By Rony Yedidia-Clein, Minister-Counsellor for Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Israel in London
As Israel’s defence forces are fighting to protect Israelis from rocket and attack tunnels, supporters of Israel are engaged in a parallel campaign here in the UK to explain the threat posed by Palestinian terrorist groups, and the need for an effective response.
The British government has from the outset shown an understanding for Israel’s challenges and the dangers posed by Hamas, including forthright statements by Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary Foreign Philip Hammond. At the same time, these issues need to be explained in the public arena.
This can be particularly challenging, particularly in the light of the cynical strategy adopted by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to embed terrorist infrastructure in densely-populated areas in order to increase the number of Palestinian casualties.
As a result, on TV and radio, in social media and on the streets, there is a flood of images and a narrative which is both emotive and misleading. In such an environment, supporters of Israel often need to show genuine courage to stand up and speak out in defence of our country.
We at the embassy cannot reach everyone. We cannot do this explaining alone.
We need our friends in the Jewish community and beyond to speak up in their support of the current efforts to free Israelis and Palestinians alike from the brutal violence imposed by the Hamas regime.