Despite 70 years since its rebirth, much of international diplomacy still treats Israel’s existence as if it was a bargaining chip that requires Israeli concessions. It is time to end this.
The Jewish people has undergone tremendous changes since David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s national rebirth 70 years ago and yet, much remains the same as in May 1948. It is time to complete what started with the War of Independence.
The Jewish nation has, against all odds, risen from the ashes of the Holocaust and transformed a poor and fragile state into an economic and technological powerhouse, defended by one of the world’s most powerful militaries. It has ingathered millions of Jews from the four corners of the earth and revived the ancient Hebrew language.
At the same time, Israel’s existence is still rejected by most of its neighbors and its right to exist is constantly questioned and attacked in numerous international forums.
While modern Israel has won many impressive tactical battles since its inception, time has come for the Jewish state to finally win its unfinished War of Independence by defeating its many foes, both next door and globally.
Israel’s technological and military power has secured tactical victories in the military battlefield but Jerusalem has kept losing the strategic war in the field of diplomacy and PR.
Unlike any other conflict in human history, the Arab-Israeli conflict is not about specific borders but about a strong opposition to Israel’s very existence within any borders.
In addition, in many ways, Israel is still treated like a pariah among the family of nations. Despite its many diplomatic successes, Israel is still the only country in the world whose capital Jerusalem is still not recognized by the majority of world’s states. Europe’s and the Muslim world’s strong opposition to the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, illustrates the deeply entrenched and widespread bigotry against the Jewish state.
Due to strong opposition from much of the Muslim world, Israel remains the only country in the world with slim chances of being elected into the influential UN Security Council. This automatically puts Israel in a position of disadvantage at the United Nations and other international forums.
In order to defeat its enemies, the Jewish state must put itself in the driver’s seat and aggressively push for new paradigm shift relating to Israel’s place in the Middle East and the wider world.
In order to win, Jerusalem must first analyze why it has been losing for so long. The current paradigm relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel’s place among the nations, defies all conventions in the history of warfare and international relations. The British statesman Winston Churchill is credited for coining the accurate statement “History is written by the victors.” After the Second World War, the allied victors set the terms for the defeated aggressors Japan and Nazi Germany.
By contrast, the Arab-Israeli conflict is the only conflict in human history where the defeated Arabs demand surrender while the military victor Israel sues for peace. Instead of demanding an end to Arab aggression, much of the world demands that Israel gives in to radical Arab demands that undermine the very existence of Israel. Despite 70 years since its national rebirth, much of international diplomacy still treats Israel’s existence as if it was a bargaining chip that requires Israeli concessions.
The Israeli statesman Abba Eban eloquently addressed this anomaly already in 1981:
“Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its ‘right to exist.’ Israel’s right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel’s legitimacy is not suspended in midair awaiting acknowledgement…. There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its ‘right to exist’ a favor, or a negotiable concession.”
This bigotry against Israel is reinforced with widespread history revisionism claiming that Israel is a “rootless cosmopolitan state” that was created as a “compensation for the Holocaust”. To make things worse, Israeli diplomacy and PR have for years been reactive rather than proactive and accepted an agenda decided by Israel’s enemies.
The path to Israel’s strategic victory over its adversaries won’t be easy and will require investments in both resources and patience. The core of a new paradigm must be a total rejection of all double standards applied against the Jewish state. Israel must loudly and persistently refuse to negotiate its right to exist and to defend its existence. Israel must resist international pressures that undermine its security and it must vigorously enforce its own red lines, both in the military and in the diplomatic battlefield.
There are signs that Israel and her allies are gradually moving towards victory. By seriously decimating Iranian military assets in Syria, Israel is restoring its military deterrence and its enemies are once again starting to fear the Jewish state.
By combining military deterrence with diplomatic offense, Prime Minister Netanyahu is sending a strong message that Israel is a permanent reality that can’t be defeated. By moving the American embassy to Israel’s capital Jerusalem and withdrawing from the deeply flawed Iran nuclear deal, President Trump is enforcing the message that the reborn Jewish state is here to stay.
If this continues to be pursued aggressively and long enough, Israel’s adversaries in the Muslim world and Europe will eventually get the message that they are waging a losing war that undermines their own vital interests.
Daniel Kryger is a writer and a political analyst. He lives in Israel.
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