Skip to comments.No Holds Barred: Is Europe lost to Israel?
Posted on 03/12/2014 5:48:07 AM PDT by SJackson
At the Oxford Union debate on Iran that I participated in last Thursday night, I waited for the inevitable argument that were wasting our time fighting over the Islamic Republic when the real wolf in sheeps clothing is of course the Jewish state.
Sure enough it came in the first thirty minutes, when a bearded Islamic student who did not look much different to me (lucky, handsome devil) joined the floor debate. He argued that Israel, an apartheid state, is responsible for the real atrocities in the Middle East.
So why bother with the Iranian distraction? Time was when an argument like that would have been shot down by the intelligent students witnessing the debate. Really? Youre going to compare a liberal democracy like Israel, with every freedom from religion to press to assembly, to a theocratic nightmare like Iran? Iran last year put 700 of its citizens to death, hangs gays and blasphemers from public cranes, and stones women to death on false accusations of adultery so their husbands can marry younger women.
Are you seriously going to compare Israel to a country that used snipers to murder political protesters in the streets of Tehran in 2009 and infamously shot Neda Agha-Soltan in the heart? The martyred Iranian woman even has a scholarship at Queens College, Oxford named after her.
Press accounts of the Oxford debate have our side demolishing those of the pro-Iran faction and for anyone who was there the huge applause I was fortunate to receive from the entire audience easily in evidence on the video of the debate shows how well we connected with the students. But... we lost anyway. When it comes to Israel, British universities seem impervious to reason.
Which begs the question, Is Europe lost to Israel? Perhaps its inevitable that a continent where anti-Semitism has festered and where millions Jews have been murdered for two millennia is simply incapable of ever repudiating a congenital prejudice? Should we just give up on Europe and focus instead on the United States? The answer is an emphatic no. As I saw at Oxford, we were the side that easily won the students respect and got them thinking through the accepted tendency to blame Israel.
When the debate was over the same Muslim student who had earlier called Israel an apartheid state came to sit and speak with me and we discussed the Middle East together for over an hour in the friendliest way. He was one of many who surrounded me, wanting to talk, debate, and exchange ideas. I was encircled by scores of students who moments before had voted against Israel.
They could not have been more amiable, even as they argued, and it was clear that I had won their respect.
Why? Because they understood that I had agreed to go into the lions den to fight for my beliefs and had given it my all.
Oxford celebrates those who display courage for their convictions. And when it comes to Israel and Europe, we in the Jewish community display it far too little. I love Israel and I was not afraid to show it. I brought the fight to Israels enemies and while their opposition remained, it was taken down a notch as they saw our ability to belt them with rational arguments that have no real response.
A few years ago I was invited on to a panel in Malaga, Spain, with one of Americas most famous Muslim women leaders. Speaking just after us was Guy Kawasaki, the original Apple computer evangelist, who was so successful in helping the company launch. He said that what made the marketing of Apple successful was that from the beginning Apple sought to bifurcate its audience.
They accepted that in a world where everyone was IBM, they had a fight on their hands. Their genius was to embrace the fight. They did not seek to convert the whole world to Apple. They werent trying to be nice to the IBMs in order to win them over. On the contrary.
They attacked them as out-ofdate and out-of-touch bores and conformists.
In the PR fight for Israel weve been afraid to divide our audience. We dont want to make enemies. We want to win everyone over to Israels cause. Guess what: Israel has real, implacable enemies.
We have a fight on our hands and many will not be coming over to our side. Embrace the fight. Go out there and argue like hell for Israels cause. Be intelligent, be factual, be methodical.
But stop being so nice. The BDS crowd do not give a damn for Arab rights. If they did they would be vocal about the real wholesale slaughter of innocent Arab life going on in Syria which we hear almost nothing about. Rather, they are out to destroy Israel, plain and simple. Omar Barghouti, the founder of BDS, has said many times that even if Israel withdraws from the West Bank BDS will continue because all of Israel is all occupied Palestinian land. The friendly Islamic students I met at Oxford told me the same. I commend them for their honesty.
We have to be just as honest and tell them were not going anywhere. We are happy to share the land with our Palestinian brothers but Israel as a Jewish state is not transitory but forever.
Israel is a country that has always exhibited military genius and PR incompetence. Heres the difference: when it came to the military, Israel always understood it was up against enemies who wanted to destroy it. It could not afford to be nice. It had to defeat its enemies lest the Jews be pushed into the sea as Nasser, Arafat, Assad, and Ahmadinejad promised. But when it came to PR Israel suddenly forgot that it was at war. It thought that the logic of its case was self-evident.
Surely everyone could see the superiority of a democracy like Israel over a barbarous government like Syria? Surely everyone would appreciate a book-loving nation like Israel over a Kalashnikov- loving terror group like Hezbollah? But what Israel did not reckon with was something called prejudice, a blinding force which makes smart people stupid.
Europe is not lost to Israel, certainly not all of it. Israel does not need to win over 90 percent of Europe to its side. But it does need about 55%.
So go on. Bifurcate your audience. Accept that a large portion will never like you. But fight like hell to win over the majority. And as you make solid, rational, factual arguments presented I the most engaging and inspiring way the tide will begin to turn in your favor.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Israel should sell them natural gas from their immense Mediterranean reserves. Of course then the Europeans will just be mad at the Israelis for charging them for it.
Or Israel should start to make plans for a pipe-line down to Eilat for further transport of their gas to the Asiatic markets. That is something that maybe would make the Europeans change their behaviour.
“Or Israel should start to make plans for a pipe-line down to Eilat for further transport of their gas to the Asiatic markets. That is something that maybe would make the Europeans change their behaviour.”
That’s a GREAT idea!
They could also:
Develop a modular NG-powered desalinization plant.
Develop a NG powered Fischer-Tropsch process.
Develop a way to polymerize NG (methane) so that it turns into higher-carbon (and thus higher value) hydrocarbons that can be liquified and if necessary, transported by truck instead of requiring high-pressure/cryogenic-enhanced compression as does methane.
This is what Israel should do. They should claim they are protecting the Palestinians from Iranian aggression. If Israel didn’t have a nuclear deterrent, an Iranian nuke launched against Israel for all intent and purpose wipe out the Palestinians as a people.
Let the Palis dwell on that for a while.
That's good prognostication, I don't care who you are -- and these people had nothing, no Ph.D.'s, no impressive institutional support, no Nobel laureates, no endowed chairs. Just the Liber Apocalypsis Ioannis and their own imaginations.
They may want to build a pipeline down to Kenya (Nairobi) to service the African markets .... and help counterbalance Chinese penetration of East Africa (envelopment of India and domination of the Indian Ocean basin).
Mr. Boteach’s lessons here could equally apply to Conservatives fighting against leftist propaganda.
Yes, that’s a good point
There are plans to do that, but on a relative basis Israel’s newly found reserves are significant for a small nation, but not significant in terms of Europe’s demand. The US could do that. Or we could sell Europe windmills instead of gas.
Meant to include you in 11. I think there’s talk of a pipeline to Greece to sell to eastern Europe, but the reserves aren’t that significant on an international scale.
That’s interesting, if there’s a link out there I’d read it. They don’t come around much any more, and I didn’t talk to them when they did cause my dogs didn’t like them.
Gosh, that was, what, 41 years ago or something. I didn’t keep a copy!
To headline: No. Israel is lost to Europe. Been back since Wednesday, and how sweet it is.