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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 21, 2003

Pro-Israel Advocacy

Ted Belman speaks out.

The Problem

Not enough people understand the facts
Not enough people care who's right
People embrace panaceas such as "peace now".
People are tired of the conflict.
Some people are biased against Jews, Israel or the US
Arab lies travel half way around the world before Israel's truth gets out of bed.

Causes

Most media in the US and to a greater extend in Europe and to an even greater extent in the Islamic world, knowingly or unknowingly misrepresent the facts.

They also put a spin on the facts and stress issues inimical to Israel's interest. e.g. I watched BBC the other day . They were covering the bombing and the efforts Israel was taking such as tightening movement. Then they stressed the hardship on the Palestinians as a result of Israeli actions rather than the hardship on Israelis as a result of Palestinian actions. This is always the bottom line for them.

Governments also ignore or misrepresent the facts in pursuit of their own interests. Governments also misrepresent the facts knowingly and otherwise when adding spin that serves their interest.

People in general just want to live their lives. They take a passing interest in Israel but having nothing invested in its survival. They just want peace.

Then there are those who are anti-Israel either from the Left or the Right and the Arabs. They all want to harm Israel.

Then there are the lovers of Israel who really care that it survives and prospers. Even this group must be separated into those who worry about the rights of the Palestinians and their suffering and just want to make a deal to end the problem, not realizing that it will exacerbate the problem and those who think a strong stand must be taken. I just read a poll on IMRA in which it appeared that 36% of Israelis including Israeli Arabs, were for the roadmap, 26% against it and 35% didn't know enough about it. If so many people are out of it in Israel, what can you expect of the world.

The Moslems vastly out number the Jews. There are 22 Arab countries against one Israel. Each with their newspapers and politicians speaking to the media and to the UN. They are much richer and devote far more resources to the propaganda. Israel wants to live and prosper whereas the Arabs are focused on destroying Israel rather than prospering.

For all the world, appeasement is the name of the game as it was before the Second World War.

Israel's strengths.

The facts and the law support Israel
Israel has a strong military.
Many journalists support pro-Israel views and positions on the Right and certain media outlets likewise.
Certain organizations, as represented in the Summit recently held, support the cause.
Congress and the Senate are overwhelmingly support Israel.
AIPAC is a powerful lobby.
Pro-Israel blogs are many and serve to educate a small number (relatively) of people to be more informed of arguments and facts that support Israel. These people are already in the camp but there is a ripple effect as a result of their efforts with important results.

Action

There are many important watchdogs focussed on the media. CAMERA, MEMRI, and Honest Reporting to name a few. The latter has 65,000 members that they keep informed and encourage to take their local media to task when the reporting warrants it.

There are important initiatives on Campus headed by Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz and others. They are beginning to have an effect and student supporters of Israel are reclaiming lost ground and alumnae are also weighing in on the Universities.

AIPAC continues to do a great job and it is supported by the significant efforts of the Christian Right who are more committed than liberal Jews. AIPAC has been so successful in the past because they have activists in all states and who are constituents of each and every Congressman. Their lobbying starts at the grass roots level.
The leadership of the Christian Right are influential within the Republican Party. They mobilize their members and advocate within the party on behalf of Israel.

It seems to me that we have two groups to target in our efforts.
1. Those that care about Israel's survival but think another Oslo is the way to go ( They must be educated as to the threat to Israel) and
2. those who are open minded but don't have anything invested in its survival. As they get to understand the justice of Israel's cause or the threat to it they will be more supportive.

What can we, the blogging community, do to help?
1. We can put our shoulder to the wheel by individually writing to the press and encouraging others to do so.
2. We can individually lobby our political representatives.
3. We can support the efforts of groups like Campus Watch and David Horowitz and encourage others to pitch in.
4. We can continue to legitimize Right Wing ideas and to make them more acceptable and mainstream. We must continue our efforts to destroy the myths. We must not accept the idea that there is no military solution.
5. We can encourage our readers to sign petitions and generally support any initiative we learn about which supports Israel.

ALL THE FOREGOING WE ARE DOING TO SOME DEGREE OR ANOTHER BUT CAN DO MORE..

Joseph's idea of mobilizing all the bloggers to lend a hand is not going to work. Bloggers are individuals and who like to do their own thing. They will each promote something when the spirit moves them. Your idea is a lot like centralized government. I prefer free enterprise. The more pro Israel bloggers out there doing there own thing is the best way to go. I don't believe in efforts to bring them all together. I do believe in notifying them of events and other ideas etc and encourage them to help but that's all we can do.

I have no grandiose ideas but do believe that every bit helps.