Israel’s narrative portrayed the country as a David facing an Arab Goliath. Although the 1967 war changed this reality, Israel’s narrative never really caught up.
In the aftermath of the flotilla fiasco, it is not just Israel’s military tactics and its blockade of Gaza that need a thorough reexamination. Its narrative does, too. A dose of empathy might be a place to start. Israel will not break by military force and tough rhetoric alone the political and moral double standards by which the world judges its actions. But it can make its case better by tempering force with diplomacy, by caring as much about the humanitarian distress among Palestinians as it does about humanitarian causes elsewhere in the world, and by developing a storyline infused with the moral and ethical standards by which Israelis judge their own behavior.