| Israel is losing the PR war so badly that even evangelical support is eroding|
(from the Jerusalem Post)
Jun. 15, 2009
BRIAN SCHRAUGER , THE JERUSALEM POST
The war that Israel keeps losing is the war of world opinion, the war for individual hearts and minds. Consider recent stumbles.
Israel's military campaign in Gaza should have been named "8,000 is enough!" This would have communicated a determination to stop the barrage of missiles from Hamas, using surgical precision to destroy its arsenal, but destroying all of it, not just a part. Enough was enough: 8,000 missiles launched on the nation's civilian population would no longer be tolerated.
Unfortunately the operation was dubbed, "Cast Lead." The resulting image in the English-speaking world was not helpful. Lead is a soft metal associated with poison. The implication, then, was an unprofessional plan with ambivalent determination, biased motives and toxic methods.
Which is exactly how governments and media judge "the Gaza war." Israel and her defenders respond by arguing, "Israel has the right to defend herself." This is true, but flawed. Why? Limiting Israel's self-defense to a right makes it an option. Little wonder, then, that Israel's enemies portray her as a ruthless bully. In the matter of Gaza, for example, she could have chosen to refrain.
In fact, Israel has more than a right to defend her citizens and existence. Along with every sovereign state, she has a mandate to defend against invaders, murderers, thieves, poverty and disease. And from enemies who declare war and wage it.
The Hamas unamended charter of 1988 is a declaration of war. It explicitly calls for destruction of the Jewish state of Israel through jihad - against Jews and Christians (Article 13). Any member who abandons this struggle is guilty of "high treason and cursed" (Article 32). Accordingly, any "initiatives... so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to [these] principles" (Article 13).
Even so, the United States is on the verge of engaging Hamas as entity that is on par with Israel. No, not on par: morally superior. Consider the recent image splashed across America by political cartoonist, Pat Oliphant, portraying Israel as a headless, heartless, jack-booted Nazi devouring helpless, little Gaza.
Where did that idea come from? Look at Article 20 of Hamas's 1988 charter and see who is winning the PR war.
Of course it is more than public opinion that is being lost; it is the death of common sense; it is defeat in the war for truth.
EVEN EVANGELICAL SUPPORT is eroding. A vocal minority remain effusive on Israel's behalf. But the broader community is not monolithic. Many of its members are hungry for change, not unlike the political appetite that won Barack Hussein Obama the presidency. Among evangelicals the religious equivalent is a movement led by people like Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian; Stephen Sizer, a pastor who has gained popularity by condemning "Christian Zionism"; and, of course, Jimmy Carter, who accuses Israel of committing a "holocaust." How widespread is the erosion of evangelical support for Israel? Google this: "Letter to President Bush from Evangelical Leaders." Look at those who signed it - and the organizations they represent. Their claim to "represent large numbers of evangelicals" is true.
And behind it all? A resurgence of replacement theology, an ideology that, for almost 1700 years, has been used to ignite atrocities against Jewish communities.
So what can Israel do to win its global PR war, a war for truth?
One of Judaism's greatest traits is that, while the rest of world talks, it acts. The government of Israel has beefed up media relations and lobbying efforts to Western countries. It makes a special effort to reach Christians through its Tourism Ministry and the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus.
Religious Israeli organizations do a first-rate job in taking their case to gentiles. And a host of secular entities, most of them nonprofits, are second to none in telling the truth about Israel and exposing its enemies' lies.
But it is not enough. What else can be done? How can Israel be a more effective light that draws the nations to her?
First, recruit the world of commerce. Independent, for-profit media companies must present the broad canvas of Israeli news. Expanded investments in Israeli technologies will yield medical breakthroughs, unleash alternative energy sources and provide water and food for the world's population.
Second, aim directly to inform the potential "grassroot" supporters of the Jewish state. Bring Israel to them and they will come to Israel, both as tourists and supporters of the state.
Yes, methods include the Internet and its social networking tools. Still, there is nothing more effective than firsthand encounters.
So. Sponsor events. Send invitations to others instead of seeking invitations from others.
Deploy first-class conventions and shows and fairs, events hosted on civic platforms around the world. Get endorsements from influential people to market these events. Use them to showcase Israel, not defame it.
Begin these tours where demographic support is strong. Respect religious sensibilities. But use secular venues so that people from different backgrounds will feel comfortable and welcome. Participants with a variety of interests - business, social, political and religious - will enhance grassroot support for Israel and her people.
Most importantly, seek wisdom from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Listen for the whisper of His counsel. He alone is God of all the nations. Under the banner of His leadership, Israel will win.
The writer is director of radio broadcasting for Israel World TV.
| 2009/6/15 14:55|
North Central Florida
| Re: Israel is losing the PR war so badly that even evangelical support is eroding|
The report I read on Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech sounded very good to me. Perhaps this reporter has his own reasons for slanting it as he did? Are you familiar with him? Now days so many of the press seem to be working for the 'other side.'
I thought the proposals the Prime Minister made were very good and his turn of phrase better than ever.
"I think that President Obama and I are trying to reach a common understanding of this," he said. "I think we'll find some common ground."
On another forum I visit the following was posted by a member. I liked it enough to pass it along here:
The MSM is still touting the 'two state' solution as if Bibi folded under pressure from Obama. But he reiterates here that the so-called palestinian state has to be demilitarized and recognize the Jewish state. The arabs get what he said. How come the media doesn't? Because they don't want to allow Obama to look impotent.
I pray for Israel and the Prime Minister.
| 2009/6/15 15:23||Profile|
| "White Stone"|
I'm not aware of this reporter.
Can I tell you what I feel/think about the whole situation?
as I typed that out, I began to think that maybe I shouldnt say everything I feel about the situation. Lets say I'm very inflexible, am I peaceful man at heart? oh yes, but the reality is that the Arabs don't want peace with Israel, they want Israel gone, so you do what you have to do.
Israel doesnt have any reliable partners in peace in the region. Mubarak hangs by a thread, the muslim brotherhood, which is the real name for Alqaueda was born in Egypt, the PA, palestinian authority is weak, Hamas is the real power, along with Hizbo-allah in the north, and they are both supplied by Iran/Syria with the Russians in the background making money selling them the armaments, and as you know Iran is working overtime to become a nuclear power with ballistic missile capabilities.
all those three, hamas, hizbo-allah, and iran have stated publicly that they desire to destroy Israel, and they are just the front line states.
so what does an Israeli policy maker do?
I know what I would do, and it wouldnt be pretty.
| 2009/6/15 16:28|
North Central Florida
| Re: "White Stone"|
Deep in my heart I feel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the right man for the time and place.
| 2009/6/15 19:33||Profile|
| Re: |
[b]Before our very eyes we can see that Jerusalem is becoming a "cup of trembling" for the World.
I can remember when I was a boy, when reading my Bible, I always wondered how on earth this future, prophesized event could ever happen, that little Israel would become a cup of trembling to anyone:[/b]
17. Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. 18. There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. 19. These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee? 20. Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God. 21. Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: 22. Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: 23. But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
1. Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3. For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. 4. For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6. Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 7. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! 8. Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. 9. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 10. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.
12. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and God of Israel will be your rereward.13. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15. So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
[b]Here is another prophetic scripture:[/b]
2. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 3. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. 4. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. 5. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. 6. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. 7. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. 8. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. 9. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
[b][color=990000]Today, Jerusalem, and even all of Israel has become a cup of Trembling for the Arab nations around it.
Israel, a nation the size of New Jersey is now fulfilling this very prophecy before our eyes.
America, Israels's only parter in peace, is backing away from it's support. Now, as it truly becomes a cup of trembling" we should look up, because God will defend Israel this time, and it will be a time of shock and awe! Will we see it? [/color][/b]
Netanyahu endorses Palestinian independence
Jun 14 03:21 PM US/Eastern
By JOSEF FEDERMAN
Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed an independent Palestinian state beside Israel for the first time on Sunday, dramatically reversing himself in the face of U.S. pressure but attaching conditions the Palestinians swiftly rejected.
A week after President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world, Netanyahu said the Palestinian state would have to be unarmed and recognize Israel as the Jewish statea condition amounting to Palestinian refugees giving up the goal of returning to Israel.
Netanyahu, in an address seen as his reponse to Obama, refused to heed the U.S. call for an immediate freeze of construction on lands Palestinians claim for their future state. He also said the holy city of Jerusalem must remain under Israeli sovereignty.
Senior Palestinian officials Saeb Erekat said the plan "closed the door" to negotiations.
Still, it was a dramatic transformation for a man raised on a fiercely nationalistic ideology and who has spent a two-decade political career criticizing peace efforts.
"I call on you, our Palestinian neighbors, and to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority: Let us begin peace negotiations immediately, without preconditions," he said, calling on the wider Arab world to work with him.
Since assuming office in March, Netanyahu has been caught between American demands to begin peace talks with the Palestinians and the constraints of a hardline coalition. With his speech, he appeared to favor Israel's all-important relationship with the U.S. at the risk of destabilizing his government.
Netanyahu laid out his vision in a half-hour speech broadcast nationwide during prime time. He spoke at Bar-Ilan University, known as a bastion of the Israeli right-wing establishment, and his call for establishing a Palestinian state was greeted with lukewarm applause.
As Netanyahu spoke, two small groups of protesters demonstrated at the entrance to the university.
Several dozen hard-liners held up posters showing Obama wearing an Arab headdress and shouted slogans against giving up West Bank territory. Across from then, a few dozen dovish Israelis and foreign backers chanted slogans including "two states for two peoples" and "stop the occupation."
Police kept the two groups apart.
The Palestinians demand all of the West Bank as part of a future state, with east Jerusalem as their capital. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Mideast war.
Netanyahu, leader of the hardline Likud Party, has always resisted withdrawing from these lands, for both security and ideological reasons. In his speech, he repeatedly made references to Judaism's connection to the biblical Land of Israel.
"Our right to form our sovereign state here in the land of Israel stems from one simple fact. The Land of Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish people," he said.
But Netanyahu also said that Israel must recognize that millions of Palestinians live in the heart of the West Bank, and continued control over these people is undesirable. "In my vision, there are two free peoples living side by side each with each other, each with its own flag and national anthem," he said.
Netanyahu has said he fears the West Bank could follow the path of the Gaza Stripwhich the Palestinians also claim for their future state. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and Hamas militants now control the area, often firing rockets into southern Israel.
"In any peace agreement, the territory under Palestinian control must be disarmed, with solid security guarantees for Israel," he said.
"If we get this guarantee for demilitarization and necessary security arrangements for Israel, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, we will be willing in a real peace agreement to reach a solution of a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state," he said.
Netanyahu gave no indication as to how much captured land he would be willing to relinquish. However, he ruled out a division of Jerusalem, saying "Israel's capital will remain united."
Netanyahu also made no mention of uprooting Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Nearly 300,000 Israelis live in the West Bank, in addition to 180,000 Israelis living in Jewish neighborhoods built in traditionally Arab east Jerusalem. He also said that existing settlements should be allowed to growa position opposed by the U.S.
"We have no intention to build new settlements or expropriate land for expanding existing settlements. But there is a need to allow residents to lead a normal life. Settlers are not the enemy of the nation and are not the enemy of peace they are our brothers and sisters," he said.
Netanyahu also said the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinians have refused to do so, saying it would amount to giving up the rights of millions of refugees and be discriminatory to Israel's own Arab minority.
Erekat said Netanyahu's plan was unacceptable since it effectively imposes a solution on the core issues of the conflict.
"Netanyahu's speech closed the door to permanent status negotiations," he said. "We ask the world not to be fooled by his use of the term Palestinian state because he qualified it. He declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, said refugees would not be negotiated and that settlements would remain."
Nabil Abu Rdeneh, another Palestinian official, called on the U.S. to challenge Netanyahu "to prevent more deterioration in the region."
"What he has said today is not enough to start a serious peace process," he added.
Netanyahu also came under criticism from within his own governmenta coalition of religious and nationalistic parties that oppose Palestinian independence.
Zevulun Orlev, a member of the Jewish Home Party, said Netanyahu's speech violated agreements struck when the government was formed. "I think the coalition needs to hold a serious discussion to see where this is headed," he told Israel Radio.
Israeli media speculated that Netanyahu might turn to the centrist Kadima Party, which heads the parliamentary opposition, to shore up his government if the coalition falls apart.
Kadima, the largest party in parliament, issued a statement denying a report that there had been secret talks with Netanyahu over the matter ahead of the speech.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
| 2009/6/15 20:08|