Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel's enemies based their propaganda war on several big lies, namely
- that Israel was the aggressor in the war,
- that there is such a thing as a Palestinian people who are the oppressed victims of Israel,
- that Zionism is racism,
- that the Palestinians are not terrorists and that world peace depends on the satisfaction of their "just demands".
During the past decades, many countries internalized the Palestinian and Arab propaganda claims, or pretended to do so. The real fear of terror, the need to assure a steady supply of oil, financial inducements in the form of manufacturing orders and occasional bribes prevented many leaders, particularly the Europeans, from standing up to this pressure.
After 9/11, the Bush administration added another layer to the fabric of lies by failing to define the problem truthfully and naming the enemy. The administration claimed that the United States was fighting a war against terror but did not specify that Islamic jihadist terrorists and those who aid them were the enemy.
It also drew a false distinction between al-Qaeda's jihad against the United States and Palestinian terror against Israel. ...
Despite the fact that the Obama administration proclaimed that the war against terror was over, the terrorist war against America has persisted. The threat of a nuclear Iran has become more credible, and despite efforts to engage the Islamic world in a peaceful dialogue, there has been an upsurge of jihadist terror events in the United States, the most dramatic of which have been the Fort Hood massacre by a Muslim officer in a U.S. Army base on 7 November 2009 and the Christmas day attempt to blow up Northwest Airline's Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Simultaneously, the Palestinian Authority has made it clear that it is not interested in reaching a solution which would end their war against Israel. They would prefer a temporary truce for which Israel would pay dearly and which would enable them to reorganize before launching a new round of violence and presenting fresh claims.
The fact is that Israel cannot satisfy Palestinian claims and survive.
The Bush administration escaped the full impact of a collision with reality, but reality caught up with the Obama team and bit them hard. George Orwell explained: "…Sooner or later a false belief bumps up against a solid reality, usually on a battlefield."
Despite the earnest efforts of the Obama administration to bring about radical domestic change, security has again become the top priority of the American agenda. The threat of terror has now become an American problem which cannot be denied, wished away, postponed, or disguised with smooth words. The American news media have quickly discovered that the same threat endangers both Americans and Israelis and that in security matters, the Israelis can teach the Americans a few things.
This changed perception could represent a new and potentially favorable development, because the Americans may finally understand that they are at war with an enemy that hates them and wants to rule them, and that peace cannot be purchased by forcing Israel to make concessions to its enemies. [That may be wishful thinking, but good to read nevertheless - SL]
*Dr. Joel Fishman is a Fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and of the Centre for Strategic and Military Studies at the University of Calgary.