Friday, May 26, 2017

Europe: Prospects for changing Europe's anti-zionism

Via The Jerusalem Post (Gabriel Rosenberg):
Israel and its supporters in Europe are rightfully dismayed by the anti-Israel bias expressed by European leaders, media and public opinion. Many believe that this bias is irreversible as it is rooted in antisemitism, the world’s oldest prejudice. While this diagnosis is partially correct, it prevents us from effectively countering Europe’s anti-Israel bias. 
There should be no doubt that anti-Zionism is a modern form of antisemitism, as best expressed by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s former chief rabbi: “Antisemitism is a virus that survives by mutating. In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the 19th and 20th centuries they were hated because of their race. Today they are hated because of their nationstate, Israel.” Another way of expressing it is that modern antisemitism “has transferred traditional antisemitism that blames Jews for ills in society, to blaming Israel for ills in the international community,” as stated by Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post’s op-ed editor. 
Both explanations are accurate, but there is a case to be made that even though all antisemites are anti-Zionists, not all anti-Zionists are antisemites. (...) 
The fact that anti-Zionism is significantly more prevalent in Europe than antisemitism can mostly be attributed to the anti-Israel media. For decades the media has been spoon-feeding the general population lies about Israel. 
Every European has grown up with misleading news stories about Israel killing Palestinians, stealing Palestinian land or mistreating the Palestinians in one way or another. Several generations of Europeans have been indoctrinated with a distorted image of Israel, resulting in an unwarranted hatred toward the Jewish state. (...) 
Although the influx of Muslim migrants to Europe from countries where levels of antisemitism runs as high as 90% clearly has a negative effect on the general public opinion of Israel, there are four major trends that present Israel with new and unprecedented opportunities to regain the support of at least some segments of Europe’s population. 
First of all, the mainstream media has lost much of its influence over the past few years as a result of their preference for agenda-driven instead of fact-driven journalism. Second, the emergence of social media has opened up a new path for Israel’s perspective to reach the average European. Third, the catastrophic failure of the so-called Arab Spring has helped many Europeans understand that Israel is not the reason for the chaos in the Middle East – it is a brutal region dominated by totalitarianism, extremism and violence. Fourth, as radical Islamic terrorism has reached the shores and capitals of Europe, some Europeans are beginning to understand the true cause of Islamic terrorism and therefore that it is not Israel, “the occupation” or the settlements. 
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