The New War on Israel
There is a new war on Israel being waged in the battlefield of the mind. A collection of essays in the new eBook, The New War on Israel, explores the tactics of demonisation and delegitimisation being used on the front line
When the enemies of the West and liberal democracy fail to impose their will by force, they have a tendency to instead take to the battlefield of the mind. On that front they often prove far more successful.
This has increasingly been the case in the campaign to bring down Israel. As the recently released eBook The New War on Israel details, Israel has thus far proven undefeatable in the military sphere, but increasingly the enemies of Israel have sought to defeat her by demonising and delegitimising Israel’s very right to exist.
As The New War on Israel outlines, this campaign has pursued a wide variety of avenues in an attempt to weaken the Middle East’s only liberal democracy – the only society in the region with a character that genuinely embraces Western values.
First this has involved laying the intellectual groundwork of portraying Israel as a uniquely barbaric human rights abuser and transgressor of international law. Upon this groundwork of demonization, Israel haters have then attempted to build a network of boycotts and sanctions with the stated aim of paralysing the Israeli economy.
At its core the war on Israel’s legitimacy has involved portraying Israel as a neo-colonial and Western power that is currently in the process of enforcing a brutal occupation against a native and Third World people. In this narrative of victim and aggressor any violence committed by the Palestinians is simply framed as the legitimate resistance of an oppressed people, so as to portray a conflict in which the Westerners (Israel) can do no right and the non-Westerners (Palestinians) can do no wrong.
This version of events has been pushed particularly strongly by the Left in Israel itself, with Haaretz newspaper (Israel’s answer to the Guardian) serving as a focal point of this hard-Left worldview.
Featured in this book is Joshua Muravchik’s essay “Trashing Israel Daily” which confronts directly the radical ideology being fermented and disseminated through the pages of Haaretz. As Muravchik recounts, some of the writers at Haaretz have even made the case for Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians, while others have gone so far as to essentially present Israel as the heir to Nazi Germany.
Yet, as Muravchik exposes, many of these writers, such as Amira Hass, come from what were openly Communist and even Stalinist backgrounds, having been raised by socialist parents who came to Israel from Eastern Europe in the mid-twentieth century.
These extremist views from hard-Left writers at publications like Haaretz have then filtered through into softer, liberal circles internationally. Writing in The New War on Israel Ben Cohen outlines how American campuses are currently witnessing the formation of left-liberal Jewish groups who are pushing for Jewish student centres to provide a platform for the very individuals fronting the campaign to delegitimise and boycott Israel.
In a move that embraces an unparalleled degree of moral relativism, these campaigners essentially advocate that Jewish student centres on campus should become value neutral with regards to the speakers they host, so that there is no set of standards about what views are acceptable, and what are simply pure bigotry. Even the most aggressively intolerant individuals must be not just tolerated, but honoured with a microphone.
Of course, those campaigning for these changes on campus are not quite as value neutral as they may at first present themselves as being. The real truth is that they actually share many sympathies with many of these anti-Israel voices and argue that Israel will only become deserving of their support when it embraces the progressive set of policies that they themselves favour.
They argue that the only way for Israel to avoid this torrent of hate against it is for it to surrender more territory to its enemies in return for paper promises of peace. Yet, as Jonathan Tobin points out in the book, the Palestinians have so far consistently rejected all offers of peace and Palestinian statehood and will, in all likelihood, turn down the current deal being worked on by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The problem is that when the Palestinians do inevitably derail the peace process once again, there is already no shortage of members of the international community ready to blame Israel. The European Union, with its fundamentally anti-Western and pro-Third World view, has already issued a list of threatened punishments for Israel regardless of who it is that turns down any potential agreement.
The EU’s ambassador to Israel has made clear that in the event of a collapse in peace talks Israel can expect to face an escalation of moves towards boycotts in Europe, and the ambassador even threatened a destabilisation of Israel’s security by threatening to reduce funding to the Palestinian Authority, which is currently tasked with keeping down terror in the territories Israel withdrew from in the West Bank.
All of this may appear as a rather grim picture, but The New War on Israel does also feature a number of successes in the fight back against the boycotts and delegitimisation. Perhaps more importantly still this eBook offers just about the most up-to-date analysis of the current trends in this alarming phenomenon.
From a place of better understanding, those who wish to do so will undoubtedly find themselves positioned to think more clearly about how this war on Israel, democratic values and the West as a whole can ultimately be defeated.
Tom Wilson lives in New York where he is a political analyst and writer
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