Something bad is happening to Israel lately ("lately" is an amazingly flexible term.) The entire world, if you haven't noticed, is against us. Anti-Semitism is surging in Europe. Headstones are being shattered, graffiti sprayed, Jewish targets attacked, and in the country of Heine and Goethe they respond nonchalantly, as if saying "it won't happen here" (where have we heard that before?)
At the same time, France is embracing the amicable Hamas and granting Ismail Haniyeh titles reminiscent of Joan of Arc, because the French love revolutions. And in neighboring England, Cherie Blair is already collecting empty boxes for packing, and who knows what kind of a leader will replace the young militant Englishman, and what type of counter-anti-Zionist agenda he will advocate to placate the well mannered British people, whose sons have already spilled enough tea in Fallujah.
Even the boycott of the Hamas government by "our great ally" the US took just as long as it does to devour a Big Mac, and in the UN building in New York, the red carpet is being weaved ahead of "modern-day Hitler's" visit - no other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, our dear friend. And these are just a few of the prominent examples, but by no means the only ones demonstrating Israel's and Judaism's decline worldwide.
Once we were real heroes, a few against many, the righteous against the evil, a burning ember plucked from the fire, Yoni Netanyahu at Entebbe and Motta Gur at the Western Wall. We were "Maccabi" at Moscow and "Milk and Honey" at the Eurovision Song Contest. So what has happened? We have been weaned. We became a nation and became more sophisticated and less righteous, as is the way of nations. Only our national consciousness has remained that of a young, spoiled child who easily misses the big picture.
We need maturity
And in the big picture, the world's wagon has for hundreds of years been climbing out of the mud, breaking away shaft by shaft into the modern world with its abundance of layers. Just half a century ago we were that wagon bogged in the mud. Although we have since been extricated, this didn't prevent (and doesn't prevent) us from behaving as though we are still bogged down. The world, on its part, has made progress, and is now proceeding to release other bogged nations: The Iraqis, Afghans and even the Palestinians. And they expects us (and rightfully so) to join the rescue effort.
But we don't feel like getting rid of the status of a bogged wagon wheel, with all its accompanying benefits; for years we believed that this was the way to elicit the world's guilt forever. And here comes the world and it is correcting us with hints of legitimate anti-Semitism and praise for Hamas, and now our "victimization" is not only being interpreted as refusal to assist in the global effort to bring about peace and wellbeing, but also as preventing resources from those who really need them. We are not only weighing down the wagon, we are submerging it.
What do we need? We need maturity. A change in the nation's psychological perception. We need to extricate ourselves from the position of a people for whom circumstances dictate life, and take responsibility as a nation of the world. We need to cease making comparisons between us and the Palestinians such as "who is right," because we are a nation, and what are they? Obviously we don't need to dispatch our local Condoleezza, Tzipi Livni, and the gypsy and bear street show - former Tourist Minister Isaac Herzog and top model Bar Refaeli.
The problem is not in our image, but in our perception. And any political PR that stems from it will be defective.