In a Radio New Zealand interview this week, Karen Hay discussed Trump’s move to Jerusalem and the surrounding issues with Associate Professor, Stephen Hoadley. Declaring that his sympathies lay with Israel, Hoadley highlighted some truths about the situation that are often overlooked.
Hoadley’s view of the current situation was that the US move to Jerusalem would not make a great deal of difference in the greater scheme of things. There would be violence which would be be short-lived but none of the essential issues in solving the crises would be addressed. To the question of who was driving Trump’s initiative, Hoadley debunked the myth of the “powerful Jewish lobby”, pointing out that they were one amongst many lobby groups and in the current US situation, it was, in his opinion, the evangelical Christian lobby that was the stronger influence on Trump.
Hoadley pointed out that in the various Palestinian manifestos which are in Arabic, Palestinians deny the existence of a Jewish state. They do not ‘give credit that there is a state of Israel amongst 200 states of the worlds’. He stated that if you ask the Arabs of Israel, they are clearly not going anywhere else.
‘The Arabs in Israel constitute 20 percent of Israelis, are full citizens, have four parties in Knesset and by and large, apart from the odd knife wielder or car assaulter, have no intention of moving out of Israel. They are not going to move to Palestinian areas as this would be economically disastrous, they would not enjoy good governance and would have fewer rights. People vote with their feet and not many are voting to leave Israel’.Prof Stephen Hoadley
In response to the suggestion that Arab Israelis might be brainwashed, Hoadley responded, ‘Do you believe that the Israeli government which is a multiparty political system with a free press and all kinds of investigative journalists that look into every part of of public policy supports a brainwashing policy that we associate with North Korea and the Soviet Union? It’s beyond credibility.’
When considering the comparative effectiveness of Israelis and Palestinians in communicating their message, Hoadley stated, ‘Palestinians have done brilliantly in painting a picture that is simply untrue, it’s exaggerated, it demonises. It gains credibility when the Israeli army strikes back at the rockets and the tunnels and the terrorist acts that are perpetrated from Gaza and from Syria by the Iranians in the most recent episodes and that story gets legs’.
Hoadley concluded that on the Palestinian side you have one group that is a listed terrorist organisation and the other relatively uncooperative whereas Israel is the only functioning democracy, with a free press and religious tolerance in the whole Middle East.
To listen to the whole interview: