Some people claim that the Judea and Samaria public relations effort, which is premised on our historical right in this land, is doomed for failure. This is also the perception that dominates Israel’s PR establishment.
Our diplomats say that we must not speak of the Bible and history, because it’s primitive; rather, we must only explain our security needs and point to the murderous behavior of the Palestinians. The enlightened world, say the diplomats, has no interest in irrational issues, but rather, only wishes to see practical arguments such as water, topography and security.
Yet there is no greater mistake. Those who seek an answer to the perpetual question of Israel’s PR failure should not resort to budgetary or tactical explanations. The problem is that the Palestinians have been arguing for dozens of years now that this land is theirs, while we have been responding with “true, but we need security.”
Amos Oz described it as follows: We, the Jewish people, drowned at sea, and found a lifesaver in a Land of Israel that belongs to the Palestinians. As we were facing an existential distress, we have the right to take part of the land from them.
Bible is our mandateIf this is our moral basis, we are undoubtedly doomed for failure. There is no wonder that the nations of the world would see us as robbers who pushed the Palestinian people out of their home. Regardless of how many PR campaigns we present regarding the Tel Aviv beach and our glorious high-tech industry, we shall remain robbers.
However, this is not the truth. This land is ours.
David Ben-Gurion expressed it well when he was asked by the Peel Commission about the Jewish people’s right for the land of Israel. He responded simply: The Bible is our mandate. He did not explain our right only by saying that we have no other shelter.
As long as we keep on utilizing practical arguments while leaving the arena of justice to the Palestinians, we shall lose. The time has come for the Israeli government to go back to the simple truth: The Land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel.
The writer is the Yesha Council’s director general