by Dimetros Birku
The image of Israel in the eyes of The Economist is strange. In a cover story of August 2,2014 edition entitled “Winning the battle, losing the War,” Israel is described as “…the region’s only true democracy – a hub of invention,enterprise and creativity.”
Not just that. Its description of outrage by people around the world against non-stop massacre of civilians (mostly children) by Israel reads “…though Israel is winning the war,it is struggling in the war for world opinion…” and what matters is the war for minds.
The story added something not unknown to many: that most Israeli strongly support their soldiers and are united, that Israel has strong support America’s congress. Israel’s Ambassador to Washington view perhaps epitomize the support for Israeli soldiers: “…its [Israel’s] soldiers deserve a Nobel peace prize.”
In the opinion of this writer, it is not just Israel that is losing ground in the battle for public opinion. The US and its allies are losing ground for public opinion the world over. Because what has happened and what is happening in Gaza is virtually a kind of situation what western nations call for “targeted military attack” and “humanitarian attack.” Syria was about to be a victim of military strike had it not been for effective dramatic play in international diplomacy by Russia. Libya was razed in “humanitarian attack” which toppled Gadafi in the short term and left the country in chaos in the long term.
Despite disappointing behavior by key state actors with regard to Isreal’s crime against humanity in Gaza, voices by grassroots activists and decisions by some Latin American countries to reconsider their diplomatic missions in Israel is really inspirational. Brazil, El Salvador, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have already decided to pull their Ambassadors fro Israel. Ban on pro-Palestine rally in France didn’t stop rally. Again, it is not about Israel per se. The double standard is sickening. And the US and its allies do not seem to realize its long term impact in the battle for minds.
In Toronto, where the writer resides, there was a fairly big Free Palestine protest march on July 30,2014. Numerous grassroots organization took part in the rally.
The protest march might not influence policy right away but the chant “The people United Will never be defeated” is certainly relevant message to shape just future the world over.
Video : Toronto rally
Follow the writer on twitter : @dimetros