World Citizen: Mideast Caricatures — Another Obstacle to Peace

World Citizen: Mideast Caricatures — Another Obstacle to Peace

In the years since Arab countries proclaimed their infamous "Three Nos" policy towards Israel -- no peace, no recognition, no negotiations -- the official stance of most Arab governments has eased. A number of Arab leaders now openly speak of normalizing relations with Israel under certain conditions. But despite the change in policy at the top, hundreds of millions of Arabs continue to receive a steady barrage of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-American propaganda, much of it coming in the official government-sanctioned press.

The quest for peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors faces no shortage of obstacles. Not least of them is the unaddressed issue of Israel's vilification in the Arab world. Should a peace deal come within reach, the image of Israel and the Jews manufactured in the Arab world will undermine popular support for an agreement, thereby complicating the chances for securing one.

After spending decades telling Arab men, women and children that Israelis and Jews are the most evil people on earth, how can Arab leaders expect their people to suddenly support peace efforts with them?

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