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Only Few Know What is The Real Israel

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Changing the lens, changing the lexicon.

Those who follow issues concerning Israel may see what I see: Israel is being pushed to a corner in every respect possible, whether it is politically, economically, and/or morally. It is almost as if the world is out to reaffirm to the Jewish nation, we never did, we do not and probably we will never like Jews.

The past is well known; the future however is in Israel's and her supporters' hands, who now have a chance to change.

Reverse The Tide Flowing Against Israel

There is indeed a desperate need for the state of Israel to reverse the tide flowing against it in the war of ideas, gain international support and strengthen her standing with every possible human being.

This is the message I got this week from attending the Jewish National Fund-JNF breakfast meeting, held at the Beverly Hills Hilton, in which 500 attendees came to hear the keynote speaker, Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel to New York, on the topic, De-legitimization of Israel, the invisible threat to Israel's existence.

Time For A Change Of Message

JNF breakfast meeting audience crowd photo by Orly Halevy
JNF breakfast meeting audience crowd. From L-Consul General Ido Aharoni, Barak Lurie Co-Chair, Doug Williams Chair-Photo Orly Halevy

If we have been complaining for years that Israel's public diplomacy is atrocious, listening to Mr. Aharoni I am convinced that there is a new generation of Israeli diplomats who may turn, in Israel's favor, the Israeli Hassbara, meaning explanation, her public diplomacy. From Mr. Aharoni's impressive speech, the audience received new tools to fight the anti-Israel tide.

The way Israel has presented herself until now, a victim of Arab hate, a beleaguered country where Zionist fighters have to constantly fight aggressive Arabs has not worked, and thus must end. The time is now for Israel to end the twinning with the Arabs and tell the world who she is and what the Jewish state stands for.

Time to fold sleeves and address and refute the new de-legitimization narrative along which Israel's detractors are working diligently, spreading the word that the Jewish state is the remnants of the European colonialism, a country that is not an asset, rather a burden to the world.

The Vile Narrative Against Israel

The reason this vile narrative is spreading wings is because very few know what is the real Israel; what is Israel outside the conflict and what she has to offer to the world, which the world is willing to accept and deal with.

JNF breakfast meeting audience crowd photo by Orly Halevy
JNF breakfast meeting audience crowd-photo by Orly Halevy

In his December 11, 2012 article, Israel's China Challenge, the writer, David Horovitz sums it up: "the world's second largest economic power knows very little about Israel. The countries that wish us [Israel] ill have been active here for decades and have been telling it plenty. Israel's cause is not lost here, but we could and should be advancing it more effectively. There is no vacuum. We have much to offer. We should and can change that, and the sooner the better." And it is not only the people in China who know so very little about the 'other side' of Israel, it is the majority of people in the world.

Take for instance the book Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, by Dan Senor and Saul Singer. The book made the best seller list because it has brought to light another Israel; a country of innovations and creativity and that captured the world's attention.

There is the need to assume responsibility that Israel has been in wrong therapy since 1993 and it has not worked for her. A trip to Israel will be the best therapy session. Ask anyone who took a trip to the Jewish land with the Taglit-Birthright Program. Any participant will tell you that the trip was a life changing event.

Seeing Israel Through New Lenses

So we need to begin with telling the world that Israel is not defined by the conflict and the trouble she has from her neighbors; Israel is much more than its problems. No place is perfect, including Israel; the same way people do not judge other places they visit, Israel needs not to be judged by its imperfections, rather its perfections, and there are many.

Time to see Israel not through distorted lenses, rather through new lenses of...

  1. Being a world leader in environment projects;
  2. Being a world leader in start-up companies;
  3. Being a culture and art powerhouse, the third larger producer of content for American TV;
  4. Heritage, diversity, where 120 ethnic groups are represented and many languages are spoken;
  5. Life style and leisure;
  6. Israel best secret, which is Tikun Olam, making the entire world a better place to live.

You still do not believe, watch this movie: Music Voyager Episode 1 & 2

The Coolest Open Air Nightclub In The World

Also listen to Naftali Bennett, let's talk about the important thing, not the isolation, the "settlements," rather beautiful Jaffa...

Idan Reichel makes no political statement, he just wants to make great music with exceptional musicians, no matter what their background or religion

Israel Is A Quality Product

In this reverse price tag policy, a combination of any of these six lenses will convey a different message to which the world has been accustomed and slowly will change the narrative in Israel's favor.

There is tough competition in the world. Every country that aims for high revenue that will better the standard of living of its citizens needs to market itself just like a product; so does Israel.

Israel is not a defective product and has very good goods to sell, but she had cut herself short and have not used the assets she has. The country's ongoing crisis management of the conflict is not the only issue about Israel. It is not about bad news; and if Israel is going to be associated with the crisis only it will go down the tube.

Israel's beaches compete with other Mediterranean beaches; Jerusalem competes with London, Paris and Rome, not Ramallah or Riyad. There is something of interest in Israel for every human being.

Reclaiming The Hijacked Narrative

Israel has allowed the other side to hijack her narrative and define her negatively. Time to reclaim the narrative and the original Zionism. Because without Israel Jews are guests in other people's country - in whatever country they live. In Israel every Jew is at home, in his or her homeland.

Jewish National Fund (JNF)-Keren Kayemeth Le'Israel is your voice in Israel. On your behalf and with your financial contribution, JNF will build communities, manage water conservation, create forests, take part in ecological development, provide Zionist engagement programs, preserve historical sites, sponsor research and development initiatives, and make sure that no member of Israeli society is left behind.

Become a shareholder in the Jewish National Fund; be a shareholder in Israel, be part of the solution not part of the problem.

Let us leave the conflict aside, stop the spinning and start helping and supporting Israel through a totally new lens and rebranding and thus begin bringing to an end the de-legitimization of Israel era.

International relations revolve a great deal around priorities. It is best to be attractive than right.

Nurit Greenger sees Israel and the United States equally, as the last two forts of true democratic freedom and since 2006, has been writing about events in these two countries. Contact her by writing to nurit.4.nuritg@gmail.com Read more stories by Nurit Greenger.

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