‘No occupation’: New Israeli PR campaign stresses ‘the Bible as the deed to our land’

This emphasis on history will drive home the message there that “we have not occupied any territory, there is no occupation,” says the new minister of Public Diplomacy.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan (Likud) said Monday that it is time to go on the offensive in explaining Israel’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The campaign will also focus on the Arab world, demonstrating that “there is no occupation,” she said.

“I think that the public diplomacy line has to go on the attack,” she said in an interview on Israel Radio about the new international campaign she is planning to lead.

“Let’s check for a minute what the Palestinian Authority is, let’s examine who is really to blame for the bitter fate of the Palestinian people. Let’s see how corrupt the PA is, let’s see what happened in Gaza the second we got out of there. It could be that these people are victims of their government…

“We in Israel extended a hand for peace starting with the [1947] Partition Plan up to the ’90s, when we offered almost 99% of what they asked for,” she continued.

“What kind of despairing and occupied nation nonchalantly refuses” such a deal? she asked rhetorically. “Maybe it wants something different.”

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In addition to debunking Palestinian claims regarding the conflict, the minister, who was appointed last Monday, said that Israel must do a better job emphasizing the ancient Jewish ties to its land, which would help put the issue into perspective.

Referencing the Bible as the “deed” of the Jewish people to Israel, and especially to the region of Judea and Samaria, will be a major focus of the campaign, since “people do not know about this.”

This historical ignorance is particularly acute in the Arab world, she said, where “many people…have fallen sway to mistaken information and incitement.”

This emphasis on history will drive home the message there that “we have not occupied any territory, there is no occupation.”

Gaining more of the Arab world’s understanding will help solve the Palestinian issue, Atbaryan added, giving credit to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the idea of “changing the equation.”

“Instead of solving one percent, which is the Palestinian problem, and then hope that 99% of the Arab world will come towards us, have the 99%…with us, and then the Palestinian problem will be solved through dialogue, together with the Arab world,” she said.

“There is simply no other solution,” she insisted. “The solution that the Left suggests is not only inapplicable, it’s a real strategic danger for Israel.”

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The country “is not going to become narrower, when we see the Gaza Strip as a ‘promo,’ when we see what happens when we leave any area, when we see that the real significance of any kind of partition is that at the end, the airport of a democracy will be paralyzed because it’s 30 seconds away from missiles coming in from Samaria,” the minister said.