Israel, is probably the country that needs to have the best Public Relations (PR) and Public Diplomacy-‘Hasbarah services,’ yet, to its dismay, it has failed in this field rather miserably.
The world likes when the underdog wins, or when the people who are the most bashed, attacked or hounded get up and dissent.
That is precisely what happened at the end of May 2011, in Washington DC, when Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister told the world: Enough already, we have had quite enough of your nonsense that endangers our existence, while enabling our enemies.
While ‘Bibi’s score was political, Israel accounts for and takes pride in many other wins, in many other fields, most of them do not make the headlines or become world’s sensation. One such story is of Ariel “Arik” Ze’evi, widely recognized as Israel’s most prominent judoka athlete. Ze’evi, a Dan 5 black belt in Judo, has won an Olympic bronze medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, in the Judo 100 kg class.
On Sunday, May 29, 2011, Arik Zeevi won a gold medal at the prestigious Moscow Grand Prix, among the most important and popular Judo sport event in the world, against Cyrille Maret of France. This victory brings him within a few points of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. It was the second Israeli medal in this competition where Yarden Gerbi secured the bronze medal.
At the competition’s quarterfinals Egyptian competitor, Ramadan Darwish, refused to shake Zeevi’s hand after his defeat, this despite an order by the referee so, after repeated requests, Darwish returned to execute the traditional, in this case, hardly a bow but distinguishably abrupt bow: ‘Egyptian sore loser refuses to shake hands with Israeli at judo match’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXNacDRuZUM&feature=player_embedded.
Though this video shows am athlete who is a poor looser, refusing to acknowledge his defeat in a Judo match, what it really shows is how deep the hate among the Muslims is towards Israelis. As a metaphor, it illustrates, how peace is not possible so long as the incitement against and the hate toward Israelis dominates the Muslim mind. And it suggests that to change all that, will, in fact, take generations of re-education. And that this kind of education is not on the mind of the Arabs to implement. In the 1930’s, the cliche of “Peace in Our Time” was already a failed notion and is still a failed notion coming, yet again, today, from the same Europeans who failed in it in the first place in the past.
Ramadan Darwish is an athlete representing the Arab country Egypt, with which Israel has had a peace accord for the past thirty years. We therefore simply need to assume that while, on paper, the parties to the peace treaty agreed to halt war prospect, for the past thirty years, Egypt prepared its next generations for the next war it will have with Israel. That is what the Arabs call ‘Hudna.’
When the pursuit of “peace” is based on lies and false hope, “peace” becomes a tool for your enemy to use to control your actions, leaving the enemy with the initiative of when and where to strike.
While the Arabs are not prepared for peace with Israel, they are all out to throw as many curveballs at Israel as possible.
Only today, Mahmoud Abbas, the Arab-“Palestinian” president accepted the proposal to renew negotiations with Israel, under French auspices, based on US President Obama’s vision of a Palestinian state with ’67 borders, to which Israel Prime minister Netanyahu, already, while in Washington, said, NO.
Like the US, the Europeans consider Hamas to be a terrorist group that needs to be eradicated, not acknowledged. The Europeans also are in agreement with president Obama that there should be no negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) while they are in unity with Hamas. So what are the French up to, bypassing the Europeans’ agreement with Obama regarding Hamas?
Peace can only achieved by people who want real peace.
Everyone here suffers from painful sores of loss. It is Israel that really wants peace and cannot get it no matter what she had tried to do to achieve it. It is the Arabs, who do not want peace, thus are invoking a constant state of possible war with Israel, which cause them set back in many aspects. And it is all those who are pursuing the Neville Chamberlain’s “Peace in Our Time” cliche and we already know what that leads to.