In my last article focusing on the attack of the Jerusalem synagogue, I touched on the way world media depicted the attack. How the media often depicts Israel is just part of a much bigger problem. This problem is that people purporting to be pro-Palestine are actually just anti-Israel.
The most recent examples go back to the Jerusalem synagogue attack in November. Media outlets that were quick to demonize Israel for defending itself against the terrorist organization of Hamas just a few short months ago, seemed to go out of their way to misconstrue what happened at the Jerusalem synagogue.
News agencies disseminated reports that ranged from vague (“4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians killed,” and “[Israeli] Police shot, killed 2 Palestinians”) to blatantly wrong (“Deadly Attack on Jerusalem Mosque,” rather than synagogue). One newscaster went as far as to call the area of Jerusalem where the attack took place “disputed territory.” The attack took place in West Jerusalem, an area that has never been contested, unless of course you believe that Jews don’t have the right to live anywhere in Israel.
Not referring to the terrorists as “terrorists” in the above headlines puts them in the same category as the victims. A popular image that circulated as a result of this was a fake Sept. 11 headline which, along with an image of the second plane hitting the Twin Towers, read, “8 Saudi men die in plane accidents.” Americans would have been outraged to see such a report in the press; those are the kinds of headlines that Israel saw after the Jerusalem attack.
The anti-Israel propaganda goes beyond just the media. There are people in the world who try to fool others into believing that Israel is an apartheid state. Among them is the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement. Such movements skew the true definition of apartheid. In Israel, we have Arab-Israeli citizens who hold high-ranking positions in the IDF, Arab-Israelis serving in Israel’s government and Arab-Israelis working side-by-side with Jewish employees in businesses across the country.
In a video posted on the BDS Facebook page, the movement proudly takes credit for the shutting down of a Sodastream factory located in what it calls an “illegal Israeli settlement.” Among the many facts the video does not mention – 900 Arab-Israeli employees who worked side-by-side with Jewish employees lost their jobs as a result of the factory’s closure. Good job, BDS! The action was not pro-Palestine; it was simply anti-Israel.
When flotillas are sent to Gaza for supposed humanitarian reasons, but certain aid from Israel is rejected, that’s anti-Israel. When world outcry in support of the Palestinians is stronger than any support shown for places such as Syria, where civilians are still being killed by the thousands, then that’s people going out of their way to be anti-Israel. When the EU removes Hamas from their list of terrorist organizations, that’s anti-Israel. When people remain silent as Egypt demolishes Gazan homes and denies Gazans on a pilgrimage re-entry at the border crossing, while Israel is condemned for even looking at Gaza the wrong way, that’s anti-Israel.
Over the millennia, many people have been anti-Israel and/or anti-Jewish. Historically, the Jews have been the focus of world hatred in one fashion or another. In my 30-plus years as a Jew on this planet, I still don’t understand why. One of the things that gives me faith in a higher being in the present is looking back on history and seeing how many times people have been anti-Israel and/or anti-Jewish. Many of them have either tried wiping the Jews off of the planet, or at least desired to see such a thing occur. The Roman Empire and the Nazis are just two examples. In all of these cases, the nations or groups that tried wiping us off the planet are gone, and we’re still here. This fact defies historical statistics.
It’s why I’ve given up caring what the rest of the world thinks about Israel and the Jews. It’s part of a historical trend that has always been doomed to failure. In the future, when I see anti-Israel headlines, I will not be shocked and surprised. I’ll simply accept that it’s part of the historical trend, and do my best to report and share the pro-Israel truth as I see it as both a Jew and a citizen of Israel. At least I am being honest about the true cause that I stand for.
DANIEL STIEGLITZ (firstname.lastname@example.org), a Providence native, made aliyah in 2007. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from Bar Ilan University; works as a trip coordinator at Sachlav/Israelonthehouse, a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip organizer; does freelance content writing; and lives in Jerusalem. His short story “End” was just published in FictionMagazines.com’s magazine, New Realm.