Reprinted from Gush Shalom
IF THE British parliament had adopted a resolution in favor of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the reaction of our media would have been like this:
"In an atmosphere of great enthusiasm, the British parliament adopted with a huge majority (274 for, a mere 12 against) a pro-Israeli motion...Over half the seats were occupied, more than usual...the opponents of Israel were in hiding and did not dare to vote against..."
Unfortunately, the British parliament voted this week on a pro-Palestinian resolution, and our media reacted almost unanimously like this:
"The hall was half empty...there was no enthusiasm...a meaningless exercise...Only 274 Members voted for the resolution, which is not binding...Many Members stayed away altogether..."
Yet all our media reported on the proceedings at length, many related articles appeared in the newspapers. Quite a feat for such a negligible, unimportant, insignificant, inconsequential, trivial, petty act.
A day before, 363 Jewish Israeli citizens called upon the British Parliament to adopt the resolution, which calls for the British government to recognize the State of Palestine. The signatories included a Nobel Prize laureate, several winners of the highest Israeli civilian award, 2 former cabinet ministers and four former members of the Knesset (including myself), diplomats and a general.
The official propaganda machine did not go into action. Knowing that the resolution would be adopted anyhow, it tried to downplay the event as far as possible. The Israeli ambassador in London could not be reached.
WAS IT a negligible event? In a strictly procedural sense it was. In a broader sense, far from it. For the Israeli leadership, it is the harbinger of very bad news.
A few days before, a similar news item came from Sweden. The newly elected leftist prime minister announced that his government was considering the recognition of the State of Palestine in the near future.
Sweden, like Britain, was always considered a "pro-Israeli" country, loyally voting against "anti-Israel" resolutions in the UN. If such important Western nations are reconsidering their attitudes towards the policy of Israel, what does it mean?
Another unexpected blow came from the South. The Egyptian dictator, Muhammad Abd-al-Fatah al-Sisi, disabused the Israeli leadership of the notion that the "moderate" Arab states would fill the ranks of our allies against the Palestinians. In a sharp speech, he warned his new-found soul-mate, Binyamin Netanyahu, that the Arab states would not cooperate with Israel before we make peace with a Palestinian state.
Thus he punctured the newly inflated balloon floated by Netanyahu -- that pro-American Arab states, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar, would become open allies of Israel.
IN South America, public opinion has already shifted markedly against Israel. The recognition of Palestine is gaining ground in official circles, too. Even in the US, unconditional support for the Israeli government seems to be wavering.
What the hell is going on?
WHAT IS going on is a profound, perhaps tectonic change in the public attitude towards Israel.