Israel’s public image is taking a beating
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being isolated by internal and international forces. Public relation campaigns launched worldwide by Israel’s foreign ministry to create a positive image have all failed despite enormous efforts expended by Zionist lobbies that also spent enormous amounts of money.
The ugly image of Israel created by the racist/colonial policy imposed by colonists and Israeli military forces on the Palestinians cannot be hidden anymore.
The Israeli Institute for Democracy recently issued a report stating that “the bad image of Israel in Europe persists inspite of the huge amount of money spent in campaigns to project a positive image. We have to ask why it is so”.
Researchers in the same institute believe that the bad image was precipitated by an international campaign to strip Israel of its legitimacy, thus greatly increasing the “enemies of the Zionist state around the world” due to Israel’s labels against these “anti-Semites”!
The most revealing example of Israel’s isolation is the deteriorating relationship between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama. Jeffery Goldberg, a Jewish American journalist, who is very close to the White House, said in an article in Haaretz that “the minute President Obama heard Netanyahu’s declaration to build new settlements [colonies] in Area E1 near [occupied] Jerusalem, the president did not even comment and told his aides that he has become used to Netanyahu’s self-destructive behaviour”.
Obama, Goldberg said “considers that every decision to build new settlements [colonies] on Palestinian lands leads to the ultimate complete isolation of Israel”. In words attributed to the American president: “Israel will shortly find itself, when votes are counted in the United Nations, very alone, isolated and hated by the world community”.
In line with the same pattern of thought, General Danny Rothschild, the former chief of the Israeli National Council, wrote in a study published by Israel’s Jerusalem Centre for Studies: “We cannot but notice the present impression that is held in US that Israel now has become a liability endangering America rather than a strategic ally”.
He, however, said “not all the criticisms levied against the government are all true all the time, the government, nevertheless, has failed in its task to project a positive image for Israel around the world”.
An internal report by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, predicted that the European countries will put tremendous pressure on the upcoming Israeli government to force it to resume negotiations to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians.
According to the report, “the Europeans’ opposition to Israeli settlements [colonies] will greatly increase and shall go beyond verbal condemnation. Diplomatic European sources confirm the intention of the European Union to push for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the territories of 1967 with [occupied] east Jerusalem as its capital including mutual exchange of territories between the two states”.
Echoing the same note, Yediot Ahronot wrote that “the Europeans are considering convening a regional peace conference inviting Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf states to attend which will put a great pressure on Israel to attend and if Israel refuses, it will prove that Israel is rejecting peace in the Middle East”.
The Israeli newspaper underlined the foreign ministry’s assessment in the same report pertaining to the European Union’s condemnation of building new colonies by noting that “the unbalanced tone of this declaration has been illuminated by the fact that the report has lacked, this time, the previous notation that has always completely ignored the issue of settlements focusing only on “direct talks as the only way to achieve peace”.
2013 is slated to be the year of the final decision to be reached as regards the Iranian nuclear issue. It is also the time when the Obama-Netanyahu relationship is expected to be severely tested.
David Makovsky, a fellow researcher in the Washington Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, thinks that it is impossible to form a strictly right-wing government in Israel as this would cause extreme problems for Obama. But this, he says, may usher in an opportunity for better US-Israel understanding. Yet, he says, “it will not be easy because of the past. Obama’s dealings with Netanyahu were filled with mutual mistrust, extreme dislike and complete disregard to what the other cares for”.
Israeli political analyst Sima Kadmon, in his article titled ‘Israel after the Election: Isolation’ said the Europeans know very well that American support for Israel has been greatly weakened and that the Egyptian officials who are closely attached to the US, will also get the same message.
He perceives an imminent consequence awaiting Netanyahu: “A world that has lost patience with him.”