Sunday, 21 June 2015

Curing Your Stutter Won’t Improve Israel’s Image!

It’s a mistake common to many reactionaries.  It’s not what we do that is wrong, it’s just that we aren’t getting the message across. It was something we heard repeatedly during the Thatcher era.

But if it was just a question of image, then the BBC's pro-Israel propaganda during Operation Protective Edge should have done the trick.  Repeatedly it took its cue from Israel.  Israel's killing operations were merely 'acts of retaliation' for Hamas's fearsome rockets.  Never once did they even ask who fired first.  Not once did they ask why Israel killed primarily civilians whilst Hamas killed mainly soldiers.  But the BBC's propaganda tirade also failed - why? Because people could see the death and destruction.

So is it likely that Israel's spotty, racist students are going to succeed where the BBC failed?

As we've always argued, Israeli 'humanitarian relief' lasts as long as the cameras are flashing
 So each Israeli student is now going to be  trained as a propagandist (weren't they always?).

The Israeli state has decided that it’s not what they do that is the problem, but the way it is portrayed.  So the students are being urged to talk up Israel’s technical achievements, whereas this is possibly the worst of all Israel’s propaganda strategems.  After all does the fact that Hitler pioneered the autobahn, or Mussolini made the trains run on time and eradicated malaria from the environs of Rome make these regimes any nicer?
Israel's Arab women are summoned into the fray - except no one asked them.  The only Member to have been suspended from the Knesset is the secular Arab woman MK Haneen Zoabi, for saying the killing of 3 settler teens was not a terrorist incident (which it wasn't).  Avigdor Liebermann's call to behead Israeli Arabs merited no response.
How do you prettify the slaughter of 1,400 Gazan Palestinians, including 500 children?  Were the children terrorists too?  What about the 4 children murdered on the beach in front of the world’s journalists?  What that just a ‘tragic accident’?  Or the many videos of wanton violence such as on this blog over the last week?
How do you justify the army evicting Palestinians from a pool in the West Bank in order that the settlers don’t undergo bodily pollution?  Or the ‘death to the Arabs’ marches through Jerusalem each year and in other places too? 

Or the eviction of Bedouin villages in the Negev?

It will take more than improving a student’s stutter to explain the Apartheid Wall, the confiscation of land for settlements or the checkpoints dotted around the West Bank.  It is one of the sadder delusions of the settler colonial that they think they do nothing wrong and they’ve just got to improve the message.
Creating Israel's paid propagandists  - the Hasbara Fellowship
The mere existence of this programme, coming in the wake of the paid Zionist trolls operating out of situation war rooms in Herzyliya is itself proof that Israel is rotten to the core.

Tony Greenstein

Students who fly abroad to undergo hasbara and public diplomacy lessons

A new initiative currently underway, takes students who are meant to fly abroad on different delegations, and requires them to undergo a minimum of 10 hours of public diplomacy training. The effort is meant to combat the de-legitimization of Israel abroad.
YNet, Shachar Chai 19.6.15.

Students who go on youth delegations abroad are now required to undergo training in Hasbara and public diplomacy. The first course is currently underway, and is attended by students who will be sent to Germany, China and France.
Students at the IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen here in a screenshot, focus on posting propaganda justifying Israel’s attack on Gaza on Facebook.
The decision to conduct the training was made in the Education Ministry after operation Protective Edge, as criticism of Israel and its policies grew around the world, and due to the recent discussion surrounding the boycott movement.
Photo: Avihu Shapira
The youth delegations are made up of students who fly to international competitions and from now own must undergo a minimum of 10 hours of training, during which they will learn about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the policies of the State of Israel, and will be equipped with tools to deal with bodies who "seek to delegitimize Israel and her image."

The lessons will take directed, and so at the end of the course every group will be assigned a task specific to the country they will be visiting.
Students working the “Hasbara war room” at IDC Herzliya, seen in a screenshot from a Ynet video, see their role as a civilian equivalent of military service.
 Osher Anijar, a 9th grade student from Rabin high school in Eilat, is set to fly to Germany, as part of a student exchange program. Her and her friends from the exchange are taking part in the first course. "Until now we learned about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, about the Arab countries and Israel's borders," she says. "They explained to us that its important to give a good first impression. We were shown videos which show how Israel is seen in the world."

Do the lessons help?

"Very much, my knowledge was expanded and that’s important. I personally have a problem speaking in front of people, sometimes I stutter, and the lessons gave me more confidence. I hope I can represent my country proudly," she says.

The National Coordinator of Youth Leadership, Hadara Rosenblum said: "The decision after Protective Edge, where students who flew abroad were met with questions like what is happening in Israel? What is happening in Jerusalem? They where asked about the security barrier, and the country's border. In the end of the day these students who fly abroad do represent Israel, they fill an important task in Israeli hasbara, sometimes without even knowing it. So it is important that they leave here with the necessary knowledge to deal with the tough questions." 

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