Avi Benayahu, who served as IDF Spokesperson during both Operation Cast Lead and the Mavi Marmara incident, explains his worldview and tactics in a lecture obtained by +972 Magazine, including how he sent army officers pretending to be civilians onto foreign television news. Until Brigadier-General (ret.) Avi Benayahu was appointed to be the IDF Spokesperson in 2007, the unit did little more than send Israeli newspapers photos of soldiers celebrating Passover. But between 2007 and 2011, Benayahu — then-Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's right-hand — revolutionized the antiquated unit, transforming it into one of Israel's leading "hasbara" (propaganda, or "public diplomacy")…Read More... | 2 Comments
Instead of earnestly pursuing peace, consecutive Israeli governments have attempted three policies: separating the Palestinians, erasing borders and boundaries, and attempting to change the world's perception of reality. All three have failed. Since Benjamin Netanyahu began his second term as prime minister in 2009, he has resisted reaching a two-state solution but he also claims not to want a single state, with or without a Jewish hegemony. Nobody seems to be willing to simply ask the prime minister: what do you intend for Israel and the Palestinians in five or 10 years from now? In lieu of a vision, Netanyahu…Read More... | 8 Comments
COGAT’s new Facebook page will not hide the fact that with every 'like' it receives, the occupation becomes more permanent in our minds. A few weeks ago, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit launched its own Facebook page. COGAT, which operates under Israel’s Ministry of Defense, controls the blockade of the Gaza Strip through the land crossings; it allocates land and resources to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank; it prevents Palestinian development in Area C and oversees demolitions against Palestinian homes; it accepts or rejects Palestinian permits to enter Israel; and it facilitates the…Read More... | 17 Comments
The Israeli obsession with showing 'our side' of the story not only guzzles financial and human resources — it is a conscious attempt to distract the world from policies of occupation. Last week, the CEO of the global French-owned cellular provider Orange made headlines when he told a Cairo press conference that he would like to end his company’s brand-use contract with a local Israeli provider forthwith. Apparently, he felt the profits are hardly worth the resources needed to defend the partnership politically in France. Within hours the incoming CEO of the Israeli local provider, called “Partner,” had honed his talking points…Read More... | 16 Comments
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…Read More... | 21 Comments
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…Read More... | 16 Comments
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…Read More... | 29 Comments
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…Read More... | 22 Comments
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…Read More... | 10 Comments
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…Read More... | 6 Comments
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…Read More... | 18 Comments
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.…Read More... | 8 Comments
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…Read More... | 35 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
The Iran Deal
Can Netanyahu torpedo the Iran deal? Will he destroy U.S.-Israeli relations trying?
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
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