Whose “Recognition” Does Israel Really Need?

Ronn Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and respected public relations experts. Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the 25 largest independent American PR firms, which was named PR Agency of the Year by the American Business Awards. He is the best-selling author of “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations,” a book known as an industry “must read.” Torossian is a featured op-ed columnist for The Huffington Post, Newsmax, Wired Magazine and others. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including PR Executive of the Year and is a past semi-finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. Torossian lives in Manhattan with his wife and children. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.


Israel-Flag-Johnk85-1024x685I couldn’t care less if anyone recognizes me as Ronn Torossian.  You can call me Donald Duck, Yoga, or anything else, and if you recognize my right to live as Ronn Torossian, it couldn’t matter less to me. I am, therefore, I exist. I live in the real world, even in a world where others may think aliens are occupying Earth.

The rant above is necessary, because of the ongoing debate about the need to “recognize” Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State. By way of reference, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said this week there is “no way” he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists on the importance of the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

And some foolishly think it matters if a piece of paper recognizes Israel’s right to exist? The Jewish right to exist in Israel needs the recognition of the Palestinian Authority? Or America? Clearly, the Arabs seek to destroy Israel “piece by piece” using “peace,” so every negotiating tactic works, but if the Palestinians miraculously decide to pursue a real peace and “recognize” Israel, I, for one, couldn’t care less.

Israel’s right to exist is the right of the Jewish people because the land is our land.  For so many reasons – and whether someone recognizes it or not is irrelevant.

In a brilliant 1977 speech in the Israeli Parliament, Prime Minister Menachem Begin gave a rousing speech in which he said,

Our right to exist – have you ever heard of such a thing? Would it enter the mind of any Briton or Frenchman, Belgian or Dutchman, Hungarian or Bulgarian, Russian or American, to request for its people recognition of its right to exist?

… We were granted our right to exist by the God of our fathers at the glimmer of the dawn of human civilization four thousand years ago. Hence, the Jewish people have an historic, eternal and inalienable right to exist in this land, Eretz Yisrael, the land of our forefathers. We need nobody’s recognition in asserting this inalienable right. And for this inalienable right, which has been sanctified in Jewish blood from generation to generation, we have paid a price unexampled in the annals of nations.

Because our Jewish state needs no American affirmation of our right to exist. Our Hebrew bible established that right millennia ago. Never, throughout the centuries, did we ever abandon or forfeit that right. Therefore, sir, we alone, the Jewish people – no one else – are responsible for our country’s right to exist.

Later, in 1977 there was an exchange between Prime Minister Begin and then American President Jimmy Carter in the White House. At the end of the meeting, Carter handed a document summarizing their meeting to Begin and asked for his approval to disseminate the short document.  Begin read the very brief text and responded, “Totally acceptable, Mr. President, but for one sentence – Please delete the sentence which reads, ‘The United States affirms Israel’s inherent right to exist.’”  Carter, who asked, “But why?” was told by Begin, “Because our Jewish state needs no American affirmation of our right to exist. Our Hebrew Bible established that right millennia ago. Never, throughout the centuries, did we ever abandon or forfeit that right. Therefore, sir, we alone, the Jewish people – no one else – are responsible for our country’s right to exist.”

Throughout history, it has been constant that the Jewish people have the right to exist, and require no one’s approval. While a piece of paper can be broken or renegotiated, what can never be broken is the Jewish commitment – and right – to the Land and State of Israel.

Israel is the Jewish State, and Palestinian Arabs and America do not need to recognize Israel as such. For, whether the world likes it or not, it is the case and will not change.

*

Don’t miss Jamie Glazov’s video interview with Mudar Zahran, a leader of Palestinians in Jordan who has been living in exile in the UK since 2010. He calls out John Kerry on the “Peace” Plan and asks why a U.S. Secretary of State is threatening Israel to commit suicide:

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  • JVictor

    Finally! The argument that is the only one Israel needs. “We exist because G-d said so. We are here and we will do everything necessary to defend our borders and our children from foreign aggression of any kind. And if you don’t like it, you can take it up with G-d Himself.”

  • Lanna

    Shame on people and Islam for finding nothing better to do with their lives than attacking, hating, and trying to destroy groups of people, Christians and Jews…The Lord almighty watches and will inevitably respond to this kind of ideology. You would think they would try to make life better for their own people, and create stability, but their mind set can’t come out of the pit!

  • Bamaguje

    However much we supporters of Israel may despise the notion of “right to exist”, Israel does require such international endorsement.
    It’s because many do not unequivocally acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, that the international community keeps making unreasonable demands of the Jewish nation, it would not require of other countries.
    Lack of such recognition by also fuels antisemitic BDS boycotts, blind support for Palestinians and condones Jihad terrorism.

    • monostor

      Wrong! Please read again the article. What you are suggesting is ‘dhimmitude’.

    • carpe diem 36

      if Israel is not a Jewish state then whom are the BDS boycotting? a moslem state, a Jordanian state, a Palestinian state? by doing that they affirm as nothing else that Israel is a Jewish state and that is why they boycott it. this is as good an affirmation as it gets.

    • tickletik

      Why? Why do we require this endorsement? Why do we need it more than say Uganda or Bahrain?

      It is precisely this attitude of servile begging and scraping that puts us in the position of needing validation.

      When you go to a restaurant do you ask everyone in the room to sign a paper affirming your right to eat there?

      Do you ask your date for permission before you kiss her, or do you have her sign a document affirming your right to seduce her?

      I have an idea. Why don’t you go onto Wall Street and carry a sign saying “I am a pathetic miserable Jew, please affirm my existence by spitting in my face”. Go there in your best suit and sit on the ground with this sign, I am sure it will get you the love and respect of everyone around you.

      No one respects a coward Bamaguje. Get that through your head right now and you will be a happier man.

      • Bamaguje

        Pipe down tickletik. You don’t seem to get my point.

        Whether you acknowledge it or not, the central issue of Arab-Israel conflict is Israel’s right to exist. If Arabs recognized the idea of a Jewish state in the Middle east, there would have been no conflict.

        In fact Israel would have been born as far back as 1922 when British mandated Palestine was partitioned between Jews & Arabs, with Arabs getting the lion share (77%) – which became Jordan.

        All nations have an inherent right to exist, which is usually taken for granted. Hence no one questions America’s or Japan’s right to exist.
        That unquestioned right of a nation to exist is denied Israel. Consequently, the Jewish nation is denied basic rights that other nations take for granted (e.g self defense).
        She is unduly pressurized into suicidal positions that is not required of other nations.

        To use Mr Torossian’s personal analogy to drive home the point – if people don’t recognize and respect you as a human being, they may treat you like a dog.

        • tickletik

          No that isn’t the issue. And no, I don’t take orders from you.

          The issue is this – do the Arabs understand very clearly that an attempt to take Israel by force will result in their destruction? Do they understand that any form of damage or pain suffered by the people of Israel will be met with a level of pain and suffering that they will not be willing to tolerate?

          That is the only question, and the only issue, and currently the answer to both is NO THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT. And part of the reason they do not understand that is because YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT. Or rather, that is not the understanding of those who think like you,

          And until the day comes when the level of pain and suffering for your current thought process outweighs the benefits of the same, you will not change.

  • David

    Hmm interesting and fair. Israel exists. I think everyone I know would agree its a jewish state. And as an australian I would love to stay right right out of Israel’s business

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      And Israel has the same right to exist and resist attacks on it as does Australia.

  • nopeacenow

    Affirmation of Israel’s existence as the national state of the Jewish people is the confirmation by the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims of their acceptance of a Jewish state in the ME and an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Non-acceptance means their war against Israel will continue no matter what peace agreement is signed or Palestinian agreement to Israel’s borders.

    On second thought to believe a piece of paper will end this war is like believing in the tooth fairy and Santa Clause. We should know better when lying to non-Muslims is acceptable Muslim practice. Signed agreements mean nothing. We can’t count on Abbas’s successors to maintain peace any more that we can count on Abbas who has broken every promise and agreement he has made with Israel. We can’t count on the good intentions of our enemies. The US/Obama included.

    • Bamaguje

      In other words Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state should ordinarily help resolve the conflict, but coming from lying Taqiyya Muslims, such ‘recognition’ means nothing, and wouldn’t help the situation.

      • nopeacenow

        Very true. That is why giving up any more land to the “Palestinians” would be the signal for the Arabs to start another war. In every war they start they wind up losing nothing except a few lives which to Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims are expendable.

  • h

    Maybe this will clarify the idea.
    You don’t win a war when you think you’ve won,
    You only win when your enemy realizes that they lost.
    Israel doesn’t need anybody’s recognition but the Arabs
    will never recognize Israel because that would mean that
    they lost. And unfortunately for the world they will never change.

    • BS77

      Rockets are now being fired from Gaza into Israel. This is the “peace” process.

  • Martel

    This is part of the “Diversity for thee, but not for me” program. Israel has a right to be a ethnostate, but America and the European nations should open up their borders until the day that white Christians are a minority and “Conservatism INC” will never elect another president again. I support Israel and understand that opening up the borders would turn into a disaster, but an equal catastrophe is taking place in the United Stated and Europe where immigrants from nations with barbaric cultures and low average IQ’s are moving into our neighbourhoods, incapable of supporting a complex economy and building the foundations for future ethnic conflict. If Israel has the right to remain ethnically Jewish, Europe has the right to remain ethnically European. The Horowitz Foundation would condemn the latter part of my statement as bigoted though.

    • Drakken

      Events in Europe and the US are moving quickly beyond anyone’s control, the law of unintended consequences is coming to fruition and everyone is wondering why nationalist movements are scaring the bloody daylights out of the leftist socialist paradigm.

      • Martel

        Europeans are trying to break free from the spell of political correctness, and they will.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    Whenever I have this argument with people, I inevitably assert that “Israel is the situation on the ground”. People don’t like it. They fight against the notion. They say, “The Israelis should do the same thing as the apartheid state of South Africa, and simply give up, accepting international obligations.”

    I deny this, wholeheartedly. Israel is, and it will continue, until the Israeli people … and God … decide otherwise. Israel IS the situation on the ground.

  • Walter Sieruk

    As stated somewhat before, the only real recognition that the state of Israel needs is the supreme Recognition of the One true God. Which is the God of the Bible. That recognition has already been given. For the Jewish people have this land by Divine right. As the Bible shows, for example, in Genesis 28:13-15. 35;10-12. Deuteronomy 32:48,49. Psalm 105:7-11. 135:4. This land of the State of Israel also belongs to the Jewish people by historic rights. As seen in First Kings 4;20,21,24,25. 8:55,56. Nevertheless, in all fairness there is one way that the members of the PLO, P.I.J. , Hamas and Hezbollah can convince God to change His Mind and turn His Back on Israel and thus have that nation be no more.
    That way is for them to change the laws of astrophysics including that of the sun, the moon and the stars. For God had said in Jeremiah 31:35:36. “Thus saith the Lord,which gives the sun for alight by day and the ordinances of the moon and stars for a light by night…The Lord of host is His name. If those ordinances depart from before Me , saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever.”

  • Israel_Reconquista

    Great excerpt from Begin. The most important thing he said was that we, the Jewish nation, have never forfeited our land. It was stolen from us, and passed from one illegal occupier to the next. Arabs are just the most recent link in the chain of illegal occupiers. They deserve peace in return for peace – only – not land for peace. Creating a 23rd Arab state on ancient Jewish land is out of the question.

    • tickletik

      They deserve nothing whatsoever. If anything they deserve to live under the same system of humiliating rules and abuses that they subjected us to for centuries.

      For the sake of our own peace of mind and sanity we should leave them alone if they leave us alone, but I refuse to accept even a sense of obligation towards these people at all.

  • David

    While I admire boldness and assertiveness of Israel’s identity by Isreali’s, I found the article a bit silly. On the face of it it’s just wrong in its facts in the opening sentance: “I couldn’t care less if anyone recognizes me as Ronn Torossian…… it couldn’t matter less to me.” This is utter nonsense. What if I took Ronn Torrossian’s house, or car, or children and refused to give them back to him because he is not Ronn Torrossian? And if the law supported me, not him, on the same grounds? What if Frontpagemag plagiarized the article, and put my name on it rather than his? He wouldn’t care? The idea is absurd.

    It probably irks him even when his name is not spelt right, like most people.There’s more:

    “Totally acceptable, Mr. President, but for one sentence – Please delete the sentence which reads, ‘The United States affirms Israel’s inherent right to exist.’”

    Seems a bit silly of Mr. Begin, IMO. To affirm someone’s right to exist is NOT to assume to create it, but the distinction seems to be lost on Begin, and perhaps it is lost on the author of the article. To affirm someone’s right is to support it. I am quite happy with people affirming all of my rights, as everyone should be. To snub those who do is to needlessly snub an ally. If Carter had said ‘we establish Israel’s right to exist’, Begin’s action would be sensible.

    The article seems a bit juvenile — it’s like the kid who’s told by the others, ‘We won’t play with you’, and the kid says ‘I don’t care!’. He’s saying ‘I don’t care’ because he cares. The article was surely written because the author DOES care that there are many who don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. He’s fighting back. Which is fine, but better to fight back in a more adult and articulate way.

    • David

      Let me put it another way. The article is not honoring the allies of Israel. It has undertones that come across to me as not honoring me as an ally of Israel. It is undiplomatic. It speaks as if Israel does not care for the support and recognition it gets from non-Israelis and non-Jews. If I let it speak to me for Israel as a whole, I would be less inclined to be an ally of Israel. As it is, I won’t let it affect me this way. I chose to be in relationship with that greater Israel that does care that I support it.
      You may be sure that Begin’s uncalled-for snub did not warm Carter to Begin or to Israel.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        dhimmi carter, WORST US PRESIDENT E-V-E-R and friend of every socialist dictator – from chavz to castro to arafat and on, can go to H E L L.

        • David

          That may be true. And he might very well have become the Hamas-Hugging, Hezbollah-Hugging dhimmi that he is without Begin’s help. But I stand by my claim that Begin’s undiplomatic attitude probably did not help Israel in this case.

    • mackykam

      Jews need no one to affirm our right to exist or rights to our God-given promised land, be they governments or individuals. To have governments or individuals, who subscribe to other religions that deny the ongoing status of “chosen by God” to the Jews, is a mockery of affirmation of right to exist.
      What other reason exists for Jewish continuance?
      Christians proclaim their right as the new chosen because Jews reject Christ. And have happily killed Jews under the guise of God’s rejection of His own. Muslims put a slightly different twist on matters. They claim rejection of Mohammed, who also came to fulfill the laws of Judaism, gives them the right to subject and murder Jews at will.
      Giving someone the right to recognize one’s legal existence gives the same right to one day deny the same. Jews continue to exist because God affirms it. Governments or individuals not withstanding.

      • David

        The distinction between ‘giving someone a right’ and ‘supporting someone’s right’ that was lost on Begin, and apparently also lost on the author of the article above, also seems to be lost on you. I can’t help you if you are incapable of making the distinction, but I would urge you to do it for Israel’s sake.
        I’m not going to fall for your Christian-baiting.

        Israel needs its allies as every nation does, and it should value them and honor them, as emotional intelligence requires. I consider your behavior contrary to Israel’s interests.

        • mackykam

          We need no one to give us a right or supporting a right. You might reference the US Constitution: natural God-given rights. Americans don’t need the US government to confer rights. Constitutional rights are natural rights. Conferring rights are immoral and unjust. Like Gay marriage. Or abortion.
          Thanks for your condescending patronage on my “incapable” shortcomings when it comes to distinctions.
          I will take into account noblesse oblige and not respond to your being an asshole.

          • David

            Your confusion seems to continue, unfortunately. I am wondering if English is not your first language. You are fundamentally confusing ‘supporting rights’ with ‘conferring rights’. :

            >> Americans don’t need the US government to confer rights. Constitutional rights are natural rights.

            This is the correct American view of its Constitution, and I agree with you. However, the US Government does support our rights (at least when behaving properly).

            Yes, you do need people supporting your rights. We all do. Those people who don’t attack you when you walk down the street, those who don’t mug you and so on, they are the people supporting your rights. Those who do attack you, mug you and so on are ‘not supporting your rights’.And one thing Israel definitely does NOT need is people not supporting them. Like Iran, for example.

            I don’t mind if you do Christian-baiting and outright flaming, but please don’t claim ‘noblesse’ if you do. It may seem ‘patronage’ to refer to your inability to grasp this distinction, but to be honest with you, I don’t know if your inability to grasp this distinction is in fact an honest on at all: Your writing suggests you have the necessary intelligence: is it not more like you don’t WANT to grasp this distinction?

            Which is a question I would genuinely ask of the author of the article; and Begin, if he were here.

          • mackykam

            You are truly a patronizing, insufferable twit.
            Supporting rights empowers the supporter to withhold support at a later date, unjustifiably conferring rights of ‘enable and refrain.’
            Ones right to walk freely down the street unmolested is enshrined in the right to bear arms. Only liberals have seen to it that right is taken away, leaving people unprotected and at the mercy of lawbreakers. Police were established in lieu of having armed citizens walk about. But every victim of a mugging wished he’d have had a weapon instead of relying on police in the aftermath.
            There is no Christian baiting. It is all historical fact.

          • David

            Thanks for the insults, but they won’t win you the argument.. You yourself have been ‘affirming’ various rights above. You have affirmed Israel’s right to exist in saying ‘Jews need no one to affirm our right to exist or rights to our God-given promised land, be they governments or individuals’. The article above is affirming Israel’s right to exist. Begin affirmed Israel’s right to exist, while he was objecting to the US affirming Israel’s right to exist. You just don’t seem to understand what ‘affirm’ means. So when you ‘affirm’ it, it’s OK, but when Carter says the US affirms it, you get offended. And so does Begin. And you confuse the meaning of ‘affirms the right’ with ‘confers the right’.

            Insufferable though I may be, the really insufferable thing is what a dictionary will tell you, the author of the article, and Begin, what the meaning of affirm is. A good dictionary, a good grasp of English can help with diplomacy.

            But I think the truth is more likely that you don’t really want to understand English.

          • David

            One little addendum: To affirm a right is to ‘support that right’ , but ‘support a right’ is quite a bit broader than ‘affirm a right’. We require and expect the US government to both affirm and support our constitutional rights, But we do not view them as conferring those rights on us,

          • mackykam

            Wrong, wrong, wrong! We do not require the US government to affirm and support…our natural rights come from God and the Constitution was written to protect American citizens from government reach and overreach.

          • David

            You’re misreading language yet again. When I say ‘we require and expect them to support [rights]‘ I do not mean that that right does not exist even if they did not support it. It might have been clearer if I said ‘we demand and expect them to support [rights]‘

            In the context, I thought that would be clear. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but they are not conferring those rights on us. Those rights exist whether they confer them or not. I’m not saying they confer those rights on us.

            I am bored by your inability to understand the distinction between ‘they confer these rights on us’ and ‘they support these rights’. The first is false. The second is true (to the extent that the government is behaving constitutionally). If you are incapable of understanding the distinction (and at this point I’m reluctantly concluding that you are), iftwill seem logically inconsistent that one is true and the other is false. But that’s the way it is, when the reality, and the meaning of the words, is correctly understood. Have a nice day. Enjoy the last word, because I’m finished.

  • William James Ward

    If Israel was of a mind to destroy all of their Arab neighbors, it would
    happen, what I am amazed at is the degree of restraint that the Jewish
    people have. In the face of mortal hatred the Jews still have humanitarian
    standards that are held out to everyone and this belies the vile
    anti-Semitism of a hating World. Israel must change and take on the
    role of the dominant power and remove the curse on their borders
    while claiming all of the lands promised by God to Abraham, then
    there may be peace……………….William

    • tickletik

      Yup.

    • Drakken

      It is a very simple equation, no more muslims, no more problems.

      • William James Ward

        Muslim Moon worshipers if they disappear still leave their
        brothers the leftists, who are all lunatics………………William

  • tickletik

    I liked this article, the author definitely has his head in straight.

    However, I would suggest to him to take a closer look at the rising hatred against Jews in the US, and ask himself if he might not be better off picking up and re establishing himself in his homeland.

  • James_IIa

    No one is denying the right of the US to exist (except maybe its current president and his friends!). But most of Israel’s neighbors deny its right to exist, so requiring them to rescind that denial as a condition for peace is actually reasonable.

  • Texas Patriot

    Israel needs to recognize itself as a sovereign state and act accordingly. Nothing else is required.

  • David

    There is another side to this which very few people are discussing. Perhaps this is being viewed through the Israeli perspective. I can give the perspective of a supporter of Israel, who is not Israeli or Jewish.

    I think Begin is guilty of VERY bad diplomacy in taking issues with ‘The United States affirms Israel’s inherent right to exist’. If the document had said ‘The United states confers a right to exist on Israel’, he would have reason to complain. In a similar vein, the above article does not give a good message to allies of Israel.

    To the extent that Israelis would wish to alienate those who say ‘I affirm/support Israel’s right to exist’ (out of apparently misinterpreting it as ‘I confer the right to exist on Israel’), to that extent, they give a message to the allies of Israel that being an enemy of Israel would be appreciated just as much as an ally, thanks. This is a Public Relations disaster, an International Relations disaster, and terrible diplomacy. It isn’t reality either — Israel does NOT want the US, the UK and France to be like Iran.

    I understand why Israelis are strongly resistant to legitimizing an apparent **conferring** of their right to exist by other nations. But there seems to be a hair-trigger problem here which leads to things being taken too far, and reacts to ‘affirming’ or ‘supporting’ their right to exist as if it is a ‘conferral’ of right to exist. The word ‘affirm’ does not in any way mean ‘confer’, and Begin, and the author of this article, if they knew English well, should be able to tell the difference, if they would so wish. To the extent that they would, they would be better diplomats for Israel.

    • David

      A further clarification: the author of the article is happily affirming Israel’s right to exist. While doing so, he is admiringly recounting a tale in which Begin objected to the US affirming Israel’s right to exist, while Begin himself was affirming Israel’s right to exist.
      What is up with that? Who exactly is allowed to affirm Israel’s right to exist? And who exactly is not and why not? Is this not reflecting a bad attitude to allies?
      Let me draw an analogy. You politely ask Bob, not wishing to leave him standing up if he should not wish to, ‘Would you like to take a seat?’. Bob replies, ‘F**K you, I don’t need your help, no-one tells me what to do.’ Later, the story is admiringly told of Bob, by Bob’s friends, how Bob stands up for himself.
      Now, we would rightly describe Bob as ‘having issues’. Bob has done himself no favors in his relationship with us. These issues are Bob’s, and they work to Bob’s disadvantage, despite what Bob’s friends may think. Bob is undiplomatic: he does not help himself in this.
      While the above is a bit exaggerated, it’s quite a close parallel to what’s happening here. Carter offered to affirm Israel’s right to exist. Begin objected to it, as if Carter were offering to confer a right to exist on Israel, then Begin himself proceeded to affirm Israel’s right to exist. The author of this article recounts this tale admiringly, himself affirming Israel’s right to exist. This was undiplomatic behavior and almost certainly contrary to the interests of Israel.
      A word to the wise (as a Gentile supporter of Israel): the writer of this article is not projecting an attitude that is helpful to Israel. The writer must examine his attitudes, (and look up the meaning of words if lack of proficiency in English is the problem, but it probably isn’t, just as it probably isn’t for Bob), and adjust his attitudes accordingly, for the greater good of Israel.