Opinion | Columnists

Israel’s ‘new’ image in the world

Bright image created by the western media about Tel Aviv is steadily waning

  • By As’ad Abdul Rahman, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 September 1, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Hugo A. Sanchez©Gulf News

Since its establishment 64 years ago, Israel has been bent on fortifying its existence which led to the uprooting of Palestinians from a large part of historical Palestine. It’s fear was manifest in an Israeli policy built on attaining a striking force superior to that owned by the entire Arab world.

This allowed Tel Aviv to wage wars against them at any time it felt is convenient to maintain its military superiority.

But the policy of resorting to ‘deterrent force’ was met with complete failure in two instances — Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-09. By waging these two wars, Israel has been facing a much greater ‘threat’ with the loss of its legitimacy as a state according to international law that is being violated on a daily basis by the Israeli apartheid/ colonial rule in the Occupied Territories.

This new threat which is detrimental to the existence of the Zionist state can never be deterred by military force, regardless of its superiority, because it is not coming from the traditional enemies of the Zionist state, but from its close western friends who traditionally supported it financially and militarily throughout the years.

Israeli colonies on Palestinian land are the main reason for Israel’s worldwide condemnation. Measures to boycott all Israeli products exported by these illegal colonies have been enacted in many countries, such as Denmark and South Africa, which followed similar steps taken earlier by Britain and some European countries.

Israel’s image was also plunging with a survey conducted earlier this year in 22 countries by Globescan PIPA for the BBC World Service showing that Israel was one of the most negatively viewed countries. Both Israel and North Korea were ranked third with 50 per cent of the vote rating them as having negative influence.

Negative rating

In some EU countries, views of Israel worsened with a negative rating of more than 74 per cent in Spain, 65 per cent in France, 69 per cent in Germany, 68 per cent in England, 65 per cent in Australia and 59 per cent in Canada.

More serious is the fact that despite the vast Jewish influence in the German news media, a majority of Germans now consider Israel as an aggressive state bent on pursuing its interests by all means regardless of the threat they poses to world peace and stability.

A poll conducted in May this year for Stern magazine found that 59 per cent of Germans believed that Israel was aggressive. Among the respondents, 70 per cent agreed that Israel pursued its interests without consideration for other nations. The same poll showed a very important shift in German consciousness that now considers that Germany no longer holds any responsibility or obligation toward Israel derived from Nazi actions against Jews 67 years ago.

The huge role once played by the western news media in blindly supporting almost every Israeli action regardless of its negativity and violation of international law and human decency, has been faced with increasing discontent at Israel’s actions which now maintains a worldwide status as a ‘hated state’ most prominently for its apartheid rule that is being imposed by a brutal military force in Palestine.

The recent vote in Unesco showed a worldwide support for the struggle of the Palestinian people and clear condemnation of Israel. In the past, the western news media (controlled by the Zionist lobby) used to reiterate Zionist lies using the Holocaust and the Christian mistreatment of Jews throughout history to create a sense of guilt in western minds, thus leading them to provide blind support to the ‘Jewish state’.

Oasis of democracy

Lately, it has become evident that the bright image created by the western media about Israel is steadily waning and it is “no longer an oasis of democracy in the backward Middle East”.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, Rolland Kerbis, a professor in the Department of Political Science in the University of Minnesota, sees that “the future of Israel as a Jewish democratic and prosperous state is facing dire danger from inside Israel more that what is outside Israel, especially after the occupation of Palestine in 1967. This victory gave birth to a nationalistic/ racist tendency of extreme religiosity within the Zionist psyche of Israel which brought about extreme aggressive measures in its rule over the Occupied Territories”.

Paul Krugman, a financial expert awarded the Nobel Prize in 2008, wrote in the New York Times about The Zionist Impasse, in which he criticised the policy of the current Israeli government by calling it “national suicide” that shall lead Israel to the abyss.

Krugman added that, as an American Jew, he refrained in the past from criticising Israel, but he thought that now “it is vital to break the barrier of silence before the government of Israel causes a catastrophe of a big proportion”.

Professor As’ad Abdul Rahman is the chairman 
of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia.

Gulf News

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