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hasbara

  • The fraud of Gush Etzion, Israel's mythological settlement bloc

    Destroyed by Arab armies during the 1948 War, Gush Etzion was repopulated after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Since then, successive Israeli governments have done everything they can to expand the area of the mythological bloc, while settling Israelis on privately-owned Palestinian land.  By Hillel Bardin and Dror Etkes All American children learn the battle cry, “Remember the Alamo!” at some point in their schooling. The story of the Alamo starts in 1836, when white colonists began settling in northern Mexico. They finally drove the Mexican army out, but the army eventually returned and slaughtered all the whites in the…

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  • StandWithUs to take cash, messaging from Israeli gov't

    The American 'hasbara' organization will disseminate government messages in a contract with the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. By Itamar Bazz / 'The 7th Eye' The Israeli Prime Minister's Office, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, will fund a hasbara organization to disseminate propaganda on behalf of the Israeli government. The allocation of public funds, over NIS 1 million (over $250,000) in 2015, is intended to fund a joint project by the National Information Directorate and the Israeli branch of StandWithUs, an American hasbara organization. Hasbara is a Hebrew term that refers to public diplomacy efforts on behalf of Israel. The committee in…

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  • How Israel stupefies so many brilliant Jews

    It's the occupation, professor. Deja vu from the Technion. On the eve of Passover 1988, I was working at the Technion, Israel’s prestigious technological institute in Haifa, writing fundraising prose. It was a few months into the First Intifada, and Israel’s image had been taking a battering overseas like never before, with scenes being televised continually of heavily armed soldiers and tanks putting down a rebellion by teenagers with stones. We workers in the administration building gathered for the traditional pre-Passover toast with the college president. In his remarks, he noted that many of us would be going abroad for the…

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  • Instead of voting to recognize Palestine, vote against occupation

    Opposing Israeli settlements is not necessarily a vote for Palestine. The British Parliament's non-binding, purely symbolic vote to recognize the "State of Palestine" on Monday was not as significant as the debate that preceded the vote (read the full transcript here). Several media outlets noted conservative MP Richard Ottaway's speech, a longtime Israel supporter who expressed genuine indignation with its latest announcement of more settlements as the reason behind his yes vote. As John Cassidy at The New Yorker put it, "for any true friend of Israel, Ottaway’s words will be hard to ignore." In fact, Ottoway sounded more like a spouse who has suddenly discovered…

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  • Propaganda wars: Searching for a narrative in Operation Protective Edge

    No amount of Tweeting, tagging, posting or liking will save Gazans from an Israeli ground invasion. So why bother? By Corey Sherman Recent political upheavals in the Middle East tend to have a social media subplot, whether it's how savvy youth use it to subvert harsh authority, or how states manipulate access to it so as to stop such subversion. There’s the story about how State-Department-Official-cum-Google-Ideas-Chief, Jared Cohen, requested that Twitter delay a scheduled maintenance of their network to enable Iranians to continue to use the platform to organize during the harsh crackdown on post-election protests in 2009. Or how…

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  • Israel, state of all its victims

    Like the failed peace process or the policy of severing Gaza from the West Bank, the plight of the Bedouin in Israel is one more long-term problem that there is just no time to solve. Two Israeli sisters, 10 and 13, were wounded yesterday by Hamas rocket fire in the Negev. One of them is in critical condition with stomach wounds and underwent emergency surgery in Be'er Sheva, according to Israeli news. Maram and Atir Wakili are Bedouin; their grandfather Ibrahim, interviewed on Channel 10, explained that they live in far-flung areas where they are unable to hear sirens. And if…

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  • What 'no country in the world' should tolerate

    Israel says that 'no country in the world' would agree to live under the threat of Gaza's rockets, but ignores its own culpability in its 100-eyes-for-an eye spiral of violence. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org One of the common talking points used to defend Israel’s pummeling of Gaza is that “no country in the world" would agree to live under the threat of rockets. (Robert Fisk gives at least one historic example to the contrary.) But thin as the argument may be, it begs the question:  Why single out Israel for criticism? Here’s one guess: has any other self-declared…

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  • For Israel's Justice Ministry, human rights are nothing but good PR

    Over the past several years, Israel’s Ministry of Justice has found itself a new angle for engaging in public diplomacy: defending some of the worst pieces of Knesset legislation, while celebrating whatever outcome the court hands down when they are challenged. By Hagai El-Ad Human rights are neither a theoretical concept nor a distant vision: for human beings, human rights are either a foundation for a just life – or, more often, humans are deprived of them. In such realities, the enumeration of rights becomes an enumeration of grievances. For human rights organizations, that enumeration of grievances becomes a workplan.…

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  • Inshallah, the Jews won’t stop

    How the 'worst video ever made' can help clarify things for people who are yet undecided about Israeli policies. What you’re about to watch is, as Heeb Magazine correctly points out, the worst video ever made. It was apparently produced by Orit Arfa, who lives in the mega settlement of Ariel. http://youtu.be/7PiiJ22rRfA I’m sorry you had to go through that. But here’s some more anyway: http://youtu.be/BkObY7Uerpo http://youtu.be/TPFugDD-4NY Orit also has a way with words. In an op-ed she wrote for the Jewish Journal on Jewishjournal.com, she criticized Jeffery Goldberg’s critique of Miley Cyrus and said that “He makes Miley's famous tongue…

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  • How a Jewish Agency fellow becomes a one-state activist

    When Gila Hashkes arrived at UC Berkeley as a Jewish Agency Israel Fellow, she felt like she was jumping into the heart of pro-Palestinian activism. Her job was to organize Jewish students on campus, strengthen their connection to Israel and give them tools to justify its policies. But after a year-long journey of digging deeper into the conflict, being pushed by both her Jewish and Palestinian peers and glimpsing the ‘mentality of fear’ that grips the American Jewish community, she had an awakening of sorts, moved back to Jerusalem and now works for equal rights for all. Tom Pessah sits…

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  • One child's detention in Hebron embodies the sickness of an entire regime

    It takes a racist regime to produce images like this. Nothing less. I urge readers to look closely at the pictures and videos posted today by Mairav Zonszein, which show the detention of a five-year-old in Hebron. As Mairav correctly points out, the whole process is very calm. Very routine. I’d add one more adjective: very racist. Look at those smug soldiers, not even flinching once or thinking twice about detaining a five-year-old. As if there’s no other way for the most powerful army in the region to handle a child who threw a stone. Look at them, surrounding him,…

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  • Techwashing: Hasbara group strikes back after Hawking boycott

    Israeli hasbara organizations have been calling Stephen Hawking a hypocrite for daring to boycott Israel while simultaneously using an Israeli-designed chip in his wheelchair. And this, in essence, is the emblematic Israeli response: shut your mouth when you criticize me. (Translated by Sol Salbe) One of the more repulsive concepts underlying Israeli hasbara (the Hebrew term for the public relations efforts geared at disseminating information about Israel) is "redemption through technology." The concept states that since Israel is a technology leader, it is exempt from any criticism for the fact that it oppresses the Palestinians and other minorities. The same get-out-of-jail card…

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  • Israel gives up white phosphorus, because 'it doesn't photograph well'

    By Idan Landau A certain air of nostalgia dominated Maariv’s headline last Thursday: “Due to criticism in the world, IDF parts ways with white phosphorus”: just like the old Galil assault rifle and the old two-way radios that generations of soldiers grew familiar with. A couple of years ago we learned the IDF was giving up its cans of preserved meat (the kosher version of SPAM). Now, it’s white phosphorus that we say goodbye to. [Twilight. The IDF and white phosphorus exchange a final gaze. A sad violin tune is heard. Curtain down.] So the IDF is looking for a…

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