Archive for July, 2008

The value of demonstrations

Sometimes nothing else

will work

By Ralph Dobrin

In recent times there have been mass demonstrations that changed the course of history. Some were for the good of humanity. Others led to catastrophe. During the mid-thirties thousands of well-meaning people in Britain, concerned about the onset of yet another terrible world war, demonstrated against the nascent anti-Nazi policy. Quite possibly these demonstrations had a bearing on the British policy of appeasement at a time when Germany was still not powerful enough, and could have been controlled. 40 million lives could have been saved.

On the other hand, during the nineteen eighties, anti-communist demonstrations in some of the communist-bloc countries of Eastern Europe ultimately had an effect and today over a dozen former communist regimes have been transformed into democracies.

There is probably no other country in the world that needs internal public activism like Israel. I am not talking now about Israel’s tricky relationship with Arabs. Much of the news and commentary that is disseminated about the subject is based on falsehood (just like the good British folks who demonstrated in favor of the Nazi regime during the nineteen thirties). No, I am talking about the general national mood of the country at this time.

As I write this blog it is 10th July 2008. Mr Ehud Olmert as the Prime Minister, is the most unpopular premier in Israel’s history. Not only did his decision to wage a full-scale war on the Hizbollah Terrorist Army, turn into a ridiculous (from Israel’s point of view) stalemate, his working relationship with many of the members of his inflated cabinet are not good. Also he is in the midst of ongoing police investigations and legal battles connected with unethical behavior going back decades.

But he is not the only public figure that doesn’t bring honor to his position. His finance minister has been indicted on charges of embezzlement. His deputy prime minister used to be the justice minister, but had been thrown out of that job because he was indicted on charges of sexual misconduct. The former President is in the process of being charged with rape! This is all part of a large list of misdemeanors perpetrated by other public figures.

Over 30 % of the population lives under the poverty line while the fat cats keep getting fatter.

Meanwhile, it seems that Israel’s enemies are getting stronger by the day. Iran is on the threshhold of acquiring nuclear weaponry. Israel’s future as a living state is in doubt.

Clearly Israelis are not happy. Indeed, most are bitterly disappointed with the way things are going in their country. Yet they stay at home and bury themselves in front of the TV or computer screen.

The present unworkable governing system will continue until the politicians are forced to change it. But they won’t because that might endanger their status as parliament members, with the perks that entails. So things keep getting worse and worse.

So, why aren’t people demonstrating in Israel? After all, most Israelis usually don’t take any bull from anyone. Yet they are continuously taken for patsies by their government. This has been going on for generations. Now and then there is a spate of demonstrations – for better wages by certain (usually privileged) sectors of the workforce, a revamped education system or better conditions for the handicapped. For two years at least there has been no demonstration for better government, for reform, or against military shortcomings. And nothing is happening right now  that would suggest the shaky situation that Israel is currently in.

SO I GAVE IT A GO

Just over a year ago there was a massive demonstration against Mr Olmert at the Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Speaker after speaker promised that there would be no let up in the demonstrations until Mr. Olmert stepped down. Amazing – all those promises, so dramatically voiced turned out to be totally empty words.

Anyway, the other day I wondered what it would be like to stage a demonstration against Mr. Olmert and his government by myself. Maybe others would join me. So I prepared a poster and proceeded to Terra Sancta, near Mr Olmert’s house in Jerusalem.  The placard read in Hebrew: “Not only Olmert, but also the negative norms of our politicians and society must go – wake up before it’s too late.” In Hebrew it has a more convincing ring to it.

I stood on the pavement, holding the placard aloft, but Terra Sancta is not really a good spot to demonstrate because the cars come up two-lane Gaza Street which turns into four lanes at that spot, which means that the drivers have to keep their eyes on the road. After about half and hour I felt that my poster wasn’t getting optimum attention, so I moved on to Paris Square not far away. There, things changed dramatically. It seemed that every fourth or fifth car or pedestrian responded positively as I stood there. People nodded encouragingly, smiled, made a thumbs up sign. One man threw his arms in the air and shouted repeatedly in Hebrew: “If only it could happen.” 

After a while I began to feel somewhat self-conscious, standing there by myself and exhibiting the sign to hundreds of passing eyes that gazed at me.  So I crossed the road and proceeded down Agron Street on the side of Independence Park. I was in for an even more amazing response. As I marched in the direction of the Old City, along the side of the road, hundreds of  cars were crawling upwards in a long traffic jam. I kept brandishing the placard and almost every person in that traffic jam saw me. It seems that a guy striding with a placard is more impressive than one just standing in one spot, and the reactions were even more lively than before. There was some honking, many people waved. A few stuck their heads out of the windows of their cars and shouted stuff like: “You’re so right,” or “Well done.” “We’re right behind you.” Pedestrians were also walking up and down the road and many nodded their agreement when they saw the poster.

By the time I reached Mamilla near the Old City, I felt that I’d been in the public eye for too long. It got to be a bit too much for me, so I headed home, nevertheless quite elated that I had presented a clear message and that literally hundreds of people had seen me in a relatively short time and had quite clearly responded. This has made me feel that the time is indeed ripe for the people to take to the streets and demonstrate against our pathetic government, its structure, procedures and norms, and also against ourselves as an overly self-indulgent, apathetic society, in need of far more general integrity, that is about to lose everything that we have built up in the last hundred years if we don’t wake up – NOW!

If you ask if I helped change anything during my little promenade, my answer will be very little if indeed anything. One doesn’t change things by an isolated demonstration. It has to be a loud, ongoing campaign, staged in as many places as possible throughout the country. Posters have to be intelligently worded and created. More and more people must become involved. The media has to be drawn in and helped to cover the subject extensively and soberly. It must become the in-thing – the idea of Israel’s transformation into the great little country that we all want to see and that is going to fulfill its promise as a real, secure  haven for the Jewish people where life is good for everyone.

I am talking about staging demonstrations as well as processions. I believe that both can be effective. They have to appear in every part of the country. Loud, colorful, optimistic, positive, not too banal, short catchy phrases on the placards and posters, avoiding vulgarity or any political slogans. Indeed, there must be absolutely no connectionwhatsoever with any political figurehead, party or functionary.

But people in Israel must be encouraged to join in – people from all walks of life. It must not be thought of as politically, religiously, socially, economically or professionally sectarian in any way. It must become the in-thing to be an active part of.

Israelis, one generation ago, were probably among the most dynamic people in the world must snap out of  the insular, apathetic, negative and defeatist attitudes that have taken root in the last decade or so.

I’ve now sent out newsletters to hundreds of people in Israel, calling on them to join me in daily demonstrations and processions, saying that  I am not just talking about Mr Olmert. Like my poster said: : “Not only Olmert, but also the negative norms of our politicians and society must go – wake up before it’s too late.” Mr Olmert’s demise is only the beginning!

Hopefully, this can be a vigorous turning-point for the change in Israel, that is so very desperately needed.

For more: www.israelandtruth.org

 

 

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July 19, 2008 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

How to bring peace to the Middle East

Stop talking about peace

for a while

By Ralph Dobrin
Ralph Dobrin is the author of “How to Avoid Armageddon”

To order the book click: www.amazon.com  type: how to avoid Armageddon

I am no warmonger, but all the incessant talk about peace in the Middle East that has been clogging the airwaves, cyberspace and print for many years, has conversely brought more and more bloodshed, strengthened the fanatics and turned jihad into a global threat.
Of course I want a world with peace. I yearn for peace, not just for myself but for my family, my grandchildren and all the people of Israel, as well as all the other people in the world. I want to have a good relationship with all the Arabs surrounding Israel, that is based on respect, trust and commercial and cultural cooperation. But anyone with eyes in his head can see that peace has receded further than ever before ever since those heady days when Messrs Rabin, Peres and Arafat received the Nobel Prize for Peace.

 
An oft-repeated saying in Israel is: “It’s with your enemies that you make peace.” True enough, but those enemies must want peace, otherwise how can you make peace with them. Israel has many kinds of enemies. With some of them, like Mr. Abu Mazen, the President of the Palestine National Authority, one can talk and shake hands and even banter. But he has no real power to make sweeping decisions and changes, and anyway his sincerity about living in peace with Israel, is not totally credible. Mr. Abu Mazan can’t even make peace with his fellow compatriots in Hamas and the other Jihad movements.

Meanwhile, Arab rockets fall in Israel’s southern towns and villages, while near Israel’s northern border, the Hizbollah terrorist organization has more than quadrupled its former daunting arsenal of rockets, and has built itself a solid network of fortresses and underground tunnels which will make any future outbreak of fighting between them and Israel far more difficult than it was in the last war with them. And all this contrary to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 which mandated the presence of 15,000 foreign troops under the auspices of the United Nations, whose job it is to ensure that no supply of arms enter Lebanon unless authorized by its Government. Nasrallah is clearly preparing for a future round of fighting, yet still the talk of peace continues.

Of course I want a world with peace. I yearn for peace, not just for myself but for my family, my grandchildren and all the people of Israel, as well as all the other people in the world. I want to have a good relationship with all the Arabs surrounding Israel, that is based on respect, trust and commercial and cultural cooperation. But anyone with eyes in his head can see that peace has receded further than ever before ever since those heady days when Messrs Rabin, Peres and Arafat received the Nobel Prize for Peace.

An oft-repeated saying in Israel is: “It’s with your enemies that you make peace.” True enough, but those enemies must want peace, otherwise how can you make peace with them?

Syria has been the main conduit for Hizbollah’s colossal, clandestine arms build-up. It has established sites for the development of nuclear weaponry, which Israel blasted in 2007, yet until the uprising against Assad, the talk of peace persisted with them. This would mean returning the Golan Heights, from which they had tried to launch two invasions against Israel.

 
 

 

I WOULD LOVE TO VISIT EGYPT AND JORDAN

Even before the regime change in Egypt and the hugely increased influence of radical Islam, I couldn’t visit Cairo or Alexandria without risking my life as an Israeli. Till now, at least, the peace treaty with Egypt had been better than nothing, but it nevertheless has always existed amid deep hostility among the Egyptian populace, due in part, to continuous, strong anti-Israel rhetoric in the state-controlled media, which now often erupts with mob hysteria.

Since the mid-nineties, following the peace treaty with Jordan, which I hesitate to visit for the same reason that I avoid visiting Egypt, every time that Israel has made a gesture towards peace, like moving completely out of Southern Lebanon or the Gaza Strip – including all the settlements – that’s when the fighting really erupts. Each time Israel makes a gesture for peace, like providing electricity to the Gazans, the rockets and ambushes continue, aimed sometimes perversely at the check points which enable the flow of goods into Gaza. In Israel’s gestures for peace it continues to weak itself militarily, causes deep rifts within its own population, and drives peace further away. Can the reason for this be because Israel’s gestures are seen as a sign of weakness. In any conflict, no matter who is the enemy, perceived weakness encourages further aggression and lessens the incentive to make peace, especially if your adversary is by nature, belligerent and implacable.

So what should Israel do?

The present situation is totally unsatisfactory. Israel’s towns and villages in the south are intermittently attacked with rocket fire on a daily basis since it evacuated the whole of the Gaza Strip, sure that this would improve relations. Israel does what’s natural for any country under attack and that is to try to deter and also prevent the attacks. Pin-point retaliatory attacks on rocket launchers often kills non-combatants. Israel’s military incursions cause severe disruption for a few months and again the rocket attacks resume — each time with more effectiveness. Sometimes homes in Gaza are destroyed by these attacks and families endure fatal losses. Israel continues to be condemned more frequently in the United Nations and the international media, than all the other rogue nations in the world put together. The only time the condemnation in the United nations abated was during Israel’s various withdrawals from Gaza, areas in Judea and Samaria and southern Lebanon. But each Israeli withdrawal resulted in even more violent attacks from these areas.

During the period of the inanely-called Arab spring – during which Arabs have killed more fellow Arabs who were non-combatants than Israel’s tally of Arab non-combatant deaths in all its wars – Israel has enjoyed some respite in the halls of the U.N.

For years people in Israel have said: “Let the army win,” meaning that against a band of terrorists, the Israeli Army, which a generation ago was able to defeat three powerful Arab armies within six days, shouldn’t have too much trouble if given a free hand. With all their incredible fighter bombers and tanks they could probably flatten Gaza in half an hour if they used even a fraction of their available fire power. But the consequences for Israel could be very damaging. It wouldn’t be unlikely that all Israel’s cities and strategic landmarks would come under enormous barrages of rocket fire from Iran and a number of Arab countries and entities, as well as a serious insurrection from the Arab citizens of Israel. At a certain point invasions could conceivably be launched from the neighboring countries.

Undoubtedly, if it came to the crunch, Israel could unleash a horrendous response, and Israel’s adversaries know this. But the losses and damage in Israel would be more severe than ever before. Equally damaging in the long-run could be the break off of diplomatic and commercial relations with scores of countries and over-the-board embargoes and boycotts could seriously weaken Israel. Without international commerce, world bank loans, vetoes in the Security Council, supplies of ammunition and raw materials … and food (Israel once grew most of its food), Israel could eventually conceivably be brought to surrender (assuming that Arabs could tolerate anything less than obliteration of state and citizens).

Israel’s adversaries know that a major strategic weapon on their side is the distinct possibility of world-wide embargo and boycott against Israel. That’s why they continue to wage war – so as to provoke a massive Israeli response on Gaza, which could lead either to full-scale war with the entire Arab world, bolstered by Pan-Islamic support. With their culture of death, they are only too happy to sacrifice more and more of their people, including women, children and babies to the cause of Israel’s ultimate destruction. So Israel refrains from letting its army win the war in Gaza. That’s why Israel allowed the Hizbollah in the north to reach their ability to hold Israel at bay and terrorize its northern citizens for over a month two years ago. Any other independent country facing murderous aspirations of neighboring peoples would be free to act accordingly. Israel can’t. She has become too dependent on others’ fair-weather friendship.

IT’S TIME FOR ISRAEL TO GAIN HER INDEPENDENCE

In 1948 Israel had about two or three friends in the community of nations – friends willing at least to send arms and ammunition. Israel had to be as self-sufficient as possible. Most of the country’s food was grown here. People lived frugal lives and learned to conserve everything – water, electricity, clothes and the monthly budget. For brief periods there were countries like Czechoslovakia (at the behest of the Soviet Union) and later France, that were friendly enough to sell arms and other essentials for national survival. At that time Israel’s only real long-lasting friend abroad was world Jewry.

However, circumstances have changed. Israel’s population has grown ten-fold since then. Israel’s people shed their spartan lifestyle over a generation ago. That’s how the march of history has evolved in many parts of the world during the last six decades. The food on Israel’s tables now comes mainly from outside sources. The small percentage of food grown here, is invariably cultivated by Arabs or foreign workers from Thailand. Under normal circumstances, this might make sense as part of an overall socio-economic mindset and policy. But Israel has never enjoyed normal circumstances. At any moment additional battle fronts can break out – even full-scale war with other countries. In such circumstances Israel must be sure of having sufficient supplies of food, oil, water and other basic commodities, as well as ammunition.

It is precisely because we are dependent on other peoples for all the above – apart from water which is also becoming scarce – we are unable to act against military aggression with a free hand.
 
It is probable that Israel could have stopped the accelerated wave of terror that came with Yasser Arafat’s return to the region (intended to foster peace) after his return from exile in 1994 – by retaliating in a far more vigorous manner than has been the case. But in order not to cross the point that is assumed the limit of what the international community will tolerate, Israel habitually “holds its punches” when retaliating to terror or any other form of warfare.

(Had Mr Arafat and every person calling himself a Palestinian, known that any attack on Israel – lethally executed or even botched – would result in an unbearably, prolonged ruthless punishing counter-attack, they would have pursued a far less murderous approach. Possibly Arafat would simply have settled down to creating a viable state. There was even talk of turning Gaza into a Middle Eastern Singapore! The lives of the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would have been much, much better.)

But a policy of ruthless reaction in response to armed aggression, by today’s Israel is just not possible. In order to enjoy a high standard of living – with one or two cars for most families, a TV set and computer in every room, frequent trips abroad, and all the other contraptions and modalities that represent modern life – Israel needs bi-lateral commerce and friendly relations with as many countries as possible. Israel couldn’t last very long without supplies of oil, food and the money that comes from international trade.

Also Israel’s main supplier of arms and funds, the USA, which has also used its power of veto on numerous occasions in the UN Security Council on behalf of Israel, clearly has the final word regarding the extent of Israel’s retaliation. Not acceding to the USA’s suggested limits could spell unhappy results for Israel. With world leaders doing little more than prattle about Iran until recently, Israel, which faces a prospect of extinction if Iran develops nuclear weaponry, would probably have acted alone years ago, if not for American refusal to countenance any military attack on Iran — at least till the present time. 

It is probable that with a less vibrantly capitalist economic policy, (I am definitely no communist) Israel could be in a better position to weather international sanctions and boycotts at least for a few dry months. That could quite possibly be all the time that Israel would need in order to dictate its own retaliatory needs and then get back into international favor again. (I am not suggesting that Israel should have divested herself completely of all luxury items and that the population should all be living in unheated two-room apartments with one TV set per apartment building. Unfortunately, however, a heated market economy has nurtured rampant consumerism – and been nurtured by it – and has led to a very much more vulnerable Israel.)

This has led to an Israel that has to be more compliant with what others demand of her in regard to the scope and nature of her responses to murderous intentions of the neighboring peoples. Had Israel been able to implement more fully punitive military engagements, there would be a lot less turnoil in the Middle East today. It would have been a much better place for everyone. There might even have been an independent republic in the region called “Palestine.”

Ralph Dobrin is the author of “How to Avoid Armageddon”

To order the book click: www.amazon.com type: how to avoid Armageddon

 

 

July 13, 2008 at 1:27 pm 2 comments

The shame of disloyalty

When nice Jewish men and

women are too nice

Is he driven by morality or sick nastiness?

Norman Finkelstein: Is he driven by morality and genuine concern for Arabs or plain sick nastiness?

By Ralph Dobrin

Ralph Dobrin is the author of “How to Avoid Armageddon”

To order the book click: http://www.amazon.com type: how to avoid Armageddon

In past generations the most libellous statements against Jews were often made by other Jews who had left the fold, and were eager to demonstrate their loyalty to their new-found identities and faith. There was always a number (probably a tiny minority) who deeply hated their erstwhile Jewish identity because it had been the reason for the discrimination they had suffered and hence the source of their misery. But nowadays, Jews aren’t discriminated against like they were in previous centuries, so one would think that there is no longer such a pressing impetus for Jewish self-hate or the need to vociferously disclaim their ethnic or religious roots like in the past.

Yet there are many Jews in the world, as well as in Israel, who make inflammatory accusations against Israel or instigate highly damaging actions. I’m not talking about criticism of actual procedures like house demolitions, or detainment of arrested Arab youngsters together with adults – controversial actions that are dismaying to any decent person, but which might well be understood in the light of the ongoing terror war waged against Israel. No, I mean outright factual fabrications and hostile actions instigated by Jews in various parts of the world, and even in Israel itself. I’m also referring to criticism of actual procedures without considering what prompted them.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of constructive criticism, especially when it’s based on fact. I think that everyone should be able to express themselves about whatever they think is a wrongness, no matter who they are or where they live, as long as they know what they are talking about. Regarding Israel, I’d go so far as to say that even criticism directed at it, which is not motivated by good-will, is nevertheless valid and even constructive from Israel’s point of view – as long as it is not based on falsehood.

Many Jews in Israel and abroad are genuinely disturbed by what they perceive as a lack of morality on Israel’s part. Pictures of Israeli soldiers patrolling menacingly in Arab towns do not convey an impression of humaneness and common decency on Israel’s part. Each military flare-up produces pictures of devastation and dead Arabs – often children – on the television screens of the world, and they fill many a Jewish heart with deep dismay, shame and anger – in the same way that any decent person seeing these pictures would feel.

The trouble is that the pictures seldom provide the background to each scene of mayhem inflicted on Arabs by Israel’s air force or ground troops. They seldom if ever, remind viewers that for over three generations, Arabs have been attacking Jews, often with the stated intention of killing ordinary civilians, including women and children. Pictures do not mention that a mangled, burning car in Gaza, hit by Israeli helicopters, was being used by terrorists driving to their next rocket-firing position. Pictures of dead Arab women and children never mention that terrorists were shooting at Israeli villages from the homes of these people, actually using them as human shields. Also, as has been often proved, many pictures are actually staged by Arab photographers, intent on creating a demonic image of Israel. The 2002 battle in Jenin was a classic example. So was the shameful, recently exposed Muhammad al-Durrah affair.

JEWS HAVE ALWAYS OPPOSED INJUSTICE

Since the latter part of the nineteenth century, Jews, especially in the democratic countries, had been in the forefront of every struggle for equality and justice. They were in the forefront in the struggle for real equality and civil rights for the blacks in America, and in apartheid South Africa, it was Jews who formed a major part of the white activists who risked jail and beatings, as well as exile. So it is natural that Jews should have qualms about the plight of Arabs living under Israeli jurisdiction in Judea and Samaria, and de facto independence in Gaza.

However, the dismay felt by many Jews around the world is mainly due to misinformation doled out by skillful spin artists, most of whom are Arabs, but also a number of eloquent Jews. Inform these good people of the real facts and many of them will eventually change their tune – and possible with a great sense of relief that they had been wrong about the morality of their people in Israel.

However, not all Jews who are appalled by what they perceive as Israeli brutality, are motivated in their condemnation of Israel by sentiments of pure compassion for the hapless Arabs. Many of these people are well aware of the true facts behind the Israel-Arab conflict, but they choose to ignore any Arab aggression and eagerly latch onto every Israeli reaction to Arab attacks as though Israel is the exclusively guilty party.

ACADEMICS SHOULD KNOW BETTER

The first major academic boycott attempt against Israel was initiated a few years ago by British Professors, husband and wife Steven and Hilary Rose, both Jews, who were central figures in the British National Association of Teacher in Further and Higher Education. This set the ball rolling among university lecturers around the world, reaching far-off Australia, where one of the initiators was yet another well-known Jewish academic, John Docker.

When reading material written by these people, one gets the impression that they are deeply concerned about their fellow human beings. But like with most anti-Israel activists, in their version of the situation, there is never any mention of the Arab aggression which from the very outset set off the conflict, and only one side of the conflict is always completely in the wrong – Israel.

But what was surprising with the Rose boycott initiative was that the hundreds of academics who signed the Israel boycott agreement, included ten Israeli academics tenured in top Israeli universities.

One of the most outspoken of these Israelis is Ilan Pappe, formerly from Haifa University, now a professor of history at Exeter University in England. He often mentions massacres perpetrated by Israel that never occurred, including the lie that Israeli committed a massacre in Jenin in 2002, despite copious refutation (including United Nations reports) of the bogus claim.

What drives Pappe and others like him to propagate the damaging lies and libel against his own country. It is not because he doesn’t have the facts. After all, the man was born in Israel, served in the army and is a professor of history. Yet he has stated that for him, facts are irrelevant and that truth will not deter the Jewish state’s detractors. He says: “I am not as interested in what happened but in how people see what’s happened.” (Le Soir [Bruxelles],Nov. 29, 1999).

Does his ability to twist facts stem from his affiliation with Communist ideology? (In 1996 Pappé ran in the Knesset elections on Hadash list.) Or does he carry the twisted Jewish self-hate bug, or is he simply a born rebel, opposed to anything that might seem mainstream? Whatever the answer, his activities are damaging to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel. Freedom of expression is an important value, but it should not be abused. Expression should always be based on truthfulness. What a monumental irony when academics tenured at prestigious universities, flout this principle.

And sadly there is a long list of prominent Jewish academics, many of whom are Americans – some at the forefront of their respective fields. Among the more well-known of these people are Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein who are frequently interviewed by various media channels and who deliver talks on their pet subject – Israel’s culbability in the Middle East tragedy. Prof. Finkelstein routinely compares Israelis with Nazis and compounds this crude observation by praising the “heroic resistance of Hezbollah to foreign occupation.”

Actually, it is the Arabs who suffer just as badly from all the one-sided condemnation of Israel, because it encourages them further to continue attacking Israel in their quest to weaken or destroy the Jewish state, which naturally leads to military retaliation, thereby perpetuating Arab misery. If I were an Arab leader, commited to the welfare of my people, I would beg these Jews to desist in their anti-Israel activities.

THEY HAVE TO BE COMBATTED

There are also hundreds and possibly thousands of other Jews actively churning out libellous material against Israel – some of it based on the fabrications and falsehoods of the above-mentioned people or inspired by them. There are also a few Jews who faithfully swell the ranks of anti-Israel demonstrations, or who help fill campus halls to boo and shout down anyone trying to tell the Israel-Arab conflict like it really is. There are also widely read columnists and bloggers. It’s quite possible that a sizeable percentage of these Jews are very decent, concerned human beings, courageously making a stand against what they deem is a terrible injustice. But they all base their notions on one-sided, usually totally false sources of information. These are the people who have to be contacted and engaged in a sober dialogue by anyone with a reasonable amount of relevant knowledge.

Whenever I get a mailing that bashes Israel, using lies, I respond. I enjoy getting into discussions with Israel’s detractors. (I never wage an argument – that never helps.) I think I might have helped tone down a few anti-Israel activists (Jewish and non-Jewish) and possibly even caused a shift in their perceptions of the Israel-Arab conflict.

But my activities in this field are still on a tiny scale. Occasionally, however, I am stumped by someone’s assertion or counter to something I have said, even though I think I have a pretty good knowledge of the conflict.

I know that there are many people in Israel and abroad who have a far greater knowledge of the facts than I have. Many also have ready access to factually-accurate ready-made answers to tough questions. I think that there is an urgent need for greater corroboration between individuals and organizations to pool their resources in order to combat more effectively the anti-Israel activities waged by Jews and non-Jews alike – on a one-on-one basis. I would be very glad to work together with others on this vital endeavor. Please regard this as a personal call if you can help.

Ralph Dobrin is the author of “How to Avoid Armageddon”
To order the book click: http://www.amazon.com type: how to avoid Armageddon

July 5, 2008 at 11:25 am 4 comments


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