for Israel, while the country is today safer, quieter and more prosperous than ever, it is facing a severe diplomatic crisis. As the storm over the United Nations report on Israel’s attack on Gaza shows, not only are the country’s tactics under assault but so is its very legitimacy as calls for boycott and criminal prosecution grow. Its important relationship with Turkey, a moderate Muslim country, is under threat.
Ari Shavit, a columnist for the liberal newspaper Haaretz, wrote on Thursday that both Britain in 1917 and the United Nations in 1947 recognized the Jewish people’s right to establish a Jewish state. Yet “as Israel gets stronger, its legitimacy is melting away,” he wrote. “A national movement that began as ‘legitimacy without an entity’ is becoming ‘an entity without legitimacy’ before our very eyes.”
Many Israelis respond that their self-preservation comes ahead of their reputation, that the swiftness and harshness with which their actions are condemned show that the world judges them by a double standard. Others say the isolation looks worse abroad than here.