My Letter in response
RE: Jeet Heer: Losing the PR War and the Diaspora
While I believe Jeet is right about Israel losing face with even young Jews, especially those who live nowhere near any rocket attacks or suicide bombers, I feel he has missed the real point.
There has been an undeclared war going on for years against Israel. It is a peculiar thing that I do not remember any Israeli attacks on Palestinians when there were no rockets or suicide bombers against Israel.
So to suggest that Israel is being disproportionate in its response leads to the the question which nobody has answered, “What is proportionate?” And what war has ever counted the quantity of shells and bullets as a measure of the rightness of winning the war? Can’t you just hear it now. “Hitler has sent only 100 V2 rockets over London, so we have to stop bombing Germany because we have used 200 more bombs than they have. To be fair, we have to wait until they catch up.”
That idea of somehow measuring quantity of armaments used seems to be the domain of Quixotes. In a war, you fight to win. There is and has been an almost continuous war against Israel from its creation with brief lulls usually after Israel has soundly defeated the enemies of its existence.
I would suggest that the PR war can never be won. It is not just young Jews far from the battles who hate Israel. It is the media, the CBC, the intelligentsia, the young of all racial backgrounds. They have not known real war and therefore their fantasies of it are shaped by their contemporaries in the media who have the same experience.
War seems terrible to anyone unless you are in the middle of a battlezone. Then for some reason, the survival instinct overpowers other intellectual meanderings. Those agreeing with Israel’s enemies should spend a month’s vacation in Sderot and then write from the other side of their brain.