International bullying and how to defeat it

What Israel has to deal with:

  1. Idiotic ‘humanitarian’ flotillas where there are no humanitarian needs
  2. A planned ‘fly-in’ of activists to Ben-Gurion Airport
  3. Constant attacks from the UN and NGOs
  4. A planned “anti-racism” conference by the UN, which supposedly represents the “world community” that will be a hate-Israel event, despite the fact that Israel is one of the least racist countries in the world
  5. Distortions and outright lies about Israel in perhaps 80% of the world media on a daily basis
  6. Consistent prejudice in the academic world in most countries — including the ‘friendly’ US — educating a generation to see Israel as evil and illegitimate
  7. A concerted effort to rewrite history to make Israel responsible for the conflict and for the failures of the Arab world
  8. A world-wide double standard that vilifies Israel while keeping silent about horrible genocides and racial-ethnic violence perpetrated by such as Omar al-Bashir
  9. Attempts at economic, academic and cultural boycotts
  10. The need for constant vigilance to prevent terrorist attacks, aimed at the most vulnerable members of society — and sometimes the need to heal from successful ones
  11. Constant pressure from superpowers to give up land and security despite Israel’s history of being attacked and its tiny size and lack of strategic depth
  12. A credible threat of a massive rocket attack from its viciously antisemitic neighbors at any moment
  13. A country that is both developing nuclear weapons and saying every other day that “Israel will disappear”

That’s just off the top of my head. You can probably add to the list.

One of the worst parts of it is how all of this negative force has been internalized by many Israelis, who start to believe that maybe they really don’t deserve to have a state. Maybe they should all get back on a boat to Poland, despite the fact that about half of them came from the Middle East or Africa. This is apparently the position of Ha’aretz, considered Israel’s ‘most important’ newspaper by many outside of Israel.

Although the objective is deadly serious — the destruction of a nation and the death or dispersal of a people — there is nothing that this constellation of behavior resembles more than bullying. Let me quote a definition from Wikipedia:

Bullying is abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, sex or ability.

The “imbalance of power” may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a “target.”

Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. Bullying can be defined in many different ways. Although the UK currently has no legal definition of bullying, some U.S. states have laws against it.

Bullying ranges from simple one-on-one bullying to more complex bullying in which the bully may have one or more ‘lieutenants’ who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse. Robert W. Fuller has analyzed bullying in the context of rankism.

Bullying can occur in any context in which human beings interact with each other. This includes school, church, family, the workplace, home and neighborhoods. It is even a common push factor in migration. Bullying can exist between social groups, social classes and even between countries (see jingoism). In fact on an international scale, perceived or real imbalances of power between nations, in both economic systems and in treaty systems, are often cited as some of the primary causes of both World War I and World War II.

Bullying behavior has been studied quite a bit by psychologists, as well as related concepts like the lynch mob, scapegoating, blaming the victim, etc. All of this can be related to Israel’s treatment as a nation. While childhood bullying often begins spontaneously, the international bullying of the Jewish state was originally orchestrated by its enemies. Once started, though, bullying takes on a life of its own, in which new bullies are attracted to someone that has been marked as a target, much like chickens in a chicken house may swarm an injured bird and peck it to death.

The more sophisticated bullies devote considerable ingenuity in developing schemes to humiliate as well as hurt their victims, as well as to recruit new bullies. In the case of Israel, the phenomenon is amplified by the conscious effort of the bully leaders to increase the pressure and the natural tendency of people with ‘bully’ personalities to sense a victim and attack.

Major bullies include left-wing academics, who were probably bullied themselves at school and have a need to strike back, and President Obama, whose statement in his May 19 speech that the world is ‘tired’ of the endless conflict — intended to be understood as ‘the world is tired of Israel’, since he blames the lack of a solution on Israel’s refusal to make enough concessions — is a classic expression of contempt for the target of bullying.

In its particularly vicious way, Hamas’ captivity of Gilad Shalit and its escalating demands, the mixture of humiliation with arbitrary violence, is precisely bullying behavior. And Israel’s measured responses are interpreted as submission, a trigger for even more bullying.

In the case of the child bullied by older or tougher schoolmates, the solution is difficult. But where the target of bullying — as in the case of Israel vs. Hamas or vs. the international activist-bullies — is stronger than than the bullies, there is a clear solution.

It is the application of disproportionate force. As innumerable parents have told their children — at least, in my generation they told them this — “stand up and fight. Give them a lesson they won’t forget!”

In the international arena, this is called maintaining deterrence.

Technorati Tags: ,

3 Responses to “International bullying and how to defeat it”

  1. NormanF says:

    Israel has done that by standing up to the Flotilla Of Fools. All you have to do to stop being bullied is to turn the tables on the bully.

    And if you stand up enough to them, you earn their respect. Israel may not always get it right but it learns its lessons and is more able to meet its enemies on its own terms.

    Deploying lawfare against them has shown Israel is not resigned to losing the war against it. The lesson is Israel does not have to degrade itself by cowering and surrendering to its enemies to buy peace.

    It can fight back and show it has what it takes to survive. After the way the flotilla incident has been managed, the so-called “September tsunami” now looks like something Israel can also successfully contain, if not defeat.

    All it takes is courage.

  2. Robman says:

    This might explain the recent frantic efforts of both Obama and even the EU of late, in the way of trying to talk Abbas out of his unilateral bid for statehood this September. They know it will likely lead to a war…which will be the perfect opportunity for a “cornered” Israel to teach her enemies a “lesson” they will never forget.

  3. Shalom Freedman says:

    It’s all true though I had not quite of thought of it this way before i.e. in terms of the concept of ‘bullying’. I now realize another reason why I so deeply appreciate FresnoZionism and why I think it is the very best site I know of , writing in support of Israel. i.e. It not only knows the ‘facts of the situation’ and the ‘realities on the ground’ in a excellent way, it in fact ‘thinks about’ them in original and insightful ways.
    I thank you for this outstanding piece. I agree that unfortunately it could be much longer.