From Where I Sit
From Where I Sit

The Views and Personal Opinions of Joel Block

For years, we have been hearing and complaining about Israel’s poor showing in the PR (“Hasbara” in Hebrew) battle connected to the Arab/Israeli conflict. There is no doubt in my mind that those in charge of our Hasbara efforts have been derelict in their duty and not done the job properly.

However, I also have to ask myself, what good is all of the Hasbara in the world, when our own people go out of their way to give us bad press and bad-mouth our military? Just look at some of the statements by Israelis since the beginning of the current military operations in Rafiah:

Zehava Gal-On (Meretz): has called on soldiers to “disobey orders to fire at unarmed demonstrators, calling such directives ‘illegal’."

Roman Bronfman (Meretz): “The IDF is losing its power of deterrence because of its failure to discriminate between demonstrators and terrorists. Israel is losing its legitimacy.”

Meretz-Yahad MK Avshalom Vilan: "The defense establishment has lost their minds. Whoever gave the order for gunships and tanks to fire at protestors gave an illegal command."

The Geneva Initiative architects called on the government to order the IDF to stop the Gaza operation that they say infringes on international law. "Killing civilians will only encourage extremists to hate and support terror," the group said in a statement. The group called on the government to open negotiations with the Palestinians "so we can leave the territories with an agreement."

Yossi Beilin, architect of Oslo and the Geneva Initiative said during an interview on Israel Radio this morning that the Rafiah tunnels have been in existence for 22 years, so he doesn’t see the point of going after them now. In other words, we’ve been making a mistake for 22 years (including the period of the Oslo Accords when Dr. Beilin was a minister in the government) so why bother correcting it now?

These people, and others like them, were elected to the Knesset by Israelis to represent Israelis, but when hearing their statements at times, one would think that they actually “represent” a “Palestinian” constituency. This obviously cannot help our Hasbara efforts. It also leads me to ask a question that disturbs me deeply:

Considering all of the “representation” that the “Palestinians” enjoy on our side, who “represents” us on the “Palestinian” side?

Joel Block, 2004

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Joel Block is a long-time friend of Rabbi Cassorla and has lived in Israel since 1968

Reprinted by permission.