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What Israel needs the international public to know

Two core factors are missing from international understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  The chief of these is denial by the Palestinians and wider Arab world of the same rights of self-determination for Jews that they claim themselves.

In this view, Jews are a religious group only without national rights of self-determination.  The PLO has maintained this position since its foundation.  Abbas and other leading members of the PA, along with the Arab League, restate it endlessly – seeing only their own national movement as legitimate (see, The Israeli Demand that Palestinians Accept Israel as a Jewish State).

This is why no PA party, faction, militia or leader supports the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.  Nor have their Islamist rivals.  This exclusive and supremacist view believes there are no legitimate Jewish national rights on any part of what they consider Arab/Muslim land.  On the West Bank, all PA political discourse, propaganda and education is based on this conviction.

Therefore, the formula 2-State Solution can only be utilized by the PA as long as one state is Arab but the status of the other state is never accepted as Jewish.  This is why the formula 2-States for 2-Peoples is always repudiated.  As a result, insofar as Israel is considered as state, it is not recognized as Jewish and insofar as it is Jewish, it is not recognized as a state but dismissed as the Zionist entity

This refusal to accept Jewish national rights demonstrates a determined purpose: that the 2-state solution is an intermediary stage in which a Palestinian state is established and Israel remains a battleground for future Arab supremacy.  That is, the 2-state solution in the sense of 2-States for 2-Peoples is not an acceptable compromise; it is treason.  The dominant Palestinian-Arab view is thus the exact opposite of the 2-State Solution aimed at ending the conflict.  In Israel, this is commonly known as the 2-Stage Solution to destroy Israel.   

It is more widely understood that the explicit aim of Hamas to dismantle Israel leaves no room for the compromise of the 2-State Solution.  Yet the realization that the PA rejection of Israel as the legitimate expression of Jewish national self-determination is the equivalent of the straightforward Hamas rejection is more difficult for many to accept.  It cuts across long-held and strongly held views supporting a 2-state solution as a fair solution in which enormous effort and emotion have been invested.  

This is because Western-liberal advocates of the 2-State Solution see the conflict as being between two sets of legitimate national movements, between two sets of equivalent rights.  Characterized as a matter of right vs right, and justice vs justice, this understanding provides the basis in principle for a win-win agreement to end the conflict by means of a 2-State Solution to share the territory of Mandatory Palestine between the two national groups.   

However, this solution requires that both national movements recognize and accept the legitimacy of the equivalent national rights of the other.  Therefore, it is to Israel’s great disadvantage that the moral inequity of the Arab stance and its practical consequence of killing stone dead the 2-State Solution is almost universally unknown.  This makes the international public an easy target for biased reporting and anti-Israel propaganda.  Israel is thus blamed for blocking Palestinian self-determination when in reality the Palestinian denial of self-determination for Jews is the core obstacle and driving force of the conflict.  

To counter this, Israel needs far wider international understanding that without Palestinian/Arab acceptance of Israel as the legitimate nation-state of Jews there is zero chance of ending the conflict.  As with the peace agreement with Egypt, Israel must have believable assurances and practical measures to ensure that the creation of a Palestinian state really would end the conflict and not be followed by more war, more rockets, more tunnels and more terror.  

In sum, without Palestinian acceptance of Jewish rights of self-determination, the creation of a hostile Palestinian state opposed to the existence of a Jewish state would provide an unprecedented opportunity for conflict escalation (see, The Folly of ‘Coordinated Unilateral Withdrawal’).  

Therefore, to address these issues, the adoption by Israel of two fundamental messages in its international and public diplomacy is required.  In the same way that Palestinian spokespersons incessantly blame the occupation, the power of repetition is required is to make Israel’s Primary Messages common knowledge so that its interests can no longer be ignored.  

Due to the enormous world-wide interest in the conflict, massive opportunities for expressing these messages exist all the time.  Extended and short interviews with Israel’s spokespersons on Foreign TV stations and articles placed in the foreign press by Israel’s leaders repeatedly reach international audiences of MILLIONS.  Naturally, each message can be elaborated as required by a particular context so that Israel makes the most of these opportunities, not the least.

Primary Message #1:  the 2-State-Solution

  1. Yes, an equitable solution would be the 2SS to end the conflict and accommodate both sets of national rights.  What is required is that the Palestinians offer reciprocal acceptance of Jewish national rights.  The denial of these rights is unfair and immoral and perpetuates the conflict.
  1. Yes, Israel is concerned for Palestinian dignity, human rights and their rights of national self-determination.  As before, all that is required is that the Palestinians reciprocate in the same way.  Instead, their denial of the same rights for Jews they claim themselves drives the conflict and prevents its solution. 

Without the constant reiteration of this two-part message, endless news items, analyses, interviews and press articles in the foreign media will continue without a single reference to either point.  In fact, following the mainstream media, it is rarely possible for the international public to get even a glimpse of the unending hatred of Israel by the Palestinians, their claims to all its territory and the permanent incitement to violence against it.  

As a result, beginning with this Primary Message, crucial questions can be posed to international audiences and the media: how could Israel possibly permit a hostile state to be established on its borders that opposes its right to exist and with a program to eradicate it.  And how is this compatible with the central purpose of the UN: the maintenance of international peace?  Further, any discussion of confidence-building measures (normally code for Israel to release terrorists from prison) would be a good place to propose that the key good-will measure to build trust would be Palestinian acceptance of Israel as the nation-state of Jews. 

In sum, beginning with just two short points, audiences are provided with core arguments that can use to achieve four crucial advances in the public fight against anti-Israel propaganda:

  • to educate the public about the real positions of the PA and wider Arab world;
  • to direct responsibility for the failure of the 2-state solution where it belongs;
  • to accuse the PA of opposing the central purpose of the UN;
  • to propose a solution. 

As a result, an international conversation will be possible based on terms favorable to Israel rather than the usual uncritical dominance of the Palestinian narrative in the mainstream media.  Ample material will be needed to support the points (see The Israeli Demand that Palestinians Accept Israel as a Jewish State). 

Primary Message #2: Gaza

The following are almost entirely unknown to the international public: 

The targeted blockade of Gaza exists because the government of Gaza is determined to annihilate Israel – see the Hamas Charter.

  1. The purpose for which the UN was established, the preservation of peace, is permanently threated by the existence of the Hamas government. 
  2. The solution is simple: for peace and economic development, a government in Gaza is needed that is prepared to work in cooperation with Israel instead of seeking to destroy it.

In just three short points, audiences are provided with core arguments they can scarcely get a glimpse of in the mainstream media.  Again, this achieves several goals, which can be expanded in the public fight against anti-Israel propaganda:

  • it educates the public about the intentions of Hamas and its Charter;
  • it directs blame for the conflict to where it really belongs;
  • it accuses Hamas of opposing the central purpose of the UN;
  • it proposes a solution. 

Otherwise, as in the Gaza War of 2014, endless news, analyses, interviews and press articles in the foreign media appear without a single reference to any of these points.  Only rarely will the international public witness inconclusive references to whether Hamas is or is not a terrorist group, but absolutely nothing on its aim of permanent war to destroy Israel.  Nor will the international public learn how this conflicts with the core task for which the UN was founded: the maintenance of international peace.  

Finally, by constantly focusing on these Primary Messages, the international media can be challenged on its near total absence of reporting them.

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