By Michael Kuttner…

Why, despite all its many years of miraculous achievements, is Israel fighting a seemingly losing battle for world public opinion?

Critics tend to blame inept public relations efforts and ineffective spokespersons but while some of these excuses may be valid there are in reality more profound and fundamental reasons involved.

During my sixty or so years of involvement with “hasbara” presenting Israel’s case to an uninformed general public in New Zealand and latterly in Israel to a wider audience, I have learnt a thing or two about the challenges being faced.

While the ability of the speaker, diplomatic representative or PR person to articulate the situation is critical, all their finest efforts can be easily nullified when faced with a wall of blank minds susceptible to being seduced by each and every revisionist historical agenda.

No amount of common sense and logic can overcome brainwashed individuals and groups especially those already seduced by lies and conspiracy theories. Add in the toxic ramblings of a biased and partial media and you can discern why and how the campaign to disseminate facts and truths about Israel becomes an uphill battle.

One of Israel’s most brilliant articulators was Abba Eban who dazzled his audiences with erudite oratory delivered with an impeccable British upper class accent. His description of the 1967 armistice lines which the rest of the world still believe are holy borders remains a classic. He described them as the “Auschwitz borders” to which Israel must never return.

Given today’s rampant Holocaust denial and revisionist rhetoric it is obvious that not one proponent of “Palestine” on those borders has a clue what Eban was referring to. If the Shoah is fading from the minds of most of the international community the implications of such boundaries is obviously also completely absent.

This one example should offer a clue as to why no amount of brilliant oratory and well articulated logic can ever hope to penetrate the closed minds of a UN membership firmly entrenched in the grip of an anti Israel lynch mob.

The best indication of how the UN has sunk to the murky swamp of moral degeneracy is provided by the spectacle of UN Security Council members standing in solemn tribute to the deceased Iranian President and Foreign Minister. Think about it for a moment. The Iranian regime makes no secret of its ambition to annihilate Israel. Its President was responsible for the murder and persecution of countless Iranian men and women who dared voice opposition to the regime. Yet despite these facts the UN Security Council pays tribute to the late “butcher of Tehran” and his willing accomplices.

As though this hypocritical spectacle was not revolting enough the US representative also joined in the show of sympathy and the State Department issued a statement of regret at their passing. A subsequent clarification that the late President “had blood on his hands” merely confirms Washington’s pathetic attempts to cover up a duplicitous diplomatic charade.

Israel’s representative got it right when he asked whether the Security Council would also have stood in silent tribute when Hitler died. The UN’s appalling antics combined with those of the Human Rights Council and International Criminal Court highlight the impossibility of Israel ever winning a PR battle especially when most of the media muddy the truth with their tendentious reporting.

Right on cue the Chairman of the IAEA who recently lamented Iranian deception in its nuclear ambitions also issued condolences and requested a minute’s silence in memory of Iran’s President. Everyone knows that the Iranian leadership is lying about its nuclear intentions yet when one of the chief liars meets an unexpected end those tasked with impeding this genocidal plan stand in tribute to his memory.

One of the biggest mistakes in the PR war has been a refusal to rebut on a daily basis right from the very outset all the lies and mistruths propagated by the haters and deniers. Left unchallenged, these distortions have been allowed to fester and multiply and become accepted as revealed truths from on high.

Between 1948 and 1967 Israel should have raised hell about the illegal Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem and the denial of Jewish access to the Kotel, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron. The daily targeting of Israeli civilians in Jerusalem by Jordanian soldiers should have resulted in dire consequences. Every opportunity should have been taken to underline the illegal Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria and the temporary nature of the armistice lines. A refusal to hold the UN accountable for this disgraceful situation has now resulted in the lies becoming accepted as facts.

Even today when the likes of Jordan talk about the Temple Mount so called “status quo” and illegal settlements our spokespeople remain silent. The end result is toxic whether it is a case of not wanting to upset the Hashemite Kingdom, make non politically correct waves or a belief that ignoring the daily incitement will make it go away.

That is why the UN and all the anti Israel ignorant masses together with an equally brain dead media have successfully swallowed the fictions of 1967 “boundaries,” an invented Palestine with Islamic roots back to the Canaanites, colonialist Jews with no history in Israel and other similar make believe assertions.

Trying to belatedly counter these fables is an almost lost cause. Perhaps the time has come to finally bid farewell to this farce of an organization and expel its representatives and repossess the prime real estate it occupies in Jerusalem. It might be time to bail out from this corrupt body before it experiences the same “hard landing” which destroyed the Iranian helicopter and its ill fated predecessor, the League of Nations.

We haven’t helped our case by succumbing to leftist hallucinations such as the Oslo fiasco when our deluded leaders invited Arafat and his gangs back to establish a terror entity right in our back yard. This act of immense folly signaled to the world that we were prepared to cohabitate with the haters and it set the scene for subsequent disasters.

Surely, some may lament, the world must be able to recognize the fantastic discoveries and contributions of Israeli researchers and scientists to humanity over the years.

Logic would dictate that this would be the case. Unfortunately, over two thousand years of illogical hate towards Jews and Judaism has become so embedded that despite our so called more enlightened and tolerant times the ancient plague still survives and flourishes.

The invaluable contributions made by generations of Jewish citizens in Europe did not save them from expulsions, pogroms and ghettos. The finest and most brilliant minds ended up in Auschwitz and other camps while a few lucky individuals such as Albert Einstein found refuge in the USA or UK.

The stark reality is that irrational Jew hate is so embedded that it has now mutated into hate for everything associated with the Jewish State.

Even in places where no Jews officially live such as in North Korea or where ideology precludes recognizing Judaism as a valid faith such as in China the virus of anti Israel phobia flourishes.

It is important to understand these realties when considering how best to fight back and respond.

There has always been a difference of opinion between those who advocate an almost invisible profile with discreet negotiations versus those who recognize that this sort of backroom anonymity has failed not only in the past but also at present. The UK Mosley black shirt mobs in the 1930’s were only stopped when the Jews and working classes of the East End of London physically confronted them.

The outnumbered and outgunned Jews of Mandated Palestine only succeeded in avoiding a 7 October type massacre by defeating the Arab forces which aimed to abort Jewish sovereignty in 1948.

Jew haters are confounded and recoil when Jews actually fight back against their oppressors. That explains why the UN cannot ever reconcile itself to this fact. It follows therefore that in any PR campaign you must never apologize for Israel defending its citizens against rockets, terror and threats of annihilation.

In the face of the most vicious and outrageous lies do not retreat into shocked silence and hope that by not responding it will all blow over. All this achieves is for the lies to germinate in the fetid minds of the public and gain legitimacy. We see how this has already happened with the labels of “apartheid” and “colonialist settlers”, just two examples of how the Josef Goebbels technique works.

Do not respond with meaningless politically correct mumbling. It doesn’t work. When your MP or party leader makes pathetically erroneous statements do not pull any punches in replying. Forget about diplomatic schmaltz but rather expose their ignorant or ill informed rhetoric with some hard hitting facts and realities.

Above all, be realistic and acknowledge that most closed minds can never be prized open. When faced with ignoramuses claiming the most absurd things, respond with cynically clever humour to expose their absurdities.

Claims that Jews have no historical connection to Israel or that Palestine should be free from the river to the sea and LGBT people loving Hamas are just some classic examples. It is a proven fact that these people have no sense of humour which is why Israeli cartoonists and actors have gone viral and hit back in a most effective manner.

Be proactive and innovative and above all never let the deniers and delegitimizers go unchallenged.

This is neither a game of cricket nor are we required to adhere to the Queensberry rules.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel. 

[This article was originally published on J-Wire and is reproduced here with permission from Michael Kuttner.]