Israel has heroic military leaders, exceptional scientists, and the memory of WWII to survive; but what it has not is the capacity to put a human face on the tragedy of its existence by highlighting the lack of human face on its Arab neighbors.
Jails in Israel house militant terrorists and criminals but jails in Syria and Iran house prisoners of conscience; yet, Israel is the one condemned on the world stage for its abuse of human rights by none other than Syria and Iran.
Israeli doctors treat children of Hamas militants to save their lives, Syrian and Iranian government doctors routinely fake death certificates when prisoners die from torture; yet, Israel publicized the first part but never where it matters the most: How bad is the Syrian regime.
The Israeli Supreme Court defends more the rights of Arabs living in Israel while Syrian and Iranian courts imprison innocent civilians and hand down death sentences against their own people for political reasons; yet, there has never been a story publicized on this subject by the Israeli government supported by pictures and videos.
Today, because of that incompetence at highlighting the Syrian regime terror in ways to awaken the world’s conscience, Israel is paying the ultimate price by appearing to be the offender and not the victim. Killing your enemy from a sniper bullet fired from a moving boat is ultra fearsome but Syria just shot the whole country of Israel from another moving boat by using its mastery of propaganda.
It is not enough to highlight one’s good deeds in today’s fast moving news cycle. you have to have a strategy to highlight how bad your enemy is and use it whenever you can.
If a Kurdish conscript dies in Syria at the hands of his tormentors, expose it by diverting or using whatever assets you have inside Syria to highlight the terror of the Assad regime. Bringing the world’s attention to Syrian delivery of SCUD missiles to Hezbollah does not score points with 17-year old American teens or European housewives. But showing pictures of Syrian torture or Syrian cell jails or Syrian treatment of its own citizens will have a highly desired impact.
When Syria attacks Israel on its treatment of Hamas or its blockade against Gaza, show pictures of the violence perpetrated against civilians during a Newrooz celebration in Qamishli or when people try to demonstrate against the Assad regime. With today’s technology of micro cameras planted in buttons of jackets beaming wireless video to the outside world or satellite phones able to bypass the regime’s systems of monitoring its own people, it won’t be long before the world finds out what the Assad regime is all about. Syria is a laboratory of human rights abuses, yet no one bothers to use that information to gain an advantage against a regime using all tactics and methods to appear as the victim when the reality is just the opposite.
Israel is a democracy, which means accountability. Syria is an autocracy, which means corruption. Who has what bank accounts with how much money can go a long way to scare the elites of the Assad regimes and to fear for their future. How can you not use that information to your advantage when Assad is using his arch enemies Hamas, al-Qaeda, and Iraqi Ba’athists not only to gain an advantage over you but to pursue the Iranian policy of your annihilation?
Assad supports the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood through Hamas and yet systematically kills Syrian Muslim Brotherhood members in Syria. The last incident was the Sednaya prison uprising where the world still, to this day, does not know the exact number of Islamists killed. How many people know this? What do you think the people of Gaza would think when that information is beamed to them? How much pressure would that place on Hamas, by its own people, to seek answers from Syria? Divide and conquer using everyone and everything to get an advantage. Use the Islamists to confront Assad the way he uses them to confront Israel.
Similarly, the Kurdish population in Syria suffers from a huge deficit in human rights. Whether the abuse comes in the form of forbidding the Kurds to teach their own language or crushing their aspirations for freedom by a Ba’athist bigoted party. I have never seen a TV report comparing how Palestinians in the West Bank enjoy all their rights as compared to the Kurds of Syria. Make a Hollywood documentary on the subject. They both claim land ownership but the difference is how Assad treats his own citizens vs. Israel treating another people. Even more, publicize and send the Kurds of Syria a convoy of Kurdish songs and language tapes. The Iraqis will be more than happy to allow that convoy from their borders. Film how the convoy gets stopped or rather attacked if already inside Syria.
Today the real war is on TV and in Blogs. What Israel lacks is the real content to make its case against the Assad regime and the decision to stop treating Assad with kid’s gloves. He has been punching Israel over the last 10 years and yet the Israeli government still believes it can salvage him to become another Hafez. But from a bloody nose as a result of the war of 2006, Israel, today, is about to be knocked out. The country has entered a phase of survival and your patient is your killer.
It’s time to get serious about your content. Real serious.