Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On Relegitimization

From Joel Fishman's article The Relegitimization of Israel and theBattle for the Mainstream Consensus which appeared in the Israel Journal of foreign Affairs VI : 2 (2012):

As part of this discussion, one should devote thought to the process of relegitimization, which applies to the example of the Jewish National Home. Prof. Efraim Karsh, in a lecture delivered at the Begin-Sadat Center of Bar-Ilan University (April 22, 2007),  stated that Christian  sympathy made the Balfour Declaration possible. He explained, “Although there may have been pressing immediate considerations related to the First World War, Christian sympathy for the Jewish people was the real foundation for the Balfour Declaration, which gave recognition under international law for the project of a Jewish Home. It was more than power politics. There was the commonly held belief in the Jewish tie with Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel].”  Karsh emphasized that “the historic Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel is the real claim to statehood” and asserted that “There is a pressing need to reclaim the historical truth and to rebuild a narrative built on facts, not fiction.” For the sake of historical perspective, one may recall Ben-Gurion’s frst premise, which, on January 7, 1937, he stated to the Peel Commission: “I say on behalf of the Jews that the Bible is our Mandate, the Bible which was written by us, in our own language, in Hebrew, in this very country. That is our Mandate. It was only recognition of this right which was expressed in the Balfour Declaration.” Christian sympathy for the Jewish people formed the real foundation for the Balfour Declaration. On the one hand, there was a valid historical claim, and on the other, the support of friendly public opinion among the elite of the leading power of the time, which affrmed it. Relegitimization and delegitimization are thus part of the same spectrum. If we examine today’s reality in North America, there is still great Christian support for Israel. It is based on the commonly shared core values of the Christian and Jewish faiths as well as a firm belief in American exceptionalism. When we speak of a broad-based national consensus in favor of the Jewish State, we may understand that the enemies of Israel seek to destroy this consensus in the US and create cultural conditions similar to that of the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, or Norway. The methods of doing so are well known. It seems, however, that there is just one player that does not know how to play the game...

Guess who?

And you may find this interesting.



From Amb. Oren:-

...why have anti-Israel libels once consigned to hate groups become media mainstays? How can we explain the assertion that an insidious "Israel Lobby" purchases votes in Congress, or that Israel oppresses Christians? Why is Israel's record on gay rights dismissed as camouflage for discrimination against others?

The answer lies in the systematic delegitimization of the Jewish state. Having failed to destroy Israel by conventional arms and terrorism, Israel's enemies alit on a subtler and more sinister tactic that hampers Israel's ability to defend itself, even to justify its existence.

It began with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's 1974 speech to the U.N., when he received a standing ovation for equating Zionism with racism—a view the U.N. General Assembly endorsed the following year. It gained credibility on college campuses through anti-Israel courses and "Israel Apartheid Weeks." It burgeoned through the boycott of Israeli scholars, artists and athletes, and the embargo of Israeli products. It was perpetuated by journalists who published doctored photos and false Palestinian accounts of Israeli massacres.

Israel must confront the acute dangers of delegitimization as it did armies and bombers in the past. Along with celebrating our technology, pioneering science and medicine, we need to stand by the facts of our past. "The Spirit of Israel" has not diminished since 1973—on the contrary, it has flourished. The state that Life once lionized lives even more vibrantly today.


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