Ron Dermer, well-spoken director of Policy Planning in the Prime Minister’s Office, looks good and sounds good. At the Jerusalem Conference yesterday, he tackled the problem of the negative attitude the world harbors against Israel. Not an easy issue. Actually, he made a very convincing argument for his own PR strategy, which he feels is an offensive against our enemies’ human rights violations, and a defocus on Israel itself.
Ron believes that both the right and the left in Israel are under delusions that won’t help Israel on the PR front.
His view of the left wing’s wishful thinking is that the assault on Israel’s legitimacy is a result of its policies, and if Israel would abide by the will of the international community then its international standing would improve. That was one of the excuses for Oslo and the Disengagement, and on and on. And the world favored issue for about a minute – just long enough to mail the Goldstone Report to newspapers around the world.
Ron Dermer, There’s a view that there’s no truth and falsehood – it’s all competing narratives. The weaker party is always perceived to be just. There’s pacifism that says military force is never legitimate.’
Ron feels that the right believes the government’s offer for sweeping concessions has “sawed off the limbs upon which Israel rests.” They want to reassert our rights, our historic connection to our land. They want to reclaim the narrative and stop using the language of our enemies by calling Judea and Samaria: illegal occupation, occupied territory, Arab land, etc.
Ron Dermer is sympathetic to that point of view, because he believes that a consistent focus on peace exclusively is not a winning argument, if it is not supplanted by rights. He gave a very clear example of this contention. (Watch the video!)
He added that by reasserting our historic rights, we do a great job at arming our supporters.
But he doesn’t believe either these views are fully correct. He believes the assault against Israel, but actually all the West, is “driven by values.”
Ron stated, “We are Jewish State in an age when nationalism and religion are under assault. We are a democracy fighting against terrorism in an age when the use of force is considered illegitimate in many courts…. We are constantly on the defensive.”
He doesn’t believe that giving 20 year old liberals the facts of Israel’s history, of the Arab wars against us, our problems will be solved. He believes we should stop being on the offensive and follow in the Arabs’ footsteps by running a negative campaign against the human rights abuses of our enemies. Liberal thinkers are “religious” about human rights.
Dermer wants to attack our enemies on their lack of human rights and especially their abuse of women’s rights, among other things.
Dermer believes that by focusing on the worst human rights abuses on the planets, and demanding they get the coverage they deserves, we can put this issue on the agenda, and slowly those forces that work against us will shrink.
Ron sounded very convincing, but I believe he’s wrong.
Ron wants the world talking about the Arabs’ abuse of women, instead of the "illegitimacy" of the Jewish State. However, having listened to Dr. Anat Berko (a specialist in female suicide bombers), it seems quite clear that Arab women would give up their human rights if it meant that Israel would be destroyed. And after having listened to Palestine Media Watch Director Itamar Marcus, the hatred of Israel is too deeply entrenched in generations of Arab society, everyone, including women and children glorify and honor suicide bombers and terrorists. They don’t hate Israel and want it destroyed. In their minds Israel doesn’t even exist.
Israel might cry out to the world that Arab nations are abusing women, but nations turn a blind eye to human rights abuses, if instead of this, they can somehow blame Israel. Moreover, if we ask any of those women if they’d rather have personal freedom or the destruction of Israel, it seems that according to the different speakers at the Jerusalem Conference, the majority of women would prefer destroying Israel than having rights.
And if we want to have the nations respect us, or love us, or honor us, we are told in the Bible exactly how to make this happen. G-d cautions us (in Deuteronomy 4:6) to keep His decrees and ordinances…for it is your wisdom and discernment in the eyes of the peoples, who shall hear all these decrees and who shall say, ‘Surely a wise and discerning people is this great nation!’
I seriously believe that if Israel wants to be respected among the nations of the world, instead of basing their campaigns on knocking other nations (even though their abuses are true and valid), they should run a campaign to promote Israel’s wisdom, values and holy laws, plus its loyalty to the Land that G-d has given them, because this is our glory and our honor in front of the nations of the world.
You can watch excerpts of Ron Dermer's address on Voices TV at http://voices-magazine.com/voices-videos.php?id=112 .