother of one suspect shared her pride that her son might have done this. That statement, too, has been translated and shared across many a Facebook page.
The Canadian government has stood steadfastly by Israel’s side – taking the time and effort to explain that Israel is acting in self-defense and with greater restraint than any army in history has shown. Also showing support and sharing the facts are Australia’s government, most Canadian news agencies, as well as the American Fox News, the Washington Post and a few independent writers and several decorated Western generals.
In the United States, several churches have played recordings of sirens and told their congregants to try to find cover for themselves and their babies within 15 seconds. In Vienna, Austria, a group of Jewish students did the same in central plazas.
Yet, we hear nothing from Israel’s foreign ministry. While their budget is probably affected by the war, surely something can be invested in setting up 24/7 screenings of informative videos on their outside walls? Perhaps, along with contributions of underwear for soldiers in the field, they can recruit the money to run ads explaining in 5 pictures the history of the Arab non-acceptance of any Jewish state, a pie chart of Arab massacres this year (in which Israel’s slice is so thin as to be invisible) or a map of the Middle East area, which puts to lie the claim that the issue is about land; since, as with the pie chart, Israel’s portion is hard to find.
It may well be that the western media will continue to prefer Economics Minister , Bennett, over FM Lieberman, whose accent may still invoke Cold War memories. Btu can the Foreign Ministry not make use of our many articulate and educated citizens and supporters, to be proactive, to reach out and make the facts clear?
The facts won’t help vis-à-vis the prejudiced and anti-Semitic mobs who only want to see Jewish blood spilt. But, in the hopes that foreign policy is based more on what the intelligent public discusses than what the ignorant mobs yell, the Foreign Ministry can and must be reaching out to college campuses, churches, adult leagues, as well as pedestrians and public transportation passengers.
The thinking public deserves to know what Israel is truly up against. The foreign ministry should be out there, in the field, answering questions before they are asked, countering the lies, leading the volunteer foot-soldiers and giving the propagandists the fight of their lives.