The ongoing and tragic hostage crisis may well be the focus of our concerns, attention and dread, but it doesn’t really seem to bother or interest anyone outside Israel.
While issues such as the announcement of building plans for settlements, or Palestinian casualties from Israeli actions never fail to hit all the major headlines and figure in TV and Internet news releases in Europe and North America, and inevitably generate censure and criticism from the likes of US Secretary of State John Kerry, or from EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton, one wonders why the capture of three Israeli youths by a Palestinian terror organization doesn’t really seem to bother anyone.
It is difficult to imagine that this could be because of the World Cup, because long before we became ensconced in our homes opposite the TV, the international community wasn’t really interested in our concerns and worries anyway.
It would seem that the answer to these questions lies in the considerable extent to which the Palestinian international propaganda machine has succeeded in permeating all spheres of international activity within the international community – including senior government levels in Europe and the US, the international media, international intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental bodies, the Christian church organizations and the Islamic religious institutions.
Palestinian propaganda repeatedly instills in the eager listeners and readers in all these spheres the idea that any action by Israel is wrong, inherently lacks legitimacy and comes at the expense of Palestinian rights. Is it surprising that as a result nobody really cares when Israeli youths are taken hostage? THIS IS all the more evident in the mixture of apathy and enthusiasm with which the international community, including some of Israel’s best friends, eagerly and without batting an eyelid, appears to have accepted the recent Palestinian fundamental violations of all their agreements with Israel, by acceding as the “State of Palestine” to 15 international treaties, by absorbing Hamas into the Palestinian Authority governing structure and by an ongoing barrage of incitement and boycotts.
These important and substantive violations don’t really bother anyone, despite the fact that the US, Russia, Norway, the EU and others are all signatories to the Oslo Accords. The UN even endorsed them.
Yet, cynically, Israel is still held to blame for breaking off the negotiations, and Israel’s settlement policy is perceived by the international community, including the US administration, to be the root of all evil! Palestinian manipulation of the international community has in fact been going on throughout the negotiating process. It is aimed at delegitimizing Israel in virtually all international institutions and organizations, as well as in the international media and even in the spheres of religion – whether Christian or Muslim. It seeks to enhance commercial and cultural boycotts and sanctions, and incites to hatred of Israel and Jews.
A new book recently published under the auspices of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs exposes the extent to which the Palestinian leadership and institutions are continuously and systematically manipulating the international community, with the aim of advancing the very selective, partisan, misleading and patently false narrative that lies at the root of the present apathy and lack of concern regarding what would normally be considered very serious issues.
The concentration of so many spheres of manipulation into one brief booklet is all the more worrying because one can see clearly the pattern of systematic, organized manipulation across the board, and thereby understand why no-one really cares about what’s happening to Israel’s boys.
But we should care, because this is happening under our nose, and in permitting themselves in such an extensive manner to be politically and legally manipulated and abused, international organizations and bodies are in fact prejudicing their own professional credibility, relevance and the very purpose for which they were established.
The author is the former legal adviser of the Foreign Ministry and former Israeli ambassador to Canada.