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March 8, 2011 9:57 pm

Will a PR Campaign Even Help Us?

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Photo: Christian Fischer.

Amid all the turmoil in the Middle East, with billionaire dictators who butcher their own people being brought down, it’s been the first time in quite a while that there’s been crisis in the Middle East and the world didn’t blame the Jews.  With Egypt, Libya and all of the other revolutions taking place, there haven’t really been any voices saying “Well, if Israel didn’t exist,”, or, “if Israel would only give back the occupied territories…”

So, with Jews getting a little bit of time off from being blamed for the world’s problems, comes a survey conducted by the BBC World Service which shows that “Israel is one of the least popular countries in the world, with only Iran, North Korea and Pakistan ranking lower, despite a two percent rise in positive opinion on the Jewish State since last year.” Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population, who treats its minorities better than most countries treat their own people – isn’t popular.

Part of me reads this survey, only 65 years after the Holocaust, and says we Jews just can’t win with the world. Perhaps it’s a PR battle that just can’t be won; perhaps it shouldn’t even be fought.

Alan Dershowitz writes an old joke about a Nazi rally in Nuremberg where Hitler is screaming, “Who causes all of Germany’s problems?” An old man in the crowd shouts back, “The bicycle riders.” Hitler is taken by surprise and asks, “Why the bicycle riders?” To which the old man replies, “Why the Jews?”

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We’re still asking that question in the 21st century.

Public Relations is meant to build influence and support. When the BBC issues biased surveys like this, and Jews are seemingly so hated worldwide, what is even the starting point?

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