Right to exist
In 2008, the State of Israel celebrated its 60th anniversary. Although it is still the only fully democratic country in the Middle East, Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is not only still questioned but this sentiment has proliferated. This is due to incitement among the large Islamic Diaspora where Muslims greatly outnumber Jewish populations in most Western countries.
The liberal free press has greatly contributed to this new wave of de-legitimization both overtly and insidiously in the way that middle-East is reported and commented upon.
Israel’s intervention in Gaza to protect its border towns has created a new surge of anti-Israel hatred providing new excuses for its de-legitimization.
Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in peace, security, stability and prosperity is not a sine-qua non among many of the world’s population especially, but not only, among developing nations.
For Jews around the world, the State of Israel is a special place. Israel’s well-being is central to Jewish life.
Jews around the world are proud of Israel’s achievements over the last 60 years and support those who continue to build and defend Israel.
Like every other legitimate state, Israel has a right to defend itself against any acts of aggression that threaten its citizens.
The World Jewish Community must try to activate the prodigious wealth of Jewish talent in the field of public relations to counter adverse images of Israel and its people, in the media, on the internet, and by articulate spokespersons who attack it.
Israel’s international relations
Israel is not treated like any other state. It does not have diplomatic relations with a number of states and is often singled out for criticism by international organisations such as the UN.
Governments must apply the same standards to Israel when judging its actions compared with those of other countries.
Israel should not be singled out for criticism by countries which do not themselves adhere to the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Israel needs to be treated fairly in international organisations, especially in United Nations bodies such as the Human Rights Council.
All countries should recognize Israel's right to exist, and be open to developing diplomatic ties with Israel.
Launching the Annapolis process in November 2007, US president George Bush expressed hope that a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians could be reached by the end of 2008. However, the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas and the continued instability in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories has complicated peace talks.
A negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians based on a two-state solution is the only legitimate and just way to provide for a lasting peace.
The nascent Palestinian state should respect the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. A Palestinian state can only be founded if it respects Israel’s right to exist in security.
Initiatives that help to enable the Palestinians to advance economically and socially should also be supported as a means of stabilising the peace process.
"I will not be silent and we will not be silent," Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told Christians recently about Jewish support for persecuted Christians.
An Italian member of the European Parliament denounced the participation of some of his colleagues in the homecoming reception in Ramallah for 26 Palestinian prisoners in October.
The Methodist consultation in Britain on the Israel boycott campaign is a most welcome change to what has become the normal attitude to Israel-related issues in the church.
At a WJC-sponsored forum in Jerusalem the ambassadors to Israel of the US, Russia and Germany discussed prospects for the Middle East. Yair Lapid, Avigdor Lieberman and Rick Perry ...
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