The recent peace accords with a number of additional Arab states created a certain euphoria in Israel. These agreements were not only a great setback for the Palestinian Arabs. They also came as a shock to those Westerners looking away from, minimizing or whitewashing the Palestinian genocide promoters and the death cult, which permeates Palestinian Arab society. Many of these Westerners can best be characterized as progressive perverts.
Yet the new agreements with four Arab states caused the Israeli leadership to pay even less attention to the ongoing hate campaigns against Israel by its many enemies. That became clear once again after the start of the massive Israeli vaccination campaign.
For objective observers, Israel's vaccination campaign is a success story. So far a much larger percentage of Israel’s population has been vaccinated than that of any other country. Many foreign politicians and media have lauded Israel for it.
Yet a number of long term – partly part time – Western enemies of Israel have used Israel’s vaccination success to malign the country. Palestinians may have invented the fake accusation that Israel is responsible for vaccinating the Palestinians in parallel with that of Israel’s citizens living on the 'West Bank'. Various Westerners followed.
One such part-time enemy of Israel who made this claim is the British weekly, The Observer. The paper published an article titled, "Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccination rollout as jabs go to settlers".
This article was also published on January 3 in its sister daily, The Guardian. Written by Israeli correspondent Oliver Holmes together with Hazem Balousha in Gaza, it stated: "Israel is celebrating an impressive, record-setting vaccination drive, having given initial jabs of coronavirus shots to more than a 10th of the population. But Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza can only watch and wait." The background given for their story was: “Israeli, Palestinian and international rights groups have accused Israel of dodging moral, humanitarian and legal obligations as an occupying power during the pandemic.” The article slso falsely suggests that Gaza is occupied by Israel. Yet there are no Israelis in that territory. The 'West Bank' is not Israeli occupied either but “disputed territory.” There was never a Palestinian state.
Various anti-Israel media and other enemies of Israel joined in the chorus that Israel is obliged to vaccinate the Palestinians. Official Israeli sources explained that there is no legal basis for this. Perhaps more important, the Palestinian Authority was not even interested in this. It controls part of the 'West Bank' and under the 1995 Oslo II Accord is responsible for the Palestinian population in the territory. It has been pursuing its own procurement options, and announced contracts with four producers, including the makers of Russia’s Sputnik V.
The Israeli authorities left the country’s verbal defense mainly to private bodies and volunteers. In an interview with CNN, Gideon Saar, a former Likud minister, who will run at the head of the New Hope party in the upcoming elections said: "I think that the Palestinian Authority has enough money to pay salaries to terrorists murderers, to those who are getting rewards for crimes they are doing against Israel….If they [Palestinians] have money for that, they can take care of their residents.”
On January 12, The Guardian continued its attack on Israel. It published an article by Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of radical leftist B’tselem, titled “We are Israel's largest human rights group – and we are calling this apartheid.” The article could have alternatively been titled “We are a leading Israeli rights group for Palestinian murderers’” The article was also published by the French left wing daily Le Monde.
While accusing Israel of apartheid there is not a word in El-Ad’s article about the promotion of murder of Israelis by the Palestinian leadership and the death cult permeating Palestinian society. The Guardian editors who decided to publish this piece must have known how distorted its content was.
A few days later, on January 17, came the next step in the Guardian’s depraved program against Israel. It used the extreme Israel maligner EL-Ad’s article -- which it should not have published -- as the basis for an editorial. It was titled: “The Guardian view on Israel and apartheid: prophecy or description?” It contained no quotes about genocide against Jews or promoting murdering them from Palestinian Arab leaders. Yet it mentioned the comparisons of Israel to an apartheid state of the leading anti-Israel hate mongers Bishop Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter.
Due to the absence of an Israeli anti-propaganda agency, the country’s enemies such as The Guardian and The Observer can freely malign it. They have little to worry about possible reactions. Yet a normal Israeli response should have been: “how do we hit these enemies back where they are most vulnerable?”
Foreign media which have correspondents in Israel broadly fall into two main categories - journalists who try to give a balanced interpretation of what happens and media representatives who are anti-Israeli propagandists masking as journalists. Israel treats them equally by giving all of them press cards.
There is mainly one significant case in the past where Israel tried to teach foreign media a lesson. In 2003 the Israeli government broke off relations with the BBC for several months. In 2004, in a rare reaction from Jerusalem, then Minister Natan Sharansky wrote to the BBC that its reporter Orla Guerin had not only set a new standard for biased journalism but her reporting “has also raised concerns that it was tainted by antisemitism.”
Sharansky referred to the case of a Palestinian youth who was set to explode as a human bomb. In reporting on this case other major media focused on the use of children by Palestinian terror groups, Guerin’s main item was that the Israelis had paraded a child in front of the international media. Sharansky also pointed out that he did not recall a single report in which the BBC noted “the ways and means in which the Palestinian authorities stage events for the media or direct the media to stories that serve Palestinian advocacy goals.”
With our current understanding of how Israel’s media enemies handle issues related to Israel, confronting them can be done in a far more sophisticated manner. The incitement against Israel originates at the media’s headquarters abroad. The local correspondent is a very secondary target. He supplies what his bosses want. In that he doesn't differ much from a number of his predecessors. If Israel had an anti-propaganda agency it could cause The Guardian huge troubles without breaking any laws. It is not difficult to provide a few examples, but why give them ideas.
There are tens of cases similar to the abuse of Israel's vaccination program by its media enemies every year. It is therefore important to explain why Israel has no anti-propaganda agency despite the obvious need for it. Its establishment has been suggested to Prime Minister Netanyahu for years - and thus has nothing to do with his current focus on his court cases - by staff members and also by foreign Jewish leaders. He has always blocked it. Israel is continuously paying a heavy price for this totally erroneous policy.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has been a long-term adviser on strategy issues to the boards of several major multinational corporations in Europe and North America.He is board member and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award (2012) of the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism, and is considered the foremost expert of antisemitism.