Wednesday, February 1st | 10 Shevat 5783

October 15, 2018 9:04 am

Changing Attitudes on Israel: Hard Work Pays Off

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avatar by Ariel Kahana /


European Union flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels. Photo: Amio Cajander via Wikimedia Commons. Hard work pays off. The encouraging numbers indicating that European public opinion is beginning to swing in favor of Israel prove it.

Since Israel’s difficult years under former US President Barack Obama, and as social media continues to grow, thousands of public-diplomacy activists have devoted their lives to telling the truth about Israel. At the same time, various branches of the Israeli government have also taken up the public diplomacy banner, under the baton of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a master of PR who works hard to promote the country.

The numbers, published by Israel Hayom for the first time, signal that the exhausting work by Netanyahu and others is starting to bear fruit.

The social media posts, clips, visits, briefings, responses, and interviews — millions of little actions that bring Israel’s story to the world — are starting a tectonic shift. The negative, twisted portrayals of Israel are starting to disappear. The world is familiar not only with our achievements, but also with the justice of our claims.

This is wonderful news for everyone involved. We are learning and teaching the world how to stop looking at everything through the Palestinian lens, and the shift in perspective is visible.

However, while we can be optimistic, the work is not done. We still face major challenges in bolstering Israel’s position as a nation capable of making decisions that are right for it, without anyone being able to bind our hands. In Europe and elsewhere, staunch clusters of opponents are still alive and kicking, and they will not vanish any time soon. In any case, reality is influencing public opinion more than anything else.

For the moment, Israel has benefited from the general destabilization to the world order. But tomorrow, the United States could see a political smash-up that would put a president even more problematic than Obama in the White House. This is why we must keep working hard to be prepared for any troubles that may lie ahead.

We are just a link in a very long chain.

Ariel Kahana is the diplomatic correspondent for Makor Rishon.

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