We Must Demand Fair Treatment for Israel in the International Community
Recent weeks have seen a renewed surge in Arab terrorist attacks against Israelis. It is barely possible to keep track of them all. As of today, 23 people have been killed and nearly 200 wounded since the start of October.
So many wonderful young people have been murdered in the past week alone –18-year-old Ezra Schwartz, 21-year-old Hadar Buchris and 18-year-old Ziv Mizrahi. Not to mention all the attempts to kill people by stabbings and car rammings.
In the outside world, which is so quick to judge and condemn Israel, this recent barrage of Arab terrorist attacks has barely made it into the news. In most European countries, the media simply does not report the attacks. None of these recent attacks were reported in Scandinavian and Dutch newspapers for instance. The coverage is only slightly better, generally speaking, in the U.S. media.
This media silence is nothing new, yet still deeply disconcerting, especially in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, which were met with so much outrage across the world by state leaders and international media outlets. They are all quiet on the intolerable and murderous situation in Israel. Evidently, Jewish lives do not matter to them.
A disturbing trend is emerging, particularly on social media, among some Israelis about the indifference of the international community. Instead of fighting the silence, the attitude is increasingly one of, “The world hates us, always has, always will, so there is no point — be proud, get over it and stop whining about it.”
These Israelis seem to believe that the desire to have Israel’s case heard abroad and to be treated on an equal footing with every other nation in the world is somehow demeaning and lacking in self-respect.
This is misguided, most of all because far from having anything to do with Jewish pride, it seems to recall the old ghetto mentality, when huddling together and shutting out the world was the only defense mechanism. We did not get to this point in history, proud Israelis with an amazing country, in order to revive that.
Israel’s treatment in the international arena is unjust and discriminatory. Every Israeli and every Diaspora Jew ought to be engaged to the best of his or her abilities in the struggle to ensure that Israel gets fair treatment around the world. The fact that we as Jews have known anti-Semitism since our nation was born, and will know it in the future, is completely irrelevant. Resigning ourselves to this fate and remaining passive in the face of the injustices that are being committed is a cop-out. Proud Israelis do not resign themselves to their fate; they get up and fight, wherever needed.
Making the world listen is an overwhelming task, but not an impossible one. People spend hours in front of social media, commenting on each other’s posts and agreeing on how terrible the situation is. This is a complete waste of time. It changes nothing. Successful activism requires reaching outside Facebook, not signing petitions. It requires a constant barrage of emails and even phone calls to the mainstream media outlets and local politicians who stay silent when Israelis are being killed and who continue to fund the incitement of the Palestinian Authority. It is more than a full-time job, which means that it has to be divided among many. If every Israeli, Diaspora Jew, and friend of Israel would contact just one or two news outlets or politicians abroad and make the case that their omissions are wrong and their silence morally reprehensible, we would begin to make inroads. There are wonderful organizations such as Honest Reporting, but they cannot do it all by themselves.
Even within social media, a way to make an impact is by using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to confront the different media outlets, politicians and opinion makers, sending them news clips as well as asking them hard questions. The idea is to ask all those hard questions in public, where others can hear, and advertise as widely as possible how unjust the treatment of Israel is.
We are all responsible for fighting this battle. Israel may be “the Jew of the nations,” but we are no longer a weak people, forever doomed to wander. We have come home and we have to demand equal treatment among the nations, just as we once demanded equal civil rights in the countries in which we used to live. If we do not do it, who will do it for us?
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.