Former US Israeli ambassador pleads: Tel Aviv needs to find a better PR agent

Here’s the new narrative. A right-wing Israeli website produces a video mocking the aid workers killed last week near Gaza, damns the Gazans themselves and uses racism to make its oh-so-subtle point; we Israelis have nothing to apologise for, so bugger off.

The Israeli government initially promotes the video globally – spokespeople find it “funny” and revealing of the Zionist mindset – though some in Israel remain sane and recognise the disaster for the image of a Jewish state determined to loathe anybody who doesn’t embrace its form of exclusion. It’s even been defended by the Australian Zionist lobby (of course).

All this lunacy is being seen clearly by some Zionists; it’s a disaster for them. Hence an article yesterday in the Washington Post headlined: “After the flotilla attack, it’s time for a new, kinder Israeli narrative”.

Daniel Kurtzer, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Egypt, almost begs Israel to present a nicer side (though doesn’t call for an end to the occupation, one thing that would greatly help the Jewish state’s image):

In the aftermath of the flotilla fiasco, it is not just Israel’s military tactics and its blockade of Gaza that need a thorough reexamination. Its narrative does, too. A dose of empathy might be a place to start. Israel will not break by military force and tough rhetoric alone the political and moral double standards by which the world judges its actions. But it can make its case better by tempering force with diplomacy, by caring as much about the humanitarian distress among Palestinians as it does about humanitarian causes elsewhere in the world, and by developing a storyline infused with the moral and ethical standards by which Israelis judge their own behavior.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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