Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Jim Shipley
Shipley speaks 

Where Jews are losing


Jews used to be used to losing. The poor shlep. The cringing schlemiel. The Hebrew prayers that call for God’s help; God’s blessing. While Jabotinsky was exhorting the Jews of Eastern Europe to either leave for what was then Palestine or arm themselves, most Jews shrugged and continued to live their miserable lives. Some listened to Jabo. The rest shrugged and sighed. And 20 years later - died by the millions.

Out of the Holocaust the Third Jewish Commonwealth was born. They took in millions of Jews. Some fleeing persecution and death, others eager to help build the Jewish Nation. Today? A nation of less than 10 million people has the twelfth largest GDP in the world.

While the Arab nations ignore their brethren living in refugee camps, Israel successfully settled new citizens from 20 countries, including every Arab nation from which they were thrown out in the 1950s and 60s.

As a part of the Egypt/Israel peace treaty, Israel reluctantly took Gaza. The Egyptians had ruled that strip of desert for decades. They kept the locals in check by hanging them on light poles on the main streets. Israel did a remarkable thing in 2005. They gave Gaza back to the Arabs.

When Israel left Gaza, they left behind a flourishing greenhouse vegetable industry that exported food to most of Europe and beyond. What did the Arabs do? On day one they smashed all the greenhouses, stole the electrical equipment and destroyed an industry that could have added significantly to their economic growth.

Israel did little to let the world know about this. It was really the first battle of a new kind of warfare—fought in the press and on TV and now online. And this was the first battle Israel lost.

Great at high tech, creating new forms of agricultural science, an army numbered among the best in the world (out of necessity), but they suck at public relations, Facebook, Twitter and the mainstream American Press.

Consider this scene in Israel where a group of young women on a Birthright Trip demonstrated for IfNotNow, the “organization” that holds demonstrations about Israel’s “treatment” of Palestinians.

A guy named Golan, the Israeli leader of the Birthright Group, had no answer for them. While the girls of IfNotNow were calm (as they were trained to be) Golan lost his cool and got in a one-way shouting match. Not cool. The leaders and others of the Birthright professional and volunteer staff should be trained to have a calm, logical discussion with IfNotNow and other similar groups.

Ever wonder who finances J Street, IfNotNow, BDS and the rest? Dig deep, you will find Arab and Iranian and Far Right money. Have you seen an expose of this? I didn’t think so.

So, Hamas sends groups of young Arabs to the Israeli border with Gaza to “protest,” try to cross the border, send flaming kites to burn Israeli farms and sling shot at border guards. When is the last time you saw on Facebook, television or in the daily newspaper a picture of a burning Israeli farm?

Have you seen young Arabs loading their kites? Young Arabs using sling shots to try and kill Israeli soldiers guarding the border? Of course not.

Now, the American public does not want a scholarly discussion of the Arab/Israeli “conflict.” We Americans like “good guys” and “bad guys.” Always have. Of the top eight box office hits in the first half of 2018 seven are “Super Hero” comic book characters. That is the state of mind in this country.

The ability of Israel to combat this propaganda war and prove we are “the good guys” is sadly inadequate. Ask the average American whose fault it is that Palestinians are dying at the border, chances are you’ll get a shrug. The inattention and lack of knowledge of the “average” American is a disgrace and believe me, the politicians and their manipulators know full well how to take advantage of that.

Is Israel blameless in the Gaza mess? Certainly not. Their policies have at times been overbearing and counterproductive. Israel does not know how to use social media. The folks who invented instant messaging and Waze and so much more fumble the ball when it comes to the one media outlet from which over half the nation gets its news. They do not “Troll.” They do not have an organized cyber group to target specific areas in the U.S.

This is a war Israel cannot afford to lose! It is the duty of the rest of us to post, to write, to talk about the truth. We can admit to the mistakes of this right-wing Israeli government that often bows to the religious bigotry of some of its key supporters, but Israel is the country for every Jew. The Nation of Israel is one in which you have citizenship the minute you set foot on the land.

Play your part.


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