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Guardian: Israel's Dual Reality

Israelis believe in peace, yet the Palestinian issue is met with apathy – except by our leaders, who see it just as a PR problem

Author: Aluf Benn
February 4, 2010


In this The Guardian op-ed, Aluf Benn talks about the discrepancy between how Israelis view their country and how it is viewed from the outside, offering an explanation for why American efforts to resume the Israeli-Palestinian talks fail to interest Israelis.

Israel's image problem abroad is down to one issue: the stark and growing difference between how Israelis view their country, and how it is seen from outside. This explains the anger and insult that Israelis feel when they watch themselves on the BBC or CNN. It can't possibly be us, they protest, the networks must be biased and pro-Arab.

From the outside, Israel is defined by its everlasting conflict with its Arab neighbours, the Palestinians in particular. The vast majority of international news stories reflect this perception, depicting Israel as one-half of either war or peace talks. Occupation stories like Gaza under siege, new construction in West Bank settlements, or demolition of Palestinians' homes in East Jerusalem, are prime-time stuff.

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