Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Drowning in Quicksand

Ari Bussel

Many of the best PR firms in New York are Jewish-owned, but Israel is yet to master the skill set necessary to present her case in the court of public opinion. If one only realized the critical importance of public diplomacy, all these firms would have joined forces to create a super think tank to save the drowning Israel. If the true nature of the threat and the need were properly understood, the IDF would have created a new front, like the Home Front or the Northern, Central or Southern Commands. Israelis themselves, led by cues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Netanyahu’s top advisers, believe that Israel is doing quite well on the public diplomacy front. The task is formidable, they may admit but then proceed to recount a long list of successes. Necessary but insufficient, these are made in comparison to previous utter failures.

Israel’s enemies become emboldened with every passing hour. For example, Palestinian Media Watch just reported an interview of a Fatah activist on Palestinian Authority TV: "It has been said that we are negotiating for peace, but our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; the goal is Palestine." Israelis in the meantime respond by contemplating the “settlements” in Judea and Samaria, the latest so-called “obstacle to peace.”

Why can Israel not speak with like convictions and an equally clear message? She is too busy solving the world’s problems in and among her citizens. There are those who teach us of the Nakba (“the disaster” of the creation of the Jewish State). There are others who disguise themselves as “human rights” activists, yet do nothing to better the conditions of fellow human beings. There are even some “big believers in a state of all its citizens” in Israel’s midst who are quick to point out Israelis “are for equality and [simultaneously] for kicking the Arabs out.”

Israelis have forgotten or neglected to pay due attention to their surroundings. They are deep in the quicksand, each movement hastens their demise. There used to be redlines. All have been erased long ago.

Israel has advanced from its miserable disappointment of the Second War in Lebanon, just three years ago. Yet, the enemy is light years ahead. It is sophisticated, driven, well organized and coherent, and has focused, very-well defined and equally very-well articulated goals and aspirations. Earlier this week, a group of Hizbollah penetrated Israel from Lebanon. It was a reminder they can do as they please, as they did three years ago when they entered Israel, kidnapped two soldiers for whose bodies they later ticked off another victory, freeing terrorists from Israeli prisons.

The enemy has a vision to destroy Israel. It states so over the loudspeakers of the mosques, in public places where a map of Palestine and a picture of Arafat hang, on the Palestinian Authority’s radio and television programs, in the Hamas Charter and the Iranian President’s constant diatribes.

Israel listens, sees and allows it to continue. Rather than prohibiting hate speech and incitement on Friday sermons and closing down broadcasting stations that indoctrinate children to hatred and terror, there is no action, cost extracted or reaction; there are no consequences.

Gaining strength and accelerating, the attacks against the Jewish People and the Jewish Homeland have intensified to the point where recently the Jews of the Diaspora have started feeling the pinch, awakening to the seriousness of the situation. Their tens and hundreds of millions of hard earned and collected-with-ever-increasing-difficulty charitable donations, no longer work. The Jews in the Diaspora are able to see what Israel fails to acknowledge. The situation is becoming more threatening, the clouds of an impeding war are gathering.

A major storm is soon to hit. The Jews of Venezuela have fled from their home country. The first signs of the Great Migration of the 21st Century can be tracked. As we look forward to the next nine decades of this century, the migration patterns will expand, the numbers of those traveling the routes will grow, and the predatory attacks will intensify in both number and strength. Where will all the refugees go?

Where can we all end up? Some sixty-four years ago we vowed “Never Again” to concentration camps and ovens in which humans were turned to ashes. Today we are reliving the pre-World War II years.

The flow of Jews has only one shelter, one goal and one destination: THE JEWISH HOMELAND. Israel needs to start preparing herself for this eventuality rather than worry about a “homeland” for people who until two decades ago did not exist nor had any identity, history or recognition of any sorts.

President Hussein Obama is very concerned about America’s image in the Muslim world. He convened, lately, the heads of 14 Jewish organizations, and related a very strong message: It has to be his way. Middle Eastern culture, the real threat and facts on the ground notwithstanding, Jews in America must follow the President’s vision or else…

Deep in our hearts we feel something is wrong and yet we have convinced ourselves we are to blame for the situation. We look to ourselves to provide solutions subject to the same faulty reasoning. We need a new regime. We need brand new thinking. We must look at the enemy, learn and implement their successful methods. We should also stop and evaluate our allies’ position. At the end of the road, as one is sent to forced labor in a concentration camp or to the line to the showers, allies and foes alike will not matter. What will matter will be the failure of our ancient promise, “Never Again.”

I have no doubt we can improve and develop an effective get-well plan, but it is crucial we start immediately. Unless we act, with every passing minute, we sink further into this quicksand, until one day not so far from now, our cries for help will be heard no more.

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