De propaganda-machine van het Israelische ministerie van buitenlandse zaken (‘Hasbara’) werkt op volle toeren. Ook in Nederland worden lobbyisten geworven om in onze media het Zionistisch bezettings- en expansie-beleid van Israel te verdedigen. Wanneer men de daarvoor gegeven richtlijnen bekijkt, kan men argumentatie-patronen herkennen die ook op onze sites worden toegepast. Op zich is daar weinig mis mee – ook van Palestijnse zijde wordt propaganda gevoerd, zij het lang niet zo professioneel en intensief.
Men kan zich afvragen in hoeverre het zin heeft om eindeloos te discussieren met opponenten die al gevestigde meningen hebben.
Kenmerk van de discussie over ‘het’ conflict in het Midden-Oosten is, dat de pro-Israelisch beleid woord- en penvoerders voor 95% bestaan uit politieke en/of religieuze (joodse of christen) rechtse zionisten – de zgn (Pro-Groot)’Israel lobby’ -, terwijl de critici van het Israelisch beleid generlei banden hebben met Israel, of ‘een ander joods geluid’ vertegenwoordigen.
Discussies hebben, lijkt mij, eigenlijk alleen maar zin om objectieve geinteresseerden die niet op de hoogte zijn van de geschiedenis en huidige ontwikkelingen, te informeren en overtuigen.
The hasbara brigade strikes again! You always hear about Israeli attempts at media manipulation. Everyone knows it’s going on but usually the process happens through cyber insurgents like those involved with Giyus (and its media monitoring software, Megaphone). Now, we know that the Israeli foreign ministry itself is orchestrating propaganda efforts designed to flood news websites with pro-Israel arguments and information.
A reader of my blog has received the following email which documents both the efforts and the agency that originated them. The solicitation to become a pro-Israel "media volunteer" also includes a list of media links which the ministry would like addressed by pro-Israel comments:
We hold the [sic] military supremacy, yet fail the battle over the international media. We need to buy time for the IDF to succeed, and the least we can do is spare some (additional) minutes on the net. The ministry of foreign affairs is putting great efforts in balancing the media, but we all know it’s a battle of numbers. The more we post, blog, talkback, vote – the more likely we gain positive sentiment.
I was asked by the ministry of foreign affairs to arrange a network of volunteers, who are willing to contribute to this effort. If you’re up to it you will receive a daily messages & media package as well as targets.
If you wish to participate, please respond to this email…
As in past Mideast conflicts, both the media story line and political commentary here in the U.S. has closely followed Israel’s talking points on the war. This has been an essential component in Israel’s early success and in its ability to prolong fighting without U.S. pushback. Because it recognizes the importance of the propaganda war, Israel fights on this front as vigorously and disproportionately as it engages on the battlefield.
Here’s how they have done it:..
..Douglas Bloomfield and Newsweek have done pretty close to that against the Israel lobby. Specifically, they’ve exposed a secret hasbarahandbook written for The Israel Project by star Republican marketer, Frank Luntz. The oddly-named Global Language Dictionary (pdf) is a veritable goldmine of arguments, strategy, tactics. At 116 pages, it’s not for the faint of heart. But anyone who wants to get inside the head of the Israel lobby must read this document.
I want to devote at least two or three posts to it so I hope you, dear reader, will bear with me. I know my enthusiasm will mark me as a real wonk, but this is the real deal and worth spending some time parsing and deconstructing.
The first thing to say is that the entire document is a pathetic piece of propaganda. While it ostensibly is addressed to TIP’s leaders and advises them how to shape a pro-Israel message when they lobby Congress, the media and other critical power brokers, the entire thing reeks of desperation and a lost cause. It goes without saying that the arguments offered are not only devoid of truth, they’re devoid of rigor or credibility. There is literally no substance to the claims offered on Israel’s behalf. It’s an empty exercise in every sense of the word. Reading this makes you realize that the entire Israel lobby edifice is a house of cards…
Hasbara (Hebrew: ??????, also spelt Hasbarah) is a Hebrew noun that literally means "explanation". The term has been used by the State of Israel and by supporters of Israel to describe their efforts to explain Israeli government policies, and to promote Israel to the world at large. There are a number of hasbara websites on the Internet, which also deal with other Jewish issues…
A new "Hasbara czar", Yarden Vatikay, was appointed by the Israeli government in February, 2008. He heads a "unit to coordinate Israel’s domestic and foreign media policy".
In 2009, Israel’s foreign ministry organized volunteers to flood news websites with pro-Israeli comments related to Operation Cast Lead in Gaza…
The World Union of Jewish Students ( http://www.wujs.org.il ) has published an excellent handbook for student advocacy of Israel, written by J. Blume & A. Benjamin The entire handbook in PDF format is available from them. What is particularly excellent about this book is that it tries to be inclusive, and to find room for all shades of legitimate Zionist opinion.
These pages reproduce excerpts and highlights from that Hasbara Handbook, adapted for US standard spelling and usage and with emphasis added in a few places.
Some text has been changed or added – indicated in this italic navy font.
Contents – WUJS HANDBOOK ONLINE