War of Words: Israel’s Fight Against Delegitimization


Israel’s struggle to defend herself and survive is not only on the battlefield; it is also in the coliseum of public perception. Thrown into the same dungeon as South Africa 30 years ago, threatened with extinction by Arab countries and terrorist groups, Israel is portrayed as a racist, “apartheid” country, illegitimate, a threat to civilization and world peace. Failure to take this incitement seriously and criticism of Israel’s actions in self-defense are applauded by the crowd, thumbs-downed by international community.

Denounced for “violating human rights,” on the rack for defeating terrorists, and subjected to double-standards, Israel’s very existence is anathema. Unacceptable in polite, cultured societies, however, Jew-hatred has been replaced by attacks on the Jewish state, Israel. A convenient proxy, Israel is condemned for “illegally occupying (stealing) Arab/Palestinian land,” “injustice towards and oppression of Palestinians,” etc. “Zionism is Racism” echoes throughout the world. The goal is isolation, as a prelude to destruction; the means, delegitimization, BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – and media bias.

Delegitimization, the refusal to accept the legitimacy of a nation, a country and its founding ideology, is applied only to Israel. Hundreds, if not thousands of NGO’s, many with government funding, and promoted by major media, relentlessly attack Israel. Hundreds of millions of euros are splurged by EU governments, like Holland, Ireland and Switzerland, on anti-Israel political organizations.

Israel is the only democratic country whose right to exist is questioned. Nuanced by demanding a second Arab Palestinian state, there is no need to call directly for Israel’s destruction; it’s enough to demand withdrawal to 1949 Armistice lines which will render Israel indefensible. “End the occupation,” a mindless slogan that short-circuits thinking is a subtler way of calling for Israel’s demise.

These calls come not only from Arabs and the international community, but from Israeli leftists who believe that withdrawal from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) will bring “Peace Now,” hoping the Arabs will accept and that Israel will be accepted and protected.

These critics of Israel, even those that are well-meaning, ignore their contribution to campaigns to delegitimize Israel. One might forgive their motives as naive, were it not for obvious threats from Hamas and Hezbullah, Palestinian terrorists, Iran, Syria and other terrorist-supporting countries.

Many of these critics of Israel, however, both domestic and foreign, refuse to defend Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish country within secure, recognized, and defensible borders. Parading as “humanitarian,” their efforts, because they are biased and often false, serve to delegitimize Israel.

Moshe Dann

Moshe Dann is a writer and journalist living in Israel.

One thought on “War of Words: Israel’s Fight Against Delegitimization

  • December 17, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    This article is way off the mark. May we know what has Switzerland done against Israel? The Swiss Jewish community is one of the most flourishing one and the support to a vibrant Israel (as a jewish state) democracy is well known in Switzerland. I see only gestures of solidarity to Israel as demonstrated by the recent actions by Russia, Jordain, Egypt, Greece and even Palestine when there were the fires in Carmel. Nobody is talking about 49????
    If you talk about the international consensus on a peace settlement based on the 67 border with some adjustments yes it is time to move on and make peace now or actually have peace enforced right now. We are tired
    of this occupation now and it is time to move from being an eternal paranoid state to a reasonable actor of international law. Israel is a reality much like the US became a reality after it’s revolution and after it
    killed most of its native population. The UN has recognized Israel
    many times already everybody knows that Israel exist. History informs us all that states are never born without any sin and so Israel is escused
    for its past errors but needs to focus now on being an agent of change and peace. It is a powerful nation with a vibrant democracy and needs
    to lead the Middle East by showing others what is the right thing to do.
    Make peace with Palestine and stop the occupation.


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