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Israel demonisation – no room for naiveté

 630 500 and 800! Those are the number of hits my 3 articles attracted on Politicsweb – apparently pretty good for non-South African topics. That’s hardly viral, but one hopes that there were a number of secondary and tertiary viewers.

My Solar Plexus blog also saw a significant rise in hits and the total number of comments over the 3 articles ran to about 150, which means that it was a hot topic.  Some were very complimentary, gratefully received, many were off target, some were rants and some merited a decent reply. By and large that is what goes down on the Internet.

The focus of the series was the demonisation industry and its various ramifications, not the “issues”. Why?


Oops! (from David Abel)

Because the demonisation industry is not a sideshow – it is the dominant theatre of operations against Israel. The fact is that the primary clients of the BDS campaigners – Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, the Palestinians, Syria, Iran, and the Islamists in North Africa and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its various offshoots…and who knows who else lurking in the EU and elsewhere – are a lost cause, while Israel gets stronger in almost every respect by the day.

They are not only technologically backward and economically bankrupt, despite potential wealth, but they have been discredited by their murderous and insane excesses all over the world. No conscious adult can claim to be unaware of the endless indiscriminate violence, fanaticism, intolerance, murderous abuse of women and totalitarian mindset which is part and parcel of their cultural DNA.

Given this situation their ONLY weapon against Israel is propaganda, along with the complicity of mainly leftwing liberal elites in the media and academia and ordinary human failings.

The aggression from Gaza and Hezbollah and even Iran (minus nuclear weapons) should generally not be taken at face value. Yes, it can harm a limited number of Israelis and frighten a lot more by its random indiscriminate nature, but those are not strategic or existential threats – terrible though they may be to those directly impacted. Their strategic value lies solely in the PROPAGANDA THEATRE and as a means of radicalising their own populations who would otherwise simply wish to get on with remedying their own dire situation.

Given this reality there is no room any longer for innocence and naiveté when it comes to “debates’ over Israel. Yes, it is easy to spot the usual BDS apparatchiks and the obvious ranters and haters and to treat them appropriately – that is with utter contempt bearing in mind context and constraints.

But what about the “earnest” and “sincere” pro-Zionists (self-designated) who are simply struggling with their consciences about the settlers or the ultra-religious or Bibi or …you name it? Surely, as honest an intelligent supporters of Israel we are not claiming that Israel is perfect – are we? So why are we not willing to discuss Israeli faults and mistakes? What have we got to fear? Or to hide?

Yes indeed why not? Well if we are going to put various foreign lands under the microscope why don’t we start with Pakistan or with Saudi Arabia or with Iran or with the poor old Palestinians?  Or if that is too obvious how about China or Venezuela or North Korea or Russia? But why confine our scrupulous moral concerns only to the long list of chronic human rights abusers?

Why not so-called democracies like Greece and England and Germany and the USA? After all there are about 190 recognised states out there. We have lots of ground to cover before bringing our microscope to bear so exclusively on tiny Israel under constant threat.

Well that’s it, isn’t it. These OH SO EARNEST do-gooders only want to talk about Israel. Well some (not all) of them are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Far too smart to indulge in the usual rants and hyperbole of the run-of-the-mill BDS hacks, they are adept at disguising their malice, bias and agendas under the rhetoric of human rights or a scholarly dispassionate analysis.  It is instructive to go here for an intelligent and penetrating look at one such event.  It’s not a sound byte; be prepared to read and think. I can think of many such examples.

But then there are those who are indeed “sincere” but are innocent and naive. They truly are concerned about aspects of Israeli society and policy and wish to have their concerns addressed and possibly to be re-assured. There is a murky line between the wolves and the innocent lambs.

But we no longer accept innocence and naiveté amongst those who should know better; and I’m referring to Jews here mainly.  You have an obligation to your fellow-Jews to wise up. You have an obligation not to serve as the decoy for wolves. 

Discuss your concerns where it will do no harm and with those who truly have Israel’s welfare at heart. But even better, first inform yourselves and attain some sense of realism and balance. Ensure that you do not donate your exquisitely sensitive moral misgivings to Israel’s enemies.

But to non-Jews who are interested enough to have opinions and to express these in public, you also have obligations. You have obligations to commonsense and the evidence staring you in the face. You have obligations to be informed and to apply rules of balance and perspective. You have the obligation to understand that it is 7 million Jews living in Israel who are under existential threat and not the 300 million Arabs or 1.4 billion Muslims. You have an obligation to acquaint yourself with the outlines of Jewish history and ask what you would do given those experiences. And you have the obligation not to support Arab-Muslim extremists against the small embattled minority of liberal democratic reformers under huge pressure.

The facts are clear as daylight. There really is no room for innocence and endless moral confusion any longer.   

Mike Berger


3 responses to “Israel demonisation – no room for naiveté

  1. Roy Shani February 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    It is not the first time that I see you make this mistake and it disturbs me for some reason.
    there arent 7 million Jews who live in Israel. it is about 6 million.
    Just so you know.


  2. amweston2013 February 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Superb article and I shall be sending it on to many, some of whom need to be better informed.


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