Presenting Israel as the victim of Arab aggression is impossible, according to Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former consul general in the U.S. “In a sense we’re telling the world we’re a modern, industrialized country – with 120 firms traded on Nasdaq and GDP levels to rival the European Union, while trying to convince everyone that the Palestinians are a threat to us,” he said. “Even if that’s true there’s no way this is going to fly.” Israel’s advocates, he said, cannot “have their cake and eat it too.”
Noting that Japan, Sweden and “even Belgium which is a made up state” do not feel the need to defend their right to exist. Pinkas advised the students – who seemed to be shocked into silence by his words – instead to take it easy. “The whole preoccupation is apologetic by definition,” he added, “Yes to public diplomacy, no to apologetics. Let the Canadians defend their right to exist, not us,” he concluded.