Why does Israel have a negative image across the Middle East?

comes form Lifta/Jerusalem and Ijzim/Haifa

There are two major reasons why Israel’s image is so negative in the Middle East. The photo above illustrates the first reason, and the photo below illustrates the second.

The image above is by the artist Spencer Tunick [See Spencer Tunick: a history of mass nudity ], whose career has been devoted to taking photographs of large groups of nude people in public locations.

This particular image is of 1,000 Israelis in a nude shoot in the Dead Sea.

The term “Middle East” hides the fact that the region is largely Muslim and culturally Arab and that the Jewish state is a violent colonial imposition on the region – both politically and culturally (see below for an explanation). To the vast majority of people in the Arab world, such liberal, some might say hedonistic, displays as the activity depicted in the photograph are anathema.

The art event portrayed in Tunick’s photograph of nude Israelis took place in the Dead Sea in the heart of a Muslim Arab conservative region, where many women still swim with all their clothes on. This image illustrates how the violent imposition on Palestine of a colonial state with a Western ethos in the form of Israel can be out of place in the region and a target of detestation. [Note: Thanks to Damon Atherly for alerting me that the original photo I posted of Tunick’s work was from a shoot in Australia. I have replaced it with the correct image from the Dead Sea with an Israeli crowd].

Israel, in other words, is an interloper - it does not belong in the Arab world where it was planted by force, against the will of its Palestinian-Arab inhabitants, both Muslim and Christian - the overwhelming majority in 1947–48. The Western colonizers who founded the apartheid state [See UN Report: Israel imposes 'apartheid regime' on Palestinians] have imposed many elements of their culture on Palestine (some good, some bad) while at the same time stealing (co-opting), not only land and erasing Palestinian history [See UN and EU: Israel needs to stop stealing Palestinian lands] but also traditional Palestinian Arab culture and food and making it their own.

Hummus and falafel are already "Israeli." Now they're coming for Palestine's olive oil too
 Zionism’s cultural appropriation of indigenous Palestinian folklore and cuisine – such as hummus, falafel and maftoul – as “Israeli” has long irked Palestinians, especially when these same cultural products are used in international propaganda and marketing efforts which deny Palestinians’ rights and history.

Now, Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank are attempting to steal perhaps the most important symbol and source of economic sustenance for rural Palestinians: olive oil and olive culture.

The image below illustrates the second reason why Israel’s image is so negative in the Arab world.

This is a a photograph of a Palestinian rally, taken in Nablus, occupied West Bank on April 23, 2017, showing a solidarity rally with the mass hunger strike organized by Palestinian prisoners. Over 800,000 Palestinian men women and children have seen the inside of an Israeli prison since 1967 [See Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli Prisons http://www.europarl.europa.eu/me...]

 To put the second image in perspective and sum up the nature of the tragic consequences of the establishment of a colonial Jewish state in Palestine in the heart of the Arab world, read Ramzy Baroud’s article

Israel's violent birth callously required the destruction of a whole nation - one with a unique history, language, culture and collective memory. Therefore, the Palestinian people had to be wiped out to quell any possible sense of Israeli guilt, shame and legal and moral responsibility for what had befallen millions of a dispossessed people.

If a problem does not exist, then one is under no obligation to fix it. Thus, the denial of the Palestinian was the only intellectual formulation that would allow Israel to sustain and promote its national myths.

… Incapable of sustaining its founding myths, yet unable to offer an alternative, the Israeli government is now using coercive measures to respond to the budding movement: punishing those who insist on commemorating the Nakba, fining organisations that participate in such events and even perceiving as traitors any Jewish individuals and groups that deviate from its official thinking.

… It seems that nearly 70 years after the founding of Israel, the past is still looming large.

Alex Jouravlev

Abstraction Consultant

77w ago

Anti-Zionism was the foundation and justification of existing regimes in several Muslim countries:

Saudi Arabia: House of Saud used anti-Zionism and support of al-Husseini as a battle cry against the established Hashemite dynasty. De-humanizing Israel is justification of Saudi rule over the Arabian peninsula.Iran: Shah was quite friendly with Israel - Khomeini made Israel an Iranian problem, declared Jerusalem a holy Muslim city and instituted a national day of hate of Israel. Once again, anti-Zionism is part of their claim to power.Egypt: the creator of the contemporary Egyptian state, Gamal Nasser, made his name fighting against Israel in 1948, then lost all other wars against Israel. De-humanizing Israel is the way to turn loosing the war against numerically inferior opponent into a heroic struggle.Syria: for several decades the Alawite rulers were using opposition to Israel as their claim to power.

Most of these rulers were hopping on anti-Jewish hysteria created by a talented propagandist Haj Amin al-Husseini, who at some stages was taking guidance from the history's most talented, distinguished and evil propagandist: Joseph Goebbels.

It looks like the only leaders who favored Israel were long-established hereditary rulers who were [mistakenly] confident in their hold on power and wanted to bring their countries to the forefront of civilization: Shah and up to some point Hashemites.

The problem was massively amplified by USSR meddling in Middle East, who brought anti-Israel propaganda to a whole new level: it became a science. Full-time academics were developing, with proper scientific methods and on the basis of evidence, the most effective ways to portray Israel as evil. Mahmoud Abbas' Ph.D is in that science. From that point on, it was a centrally organised and scientifically based campaign of blanket dehumanization. Some international event on the rights of women - Arab countries blame everything on Israel. Ophthalmologists or Endocrinologists meet to discuss new developments - someone from an Arab country will talk about crimes of Zionism.

Try to imagine what was happening internally - a non-stop all-permeating propaganda that was more intense and active for much longer than the Nazi’s or Stalin's. This propaganda was never opposed by the USA or Israel, even US allies were spending US money on it. Think of Germans in 1941 or Soviets in 1956 - Arabs suffered higher degree of brainwash, it can only be compared to what North Koreans have endured.

Barbara More

All people here shared negative pictures of Israel:

Let me first show you what anti-Israelis wouldn't tell you.

חיילים נותנים אוכל לילדים פלשתינאים (soldiers giving their food to Palestinian young boys)

צפו: לוחמת מג״ב נותנת את הארוחה שלה לילד רעב בחברון (watch: a combat in Israeli borders police gives her dinner to a hungry boy in Hebron)

I'd like you to watch this video where Israeli arabs are talking about IDF and Israel:

Watch also these:

Israel Hayom ישראל היום (it isn't the same link)

Here's another IDF soldiers giving a Palestinian women his food

פניות הציבור (a Palestinian man, who his father found Hamas speaking about israel)

So all the comments here are telling you how bad Israel is, what they do to Palestinians and arabs and that's what makes the other countries in the Middle East hate Israel. I'd like to let you know that Israel has helped Syrian injured more than any other Arab country although Syria is an enemy of Israel and they don't have any relations (their current status is ‘war’). Israelis help Syrians cross the border and they take them to Israeli hospitals and take care of them for free! Some are hospitalized for months and they pay nothing!

The comments here are talking about what Israel did to Gaza. Hamas hides weapons in hospitals and rockets in schools and private residences. Before Israel is about to bomb those places, they let people know by a phone call and letter so the Palestinians will have the opportunity to run. Hamas used Palestinians as human shields.

My dear, the only reason Israel has such a negative view in other middle eastern countries is because they are Jewish and because of the Palestinian lie. Remember that in 1948 only few days after Israel was established right next to a Palestinian state, all the other Arab countries attacked them. At the time there was no‘occupied Palestine’ and no ‘Palestinians bombed in gaza’. It was just because Israelis are Jewish

Valentin Angelo Iseli

I read about the history in the Middle East.

59w ago

The massacre of Sabra and Shattila overseen by the Israeli Army.

Israel’s governement has blood on their hands (see the massacres of Sabra and Shattila), which the Israeli Army oversaw and did nothing. The Phalanges (their christian allies) killed children, families, men and women. The israeli army just watched and let the killers in.

Also: Israeli government even classifies peaceful protests as a reason to kill Palestinians or at least that’s what the Economist wrote:

Here are some numbers to illustrate:

Especially look at the number of deaths on each side (1 israeli civilian death per 1000 palestinian civilians deaths).

Like some other author mentionned: It is true that the media uses the wrong pictures and often the wrong information. The Economist in general is better in this regard. Even tough there is a lot of bullshit around, some of it is true.

Not only one side is guilty of the conflict (there are attacks from the Hamas, but you can see in the stats how ineffective it is) and Israel’s government increasingly adds to their side of the scale.

Of course there are other examples like the 4 day war, which was I think understandable and a strategic masterpiece on the side of the Israelis, which showed their fighting prowess, but this brings me to a different point:

Disclaimer: I do not own this picture and just googled it, no guarantee.

The Israeli government isn’t the weak, persecuted minority anymore, they have the best educated and equipped army in the region and aren’t afraid of using it. They feared the Anti-Jew movements so much, they became the culprit themselves. They should know better and should be ashamed.

If we stay ignorant to one side we will never solve the conflict. We should know the ground on both sides, before we start building bridges.

PS: I believe there is a lot of negative feelings against the state of Israel for the wrong reasons. Anti-semitism and warmongering to lead people away from inner political problems, to name two, but the situation in Palestine illustrates that some of those feelings are partially understandable.


Why does Israel have a negative image across the Middle East? Why does Israel have a negative image across the Middle East?

Reviewed by Unknown on January 08, 2018 Rating: 5

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