by Joshua Muravchik. Encounter Books. 296 pages. Hardcover $25.99.
At once impassioned and clear-headed, this abundantly researched discussion of Israel’s decline in world public opinion is necessary reading for all who care about this highly vulnerable country. How is it that an innovative, democratic, peace-seeking nation keeps losing the propaganda war? Murovchik shows us how in a series of well-crafted chapters.
The author begins by reminding readers of the high esteem with which Israel was generally regarded in the first decades following its declaration of nationhood. To some measure, that esteem grew out of how the tiny new nation had overcome seemingly insurmountable odds—and continued to do so.
Over time, however, various forces dimmed the luster of the glorious David. The chapter entitled “The Arab Cause Becomes Palestinian (and ‘Progressive’)” outlines the story well, exploring the psychological warfare in Arab and Muslim politics that slowly repositioned David and Goliath. Israel was positioned not as threatened by the Muslim masses, but as the demonical usurper of Palestinian rights. Losing underdog status in world opinion was a major blow.
Terrorist assaults on Israel did one kind of damage, constantly diverting resources. Assaults on Jewish institutions in Europe weakened the moral fiber of European nations and also released latent anti-Semitism. On top of this, Arab countries were able to use the petroleum weapon to make Europe cower. The message was clear: If you want oil, detach yourself from Israel in every possible way. . . .
To read the entire review, at it appears on the Jewish Book Council web site and in the Winter 2014 issue of Jewish Book World, click here: Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel