For reasons which are not necessarily obvious to all the political persuasions, there are those in Israel who are less enamored with United States President Obama than are others. This has caused for calls to protest the President. The question has been exactly how to protest President Obama when access to him will be under tight security and thus very limited. Obviously such security would shield the President from coming in contact with any demonstrations and their only effect would be whatever coverage they received in the World media, particularly the American media. This also would allow the media to interpret in what vein the protesters would be cast affecting how they would be perceived. The problem then is to find a manner of protest which would make the point that there are some difficulties and differences in opinions and aims between many Israelis and the President of the United States. The protest must also take into consideration that much of their effort will likely be blunted by the massive security which will isolate the President from such influences.
Perhaps the best of protests would be not to protest and instead simply refuse to attend any venue featuring President Obama. Should all of the reports of President Obama during his visit in Israel show minimal audiences and small if any crowds vying to view the American President, this would be the most impressive demonstration. Let’s face the truth; large demonstrations could be shot in one of two manners, either showing them as protests or hiding their true intent and representing them as supportive throngs. On the other hand, you cannot show empty streets as a supportive throng of people cheering the President as he passes from one event to the next. If Israelis simply went about their normal day-to-day business, with the necessary adjustments to accommodate road closures and other security necessities, and simply appeared not to have any reaction, pro or con, to President Obama’s visit, they would make the loudest of statements. The real problem in attempting to protest any visit by United States President Obama is that by doing so one leaves it to the media coverage to carry the message. Does anybody in even their wildest imagination believe that Haaretz, the BBC, AFP or the New York Times and their cohorts would ever report protest against President Obama in any positive light? They would do everything in their power to show the protesters as a disgruntled minority while showing the crowds of adoring fans as the norm and representative of the vast majority of Israelis. They would do this even if it required misrepresenting which pictures were of protesters and which were of supporters which from a distance would be differentiable. Relying on the truth from media has become a bit of a fools game in the new modern age of slanted journalism where opinions are conveyed as facts and facts are considered interpretable.
So, maybe the best path that Israelis wishing to impart a disapproving message to President Obama would do so best by simply doing nothing. Simply let the complete lack of any evidence of approvals or disapprovals make their statement rather than allow for interpretation by the international media. Nothing could make a louder statement to President Obama the man than to have only a paltry few show to cheer his presence as the admiring throngs are one of the benefits of the Presidency which he most treasures. Deny him admiring, cheering crowds and the silence will be the most devastating message that could be sent. Sometimes the best action is inaction.
Beyond the Cusp