The former head of the Mossad says Israel no longer faces existential threats, while one of Netanyahu's top advisors calls the Sunni Arab states of the Middle East 'Israel's allies.' If there's one thing most Israelis can agree on, it is that the world is against us. At the very least, so it goes, Israel is surrounded by enemies on all fronts, and the Jewish state's existence is always in peril. This mantra was seared into the fabric of the Israeli consciousness from the founding of the state and persists until today. [tmwinpost] Perhaps that is why recent statements by…Read More... | 6 Comments
A private, low-profile 'public diplomacy' outfit is setting out to train 'Secret Hasbara Agents.' But don't worry, it's not propaganda. A private Israeli hasbara – or “public diplomacy” – organization on Wednesday put out one of the weirdest responses yet to the incitement campaign by far-right group Im Tirzu of two weeks ago. [tmwinpost] The original Im Tirzu campaign described Israeli human rights advocates as "planted" agents serving foreign agendas because the organizations they work for receive funds from European governments. The response ad published on Wednesday called for — presumably right-wing — Israelis to be “planted” inside the “plants,” a…Read More... | 9 Comments
As 2015 comes to a close, +972 Magazine’s editors and bloggers look back at the year that was, and share the articles that most resonated with them – in no particular order. By +972 Magazine Staff Meet the new generation of Palestinians in Israel To most Jewish Israelis they don’t have names or faces. At worst they are rioters and stone-throwers waving Palestinian flags; at best they are a discriminated-against minority. Henriette Chacar sat down with four young, prominent, politically active Palestinian citizens of Israel to discuss their demands, their identity, how they are different than the generations that preceded them,…Read More...
The Israeli army unit that administers the occupation has not updated its website for over five months. Instead, it religiously updates its Facebook page with impressive stats and jazzy graphics — in English only. What's going on? "Last week there were a total of 6,735 crossings between Gaza and Israel," COGAT, the administrative arm of the Israeli occupation chirped on its official Facebook page last Sunday.It is a standard social media update for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit of the Israeli Defense Ministry that oversees the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. (COGAT controls movement in…Read More...
American Anthropological Association votes resoundingly to sever all ties with Israeli academic institutions, as a response to Israel's 'widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights.' The American Anthropological Association (AAA) overwhelmingly passed a resolution to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions during its annual business meeting on Friday. The resolution will go into effect only if it is approved by a final vote of all association members sometime in the coming months. [tmwinpost] With over 10,000 members, AAA is by far the largest academic association in the United States to endorse the boycott at an annual meeting. The…Read More... | 22 Comments
With a naive tone, jovial denial of the existence of Palestinians and winsome depiction of settlers and life in the West Bank, Israel's settlement lobby creates an illustrated guide to hasbaraland. "Occupation, shmoccupation!" declares a new booklet published by the Yesha Council, the lobbying and political arm of West Bank settlements. Titled "Kibush kishkush" (which translates more literally as "occupation nonsense"), the pamphlet states its professed aim of addressing "misconceptions about settlements and the settler public in Judea and Samaria." The book is intended to tackle the "stigmas left-wing organizations are trying to disseminate," Yesha Council spokesperson Yigal Dakmoni told…Read More... | 1 Comment
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... | 22 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
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