The Relegitimization of Israel and the Battle for the Mainstream Consensus

The purpose of delegitimization on a nation is to bring about its downfall or even destruction. The side that initiates a campaign of delegitimization endeavors to obliterate the history, national identity, culture, and rights of the other as a sovereign state, particularly the right of self-defense. There should be no misunderstanding: The ultimate goal of delegitimization is neither reconciliation nor peace but politicide.
After the Second Intifada failed to bring about the collapse of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and its allies, notably Iran, have resorted to intensive political warfare.
To reverse this process, a serious campaign of relegitimization is necessary in order to retake lost ground. There is a need to change the world consensus of public opinion. A campaign of good news about Israel may be suitable for marketing and branding but does not come to grips with the real problem.
Even a torrent of “good news” will not move elite public opinion, which is comprised of intellectuals, newspaper and TV editors, professors, teachers, clergymen (and women), writers of textbooks, and policy-makers. This group needs to be engaged, challenged, and convinced.
If Israel intends to regain its legitimacy, it must advance its historical claims aggressively and forcefully. The Jewish state cannot permit others to define its identity or distort its past. It is necessary to discredit the fraudulent claims of the other side and expose its lies. Israel must defend its sovereignty and take its rightful place in the community of nations. These are the responsibilities of nationhood.  (Joel Fishman – Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs-Israel Council on Foreign Relations)
The writer is a historian and a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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