Ron Fournier, who tonsorial beauty impresses one and all has been derided by both right and left, R and D. This is a very high recommendation.
So his analysis is always worth thinking about, and analyzing, even if one might suspect his emotional want is slightly to somewhat L of C, but well R of the New Republic’s sad state today. Fournier’s analysis is not.
So today’s column in the National Journal which basically says Israel is in trouble for REAL for several reasons is worth a reasoned thought process.
The analysis is laid out like a research paper with a leading abstract
Every nation has a story. Israel’s is that Arabs have long been unwilling to negotiate with the Jewish state, and that terrorists among the Palestinians want to destroy it. For decades, three significant factors helped make this the dominant Middle East narrative. First, it’s correct, at least when applied to the dangerous minority of Palestinians. Second, elite opinion-makers, including journalists and politicians in the West, embraced and amplified the Israeli case. Finally, public opinion in the West, and particularly in the United States, firmly supported Israel.
The problem is this contains a MAJOR FACTUAL ERROR at the outset.
at least when applied to the dangerous minority of Palestinians.
That’s from a Palestinian poll VERY RECENT, done by Palestinians, and reported HERE. Now since I have been talking with hundreds of Arabs from the gulf to Jordan to Turkey for 14 years, I am compelled to say that what that poll reports is totally accurate.
It’s still 1967 as far as the Palestinians are concerned.
A dangerous minority don’t seek the destruction of Israel, a LANDSLIDE MAJORITY ***INSIST*** on it, at least until this latest spasm, but I cannot think of single reason anything that has happened since the kidnapping of the three boys which would affect this. HAMAS, remember was freely elected by >60% vote. I accept that this is the true representation of the people’s will there. And what is that?
Just take the time to read Article 13, Ron and tell me HOW you can negotiate anything but a cease fire so that in a few weeks, months years you can start all over again (with better weapons).
The most dangerous part of this for Israel is that your final two points which concern how the above REALITY is perceived are correct.
Consider these three stories and a question raised by each:
- NBC pulled foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin out of the Gaza Strip, raising questions about whether his empathetic coverage of Palestinians led to his removal. Brian Stelter, who covers the media for CNN, said his reporting "strongly suggests that this was a situation caused by network news infighting and bureaucracy." Public backlash played a role in Mohyeldin’s return to Gaza, Stelter said. Question: A decade or so ago, would a news organization receive this much pressure for a staffing decision?
- A Palestinian-American teenager accused Israeli authorities of beating him. Upon his return to Tampa Fla., 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir said, “No child, whether they are Palestinian or Israeli, deserves to die.” Question: A decade or so ago, would the beating be covered at all? As much?
- CNN correspondent Diana Magnay tweeted that the Israelis cheering bombs hitting Gaza, and who had allegedly threatened her, were “scum.” The network pulled her off the story. Question: A decade or so ago, would a network correspondent broadcast her bluntly negative opinion about Israeli soldiers? (What are the chances a network reporter would even think to call Israelis scum?)
Now, certainly for the 3rd at least, reporting was LOST by the ignorant comment made by Ms Magnay who told the world that the people cheering retribution for being rocketed with 15 seconds warning for TEN YEARS, were “scum”. She cannot take that back. She cannot change the perception created with a ‘walk back’ of some sort, and for creating a perception without having or reporting the professional responsibility for knowing, reporting, or thinking about that or compensating for the process between her short circuited brain and its instant compulsive impressions, and the fingertips on a keyboard.
But this ‘story’ is the microcosm of the heart of your warning. And it is true. The realities of the situation have NOT CHANGED AT ALL.
There is NO Palestinian leader who will say he is ready to CONSIDER swapping right of return and recognition of Israel (exchanges of embassies, etc) for a free, sovereign Palestine (see poll above). Without that, I can tell you, having spoken with the most left leaning peacenik of Israeli foreign ministry employees (in a notable position) there is as he put it, ‘very little to discuss’.
But the PERCEPTIONS regarding this ‘story’ of Israel have changed just the press here has become more and more PROGRESSIVE in its actual makeup, and warped it’s factual actions. That a true observation, but that and it’s effect has to be dealt with.
There is no point in whining about Diana Magnay’s real ignorance, because ‘she’ has and will do more of the same, creating a different perception an Israel which in OBJECTIVE REALITY has no choice about it’s actions.
Israel, however, has TOTALLY failed in matching its military success with PR success.
Netayahu talking about terrorist this and that is a losing proposition.
He has INCREDIBLE support at home. 87% are in total agreement with him (and only 79% of the population is Jewish). That has to be used to articulate how this state which gave ALL SINAI back for a treaty, and ended the occupation of Gaza, using the IDF to forcibly remove settlers while doing it, to those who CREATE PERCEPTIONS how gargantuan existence is for the only state in which all religions can freely practice.
That is where Israel needs to spend time and money.
Peace right now and for the foreseeable future is IMPOSSIBLE. The reason is the WILL of the Palestinian people to get ALL OF ISRAEL.
Israel must match it’s campaign for how they are perceived to their intelligence in the field.