How to sell Goliath as David


david and goliath mythBy: Asad Rahim Khan

In Judeo-Christian belief, Goliath is a giant, a warrior, and an oppressor of David’s people. In the books of Samuel, before the Israelites and the Philistines do battle, David and Goliath meet each other in single combat. A young boy, David is outmatched; Goliath brings shield, spear, and (ranging from scripture) six to nine feet of human height with him.

But David wins. He fires a stone from his sling, and the giant falls.

Yes, David versus Goliath is the story of victory against all odds: that with enough faith, our hero can fight enemies bigger, stronger and fiercer — and persevere. It only follows that, thousands of years later, the star of David would become one with the story of David.

Ever since creation, the State of Israel has seen itself as David, projected itself as David, and warned of the many Goliaths that have tried eating it since birth. Thus far, it’s been a winning play — helping Israel drown violence in victimhood from Day Zero. But people tire of the same trick.

To humour the believers, let’s look at the stats. Hours after it declared independence in ‘48, Israel was invaded by five Arab armies — a David born, it would seem. Reality tells us Israel fought with thousands more troops, far better weapons, and deft command and control.

Still, we can excuse a state its founding myths. All of us have them. The trouble is, the David myth doesn’t stop at its founding. Not in ’56 or ’67 or ’73 — wars Israel won with pure brute strength, not guile or grit. The kind of strength needed, Tel Aviv says (changing tack), to fight a mindset. Hasn’t the Arab Goliath long called for crushing Israel?

But it is a cold, hard, sad fact that the Arab armies were motivated more by a free-for-all land grab in ‘48 — at the expense of the Palestinians — than destroying the world’s only Jewish state. It is as much a fact that Israel started ’67, losses that Assad and Egypt tried (and failed at) regaining in ‘73. Invading Israel, let alone destroying it, was never on the agenda.

Time has only gone to show that, if Israel be David, the Arab armies be dwarves. Today, the IDF is the Middle East’s supreme being, Egypt and Jordan are officially at peace, and Iraq and Syria are too busy falling in on themselves. The Arabs are spent.

Hence the Iranians. But try as Binyamin Netanyahu does, the world has yet to accord Iran super villain status: the Persian Goliath 2.0. Because Iran has yet to invade Israel, yet to threaten invading Israel, and yet to build the bomb Israel’s already built.

Which brings us to the single least threatening, single most vulnerable nation in the neighbourhood: the Palestinian people, and the current conflict that tears them limb from limb. Stuck in a prison camp (a city that will be unlivable by 2020), a people without a land, killed in a war they never started, the Palestinians are hostages in hell. In the last op-ed on this subject, the death toll was at 150. In over a week, that number has risen to 1,060 — Israel’s from 0 to 43. Just the number is stunning; one thousand-and-sixty, over 50 Palestinians a day, the vast majority civilian.

David-and-Goliath- Israel always the victimBut Israel still screams wolf; seeing Goliaths in dead women and children. As Noura Erakat’s recent expose uncovers, “Israel’s propaganda machine insists that these Palestinians wanted to die (‘culture of martyrdom’), staged their own death (‘telegenically dead’) or were the tragic victims of Hamas’s use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes (‘human shielding’)”.

And Israel’s major cue card — that Hamas uses civilians as human shields — is yet another lie. It’s only been Israeli soldiers who have tied young Palestinians on the hoods of their cars, or forced them into militants’ hiding places.

At the time of this writing, the pain is on pause. The State of Israel has graciously allowed for a truce in view of Eidul Fitr — allowing the Palestinians 24 hours to stock up on supplies and pull bodies out from under the rubble. The IDF will resume momentarily, killing more boys on beaches.

So, where is the hope in all this? How long might an overpowered, overfunded apartheid state claim the mantle of David?

For that, we may have to look across an ocean. Footing $154 billion as of 2005, Washington’s love for Israel runs deep and unconditional. But mainstream America is changing.

Not yet where it matters, of course. Congress may have sunk to binary bands of name-calling and finger-pointing, but it still agrees to agree on Israel. The religious establishment is also unmoved: for the Second Coming to happen, the evangelicals say, the Jews must resettle in Palestine. Ironically, Christ then returns, end-times ensue, and nonbelievers are clapped out of existence. As Israeli historian Gershom Gorenberg put it, the Christian fundos “love us as characters in their story, in their play… (and) it’s a five-act play in which the Jews disappear in the fourth act”. But that’s another story.

The heartening story is perception. America’s largest Presbyterian denomination has voted to divest from companies Israel uses to occupy Palestinian territory (like weaponising Caterpillar bulldozers). Last week’s Gallup poll shows a widening split between America’s old and young, a 26-point majority of 18-29-year-olds deeming Israel’s actions unjustified. That will spell serious long-run consequences.

And for the first time ever, Israel is losing the media war — Bibi’s sleek infographics can’t compare with the unfiltered anguish pouring in from Gaza.

But let’s not kid ourselves — Israeli aggression may only be curtailed by Western repulsion. And they’re closer than we are: protests in Paris and London outstrip any by the Arab world, while Pakistan seems to prefer flying flags at half-mast than retaining real-life foreign ministers.

Until then, Israel will continue masquerading as David; the Goliath that survived.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.



75 responses to “How to sell Goliath as David”

  1. arzatna1 Avatar

    Israel has mastered the art of selling itself as David and the world community continues to look the other way as Israel cries wolf even when it is the aggressor .
    Time for the Palestinians to unite …This is the only way to gain the respect of the world community and get the help needed to be an independent and sovereign state . Depending on countries like Iran is a losing strategy.

  2. the biggest BS i’ve heard lol
    israel won in 048 with suppirior numbers and wepons?

    the Egyptian army, the Jordenian ligion were better equiped then the jews , they were armies after all. and yet david won.
    david also won in 67 against 4 different armies, true we hit first but it doesn’t mean automaticly we win, as evidence you can look at 73 when we were surprised but stood the attack

    all i all this article is highlighting the reasons arabs can never win israel: a fat golith that instead of getting beter in fighting is too busy in explaining to himself why he lost.

    1. The fact that Hamas took over the Gaza Strip by force in 2007 from Fatah does not sit well with the PA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. even though it may sit well with Turkey, Qatar, Iran, etc. The moment that Hamas hands back control over the Gaza Strip to Fatah, things will go better for all involved, especially the Palestinians. Most religious fanatics of most religions do not care about others very much unless they are 100% members of their group or sect. They look down on their own other coreligionists and always see them as less religious, unworthy sinning ignoramuses and they look down on others who are not of their own religion as subhuman enemy infidel sinners destined for eventual extermination and destruction. Religious fanatics with weapons are bad for everyone whether inside or outside their religion who are not 100% like them.

    2. 5thDrawer Avatar

      ‘War Buffs’ love the games.

  3. “But let’s not kid ourselves — Israeli aggression may only be curtailed by Western repulsion. “….aside for few the only faces shown on these demonstrations are ME’s not western people that shout ,it’s ME emigrants into europe.

    “Time has only gone to show that, if Israel be David, the Arab armies be dwarves.” probably the only true statment here..but a smart dwarf will not battle David after David killed Goliath…ME dwarfs were never smart

    1. arzatna1 Avatar

      You know very well Israel is no David. You are giving Israel all the credit , but in reality the west should get the credit , for without the help of the western nations Israel would have been nothing as a nation.

      While the Arab nations have to beg for inferior arms and pay top dollar for them, Israel gets the best arms the west can offer and for free.

      Stop bragging please . Hamas has been stupid for relying on Iran and its proxies and the Arabs have been stupid for relying on Russia in the past . Russia under the Soviet Union was after all the first nation to recognize Israel and Russian is now the third most widely spoken first language in Israel, thanks to the migration of Russians to Israel.

      1. please spare me this Arza,
        the proper answer is that the same amount of money and time the west invested in israel, the communists invested in the arab countries in those same critical years.
        with both super powers the arabs could not take out david, remove the two super powers from the equation and goliath still can’t take on David

        1. arzatna1 Avatar

          You are obviously being misled . The communists were paid in hard to get currency for what lousy arms . Nothing was free .

          You couldnt’ call Israel a David because it has the full support of the west

          1. i can call David, anybody who fought outnumbered and won.
            btw, Hamas is not a goliath soo the discussion is wrong from the very moment, Hamas is stupid (or crule ) cause by going to war against israel it condemed many palistinians to death and poverty.

      2. Hamas was stupid to relay on iran
        Naser was stupid to realay on the russians
        Assad was stupid to relay on the communists…
        they are all stupid as you put it, and a stupid remains stupid

        1. arzatna1 Avatar

          But that doesn’t make Israel smart.

          Israel has been lucky for depending on the west . That is all there is … and the west, unlike Russia and Iran has delivered . For this reason you should be grateful to the west and stop bragging

          1. as i said, i’m gratefull ,only refuse to show my gratitude with my people’s blood

          2. MekensehParty Avatar

            @arzatna1 both are commendable, the West’s loyalty and generosity, and Israeli cleverness in continuing and nurturing the alliance, but that last part is starting to lack thanks to bibi. But faces change, especially after wars…

          3. Bibi & obama dislike each other so much ,it became personal.

            fortunately current leaders are not the state, just current leaders.

            they are both Dots in history.
            in the long run, it’s mutual benefit and interests that keep the relationship alive

          4. it makes israel smart enough to chose the better ally.
            also israel is smarter in a sense that while arab nations put the emphesise on numbers (1,000,000 soldiers in Iran/Turkey and past iraq) israel put it’s trust in technology and managed to defeat much bigger armies.
            this is not luck it’s assessing the advantages & disadvantages in a future situation and getting ready for it.
            Iron dome was not thought of yesterday, it took years of working in dev before we have the final prodact- thats being smart.
            investing money in buying german submarin fleet took years to aquaire and much money, but it got us to a point that the iraninian wish to attack us, but they know there are nuke missilies ready to hit them ,just out side their water- smart
            preparing the rear to absorb continues rocket attacks and still be able to run the economy, took millions and plenty of time but now we can stand Hamas’s rocket attacks and continue our life-smart

            do i need to continue?

          5. arzatna1 Avatar

            You keep bragging and crediting Israel.
            You should credit Europe and the US for feeling sorry for the Jewish people after the holocaust and for handing Israel the winning lottery ticket at the end of the second world war. Israel was lucky …period . If Israel was smart it will seek peace with its neighbors because sooner or later the future generation will outsmart Israel. Israel deserves smarter leaders who have the vision to seek peace …someone like Rabin.

          6. you don’t get it arza, i credit everybody for helping me but i also know that when a person don’t want to walk , it doesn’t matter how many other people drag him.
            i gave you from the top of my head 3 examples for smart moves and planning and you get back to squere one, why? every CEO will point to these examples as a fine example for getting prepered for future obstacls which is …being smart.
            i’d like to have peace, have one with Joprdan and Egypt for years now.

            how can i make peace with someone who calls for my destruction?

          7. arzatna1 Avatar

            Thank America for funding the Iron dome and all Israeli arms purchases and Germany for donating the submarines . These are handouts paid for by the US and German taxpayers . For God’s sake these donations don’t make Israel smart .

            As for making peace with “someone who calls for my destruction” . You always try to make peace with your enemy ….I don’t see your point

            Further more , If Israel is smart it should set an example in treating the Palestinians right in their homeland and not as cruel occupiers.
            Time for Israel to be smart and think peace , because the US and western help may not be here forever

          8. i thank them more then the arab world does to it’s benefeators- i’m useing the resources wisly

            as for you only make peace with enemies- it goes both ways you know, if Hamas wants to make peace with israel ,i’d assume it will stop calling for Israel’s destruction -costs nothing and will advance them as legitimate in our eyes. you can make peace with someone who’s interest are different then your- compromising, there is no compromise when the other side vows to destroy you and would not back down from this stand..sorry, can’t happen

            help will not be there for ever for the Palestinians either, they should know this by now, if they want to be smart, they should start diverting their resources from terror infrastructure to civilian infrastructure- cause when the donations stop -they will not be able to stand on their feet

          9. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Speaking of Jordan …. it is the ONE country ‘around there’ doing the MOST for ALL the refugees no matter which hell-of-a-place they are coming from … and really not getting enough help in that … even if Lebanon uses the %age bit to claim they take in ‘more’. Jordan looks more ‘humanitarian’ than any of the others … thumbs up for that.

          10. The real lebanese Avatar
            The real lebanese

            Israel does seek peace with its neighbors. Look at Egypt and Jordan. However you cant seek peace with militant groups who were created to destroy you. It just doesnt work.

          11. 5thDrawer Avatar

            no .. nooo …. please don’t … the ‘brain trust’ bit has been really overworked ….

          12. sorry 5th’
            had to stand against the first lie which this all article is based on ..and it only went down hill from there.

  4. Hamas are defenetly not david, David was a winner.

  5. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Well, I see The Israelis are no smarter than the tribes shooting around the Tripoll Libya Oil Tanks.
    Might as well have equal pollution for the world to sniff from around the Med.
    Of course, ‘way back when’ in Beirut, they just opened the dam built to contain the oil if a tank was burst but didn’t fire up, and let it flow into the Sea.
    I guess the expectations are high from that puddle of it they all attempt to drill for under the Sea.
    MEANWHILE … and no thanks to Hamas idiots, but Russian ones …
    ‘Power people’ have almost managed to kill as many people as in the Ukraine … getting closer, at least.
    I think it’s a competition. Russian ‘terrorists’ are doing a fine job there, but maybe they had a head-start. At least they are keeping lights working so far.
    Not as many ‘protest marches’ as the Tamil Tigers pulled off, yet, but they are working up to it.
    Of course, not near as many killed yet either.
    Some are trying to get a word in edge-wise about Ebola outbreaks … But ‘Doctors Without Borders’ doesn’t have quite the ‘pull’ for the TV-news Folks. There are no flames.
    Ah well, out to water the grass …. pull a few weeds. The Tornado yesterday was 100 miles from me.
    Watch the clouds go by … white and fluffy today … probably not for long.

    1. “Well, I see The Israelis are no smarter than the tribes shooting around the Tripoll Libya Oil Tanks”

      why is that ? what do the tribes fight for? will it change their life for the better if they win?

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Blowing up oil tanks doesn’t seem stupid to you??
        In Israel’s case they claim ‘accuracy’ all the time, whereas the rockets and RPG’s can’t be said to be ‘controllable’ at all. (unless that’s hogwash too..)
        So ….. never mind the ‘why’ question. It IS dumb.

        So Tripoli Libya calls for ‘international aid’ to put out the fires …. and Gaza/Israel should be doing the same since they don’t have the equipment …. but I assume we’re not ALL so stupid as to wade in with crews of civilian firefighters and tons of equipment until, as Saddam’s people discovered when they lit the oil-wells up, the shooting stops.
        Enjoy the bonfire. The pollution lasts longer than you realize.

        1. don’t agree with you at all but not because i think blowing up is not dumb.
          every violance act done for no reason is dumb, most violant acts done for a reason are dumb. but every once in a while there is a cause that is not dumb, that is really worth giving your life for.
          i do not know why they burn oil tanks in tripoli ,i do know why we fight inside Gaza

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Knocking out all electrical ‘might’ be a tactical ‘move’. Although I can’t see it, as they were down to a couple hours a day anyway like Tripoli Liban at times. And a lot of wires were severed anyway.
            But by blowing up the electric plant along with the stored oil?? No. That’s just plain stupid. Doesn’t ‘defend’ Israel at all.
            And the effects will last long after a war is over.

          2. it’s not a tactical move .there was a fight over there IDF were fired at from this location, a stray shell lit the oil depots and damaged the power plant. fortunately, it’s all documented by IDF. we’re not going down for war crimes due to propaganda

  6. The name Palestine comes from Philistine and Goliath was a Philistine. The area of Philistine which is today most of the Gaza Strip has always been a thorn on the side of Israel both in the past and now.

    1. The name Israel is mentioned in the Holy Quran over 80 times even though they want to erase this name.

  7. David will always be David the Israelite and Goliath will always be Goliath the Philistine. Since the Arabs want to name themselves Philistine in the holy land then they are always Goliath by association.

    1. If the Arabs want to also carry for Palestine the flag of fitna against the Ottoman Empire (Islamic Caliphate) from the Great Arab Revolt of 1916 then they will forever suffer for their fitna against the Islamic Caliphate. See:

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