Changing the Narrative

Changing the Narrative

These days, when we think about Israel, we often think about how some people think negatively about Israel. We know that Israel has more than its share of problems, external threats and internal threats. The external threats are countries and groups in the Middle East and elsewhere who are sworn to destroy Israel. They are always an immediate threat to Israel’s survival. The internal issues are socio-economic and religious. We know all this.

But many people, including some American Jewish people, are more negative about Israel than they are about anything else. Other countries kill their own people, and the world is quiet. Israel sneezes and there is a UN resolution against it for hurting the environment.

When Israel fought for its survival in 47 and 48, at least some people in the world saw it as David fighting against the mighty Goliath of the Arab countries. And we all love a little boy David who fights a giant Goliath.

But after a number of wars for survival, Israel is been cast against Goliath who is fighting the Palestinian David. And everyone hates Goliath. And a Jewish Goliath, well, that’s really fun to hate.  

So the Israeli soldier, who is out there risking his and her life to defend their families and their countries, is portrayed as a storm trooper. You hear about Israeli soldiers all the time. They are all over the news. Usually, the media tries to portray Israeli soldiers in a negative way. They paint these heroes as villains – these kids, sometimes just 18 years of age, as evil or even as murderers.

I saw a music video recently. It is a Hamas video, and it is just chilling. It’s in Arabic with English subtitles and it’s about killing Jewish people and bombing Israel.

Free speech needs to have limits.  YouTube supposedly understands this and says they are clamping down.  However, this Hamas music video such as this one is on YouTube and as of this writing has not been taken off.  This is a perfect example of a video that goes way beyond the expression of a difference of opinion.  It is a clear call to kill Jewish people.  This kind of trash does not need to just be argued against.  There should not be any major platform for this kind of dangerous stuff.

I saw another music video and it shows an Israeli soldier playing a beautiful song. An IDF soldier is playing the piano with a gun on her shoulder. I think it’s on Ben Yehudah street in Jerusalem but I’m not sure. Someone just caught this on camera, purely a spontaneous moment. Why is there a gun on her shoulder? Because Israel must defend itself. But that doesn’t mean Israel is the villain. The way she plays the piano beautifully while displaying her gun is a microcosm of what Israel is: A strong defender, yet a peaceful player.

How beautiful is it for the Jewish people to play an instrument in their homeland? In their CAPITAL! Music is so central to Judaism. King David declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel thousands of years ago, and he was a musician!

And now, a hero in the Israel Defense Forces is playing music in the streets of Jerusalem – where Jews have been singing and dancing for centuries. It’s a beautiful link in the chain of the Jewish people’s history.

If you talk to Israeli soldiers, you know that they’re wonderful kids who love their country and who try, more than any other soldier in the world, to be restrained, even when under attack. These young heroes simply defend their homeland in the best way possible. And if the world just understood that they are humans who have families at home, fears and worries, talents and skills – maybe they would view Israeli soldiers differently.

What those of us who love Israel have to do is to try to change the narrative about Israel. The other side is very accomplished at depicting Israel as the villain.

Some time soon, there is going to be another war between Israel and Hamas. And if the present situation continues in the media, Israel will be denounced all over the world for its destruction. No one will tell the truth: that a whole segment of Israeli citizens live under the constant, sometimes daily, bombardment from Hamas in Gaza. No one will say that Israel has been incredible restrained and peaceful in refraining from defending itself.

My point right now is that since we know that the next war is coming soon, the friends of Israel should be working hard to explain that war before it happens. All that we would have to do would be to tell the truth about what Hamas has been doing for a very long time to try to kill Israelis. The truth is in short supply these days in this world; we should be the ones who tell it. And we should find ways to make the media show and tell the truth, before the lies, like bombs, rain down on us. The truth is in short supply these days; we should be the ones to tell it.