By Alex Grobman, Ph.D.
One of the greatest concerns of the Jewish people is how to counter the attempts to delegitimize the state of Israel. The goal of these attacks is to isolate Israel from the West, criminalize her actions and expose her as an international war criminal, an occupier of Arab lands and a rightwing religious theocracy. They want to deny her the fundamental rights of self- defense and security in an asymmetric war, and gradually erode her stature, and turn her into a pariah state through demonization, lies, disinformation and double standards. To succeed in undermining the legal, political and moral justification for the Jewish state, Israel must be seen as the impediment to peace, and an oppressive government with no historic or legitimate claim to the land of Israel or to Jerusalem her capital.
Her enemies employ a number of strategies designed to ensure her demise. On July 9, 2005, the Palestinian Arabs issued a call for an international campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), which will continue “until it [Israel] complies with international law and Palestinian rights by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and;
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”Manipulating language to describe Israel’s alleged sins has enabled the Palestinian Arabs to frame the way Israel is perceived. This technique, introduced by the Soviets, which is called “reversal of culpability,” imposes a false historical analogy on the present. Thus, Goliath becomes David, and David becomes Goliath. The most prevalent use of this practice is the charge of “genocide,” which conveys the fallacious claim that “Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews.”
The Soviets created a political language that connected the former Soviet-styled antisemitism to that of the present. By defining the political vocabulary about Israel and the Jewish people, the Soviets produced the cultural foundations for a new type of political antisemitism that has become part of mainstream culture. The danger, historian Joel Fishman notes, is that these criticisms ultimately obscure the distinctions between what is right and wrong and undermines the foundations of Judeo-Christian morality. In this environment of moral confusion, terror and violence have become acceptable and even justifiable.
How do we counter BDS, and the malicious falsehoods leveled at Israel? One approach is fight the cultural, academic, sports and economic boycotts in the courts. Shurat HaDin, Israel Law Center, based in Tel Aviv, and directed by Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, and the Lawfare Project, led by Brooke Goldstein, a New York City-based human rights attorney, continue to challenge and win cases against those seeking to delegitimize the Jewish State.
We must also arm ourselves, our children and our non-Jewish allies with information to expose the myths, lies and distortions that have led to a “corruption of language and thought,” and deny Israel’s right to exist.
To refute the most common fabrications about BDS, I have written a number of books that provide the weapons needed. We cannot change or temper the passion of those who viscerally despise Israel and are bent on hastening her demise. We can provide information to those interested in understanding the nature of the conflict, why the solutions advanced thus far have failed and why this dispute will continue to remain intractable.
BDS: The Movement to Destroy Israel, which explains the history and ideology of the movement, who supports this campaign, how the Jewish community responds to BDS, and the effectiveness of these attempts.
When does criticism of her actions cross the line and become unacceptable? What are the criteria that make such condemnation antisemitic?
* The lack of sufficient water resources in the Middle East has become a source of tension which the Palestinian Arabs have exploited as a weapon against Israel. She is accused of not sharing scarce water resources and developing an effective waste management system.
* Homicide bombings are designed to terrorize, demoralize and crush the spirit of the Israeli civilian population. Understanding the nature of jihad and martyrdom is the first step in appreciating the nature of the danger and the physical threat they pose.
* How does a government respond to the constant risk of homicide bombings? To thwart these attacks, Israel initiated targeted killings of Palestinian Arab terrorists, built a security fence and established checkpoints.
* Denouncing Israel as apartheid state is calculated to erode Israel’s legitimacy.
Cultivating Canaan: Who Owns The Holy Land?
By design, Israel’s enemies have created confusion about her right to exist as a Jewish State. Among the many lies fostered are:
*Jews have no legal, moral or historical right to the land of Israel;
*Jews have no right to national self-determination;
*Jews have no historical or religious connection to the Holy Land;
*Jews either stole Arab land or purchased property at very low prices;
* The Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are an impediment to peace and are illegal;
* Israel is Jewish, but not democratic.
We cannot change those who want to destroy Israel. We can expose the malicious lies that undermine and delegitimize Israel to those interested in understanding the essence of the conflict and provide them with answers to these outrageous and destructive fabrications.
License to Murder: The Enduring Threat of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
This study examines the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most deceitful, dangerous and pernicious of the libels ever used to incite hatred and violence against the Jewish people. They shape the way Jews, Israel and the West are viewed by the rest of the world.
The Protocols continues to be published in practically every language, in hundreds of editions, in hundreds of millions of copies, and in very compelling videos on the Internet. It is particularly disconcerting that this is embraced even today by leaders of the Arab-Muslim world, where the Protocols continues to be published in vast quantities, and cited in the writings of mainstream academics, who lend credibility and legitimacy to this utter falsehood.
Hebrew University trained historian Alex Grobman has written extensively on the Holocaust and on Zionism. He has served as Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, founded the Holocaust Center in St. Louis and is a former director of the America-Israel Friendship League, where is now a consultant.