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Israel's Public Relations Opportunity
Last uploaded : Wednesday 11th Sep 2002 at 00:09
Contributed by : Jeremy Bar-Illan



Israel's effort to maintain national security has always been accompanied by negative press. It seems that all efforts made to keep violence in check are looked at as imperialist actions against a downtrodden people. Comparisons
to apartheid in South Africa and vile statements made about Sharon being as bad as Hitler seem to be inevitable. No matter how wholesome the Israeli government's efforts are, the never-ending anti-Semitism evident around the world has painted Israel as a villain.

While Israel has no choice but to turn a cheek to these ludicrous allegations, she may often pass up opportunities to bolster positive public
opinion. And while positive public opinion may not be a necessary ingredient for survival, it would make the process of creating security much less of an uphill battle. The opportunities to create an undeniable positive profile are fleeting, however, and Israel is often too busy keeping suicide bombers off her streets to recognize them. One of these opportunities is now evident and Israel must act fast to capitalize on what would be an undeniable act of peace and altruism.

Recently a Palestinian woman with eight children was forced by her Palestinian captors to confess on video that she was helping Israel . The
group consisted of members of the Palestinian Al Aqsa brigade, a group that is a part of Arafat's legion. Afterwards, she was summarily shot and killed as a spy, leaving her children abandoned and left to be shunned by the rest of the Palestinian population. Frightened family members, fearing for their own lives refused to be a part of any effort to shelter the children who are now looked upon as evil and tainted undesirables. A desperate uncle was the only one to offer help, risking his own life and any possibility of a positive future. These orphans have been stigmatized and will remain so as
long as they live among their own people.

Whether or not their mother was an Israeli operative or even if she was only responsible for passing information along to the Israelis once is
irrelevant. Her intentions were most likely rooted in her frustration with the horrible job that the Palestinian authority has done in looking after their own. The Palestinian Authority diverts attention from their corruption
and greed by keeping their people impoverished and wanting for basic needs in order to keep the focus of their hatred on Israel. A process that has been championed by all Arab despots for as long as Israel has been in existence. But this situation is unique in that it offers Israel an
opportunity to show the world that it is very different to say the least.

While Israel raises its children to love and be peaceful, Palestinian children are consistently taught from birth to hate Israelis. The difference in upbringings should be manifested now by Israel. Israel should embrace these orphans as their own and dare the international community to find a way to skew this act of peace and altruism as an imperialist act. While
chances remain that someone will find a way to turn the act into nothing more than an effort at manipulation, Israel should capitalize on the moment anyway, as part of their process of creating security. The children would be happy on a flourishing kibbutz and the rest of the Palestinian children might actually start to second-guess the trash that is fed to them on a
daily basis.

Indeed, if Israel begins a process of adopting unwanted Palestinian children or dropping food for those that are ignored by their own leaders, Palestinians everywhere will begin to see the difference between leaders who would rather send their children out as suicide bombers than provide them with adequate food and shelter.

Palestinian leaders know what the result would be if the millions, if not billions, of dollars in aid to the Palestinians that have been diverted to such places as Arafat's personal bank accounts had actually ended up helping the Palestinian people. The so-called refugee camps would no longer appear like dustbins of impoverishment. The Palestinian people's hatred of the west
and Israel might wane. And children might think twice about sacrificing their lives as suicide bombers. If the Palestinian leaders refuse to help their own, then Israel should feed the hungry and make sure the Palestinians and the world know where it is coming from.

So the next time an Israeli unit has to go into the west bank to capture a terrorist, they should stop at the home or orphanage that these eight
children are living in, put them in their armored vehicle and carry them to safety in Israel. In addition, the next time Israel has to blow a hate
filled terrorist out of a car, on the way to the target they can drop a load of food and necessities off. Eventually, any human being will be able to tell the difference between a warring people and a peaceful people. Even the brainwashed Palestinians.
Jeremy Bar-Illan is President & Chief Investment Strategist of BAR-ILLAN CAPITAL
MANAGEMENT, an independent full service investment company located in New
York City.
JewishComment is grateful to Sheila Raviv for introducing Jeremy Bar-Illan to us.

Guest opinions on JewishComment are not necessarily those of the website and are solely the opinion of the contributor.


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