Analysis News

hasbara

  • 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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  • Stand With Us poster sends truly universal message – accidentally

    Controversial poster juxtaposes Holocaust survivors with IDF soldiers. The only thing is, the Nazis' victims in the picture are probably not Jewish. Ami Kaufman reported here on a tasteless Stand With Us poster, politicizing the memory of the Holocaust in order to support Israeli policy and the IDF. Here is the poster, and I urge you to read Ami, who makes all the important points. (UPDATE: Stand With Us took the picture off their Facebook wall) I, however, want to bring attention to an interesting fact (pointed out by a commentator on the Stand With Us Facebook page): the survivors in the…

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  • Jerusalem's refugee camp: Abandoned by the state

    Although the Shuafat refugee camp is under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem Municipality, one look at the lack of basic infrastructure, the sewage running in the streets and the unsafe conditions reveal that it is part of a different world. By Chen Misgav Several weeks ago, during a late Saturday morning, a group of 20 Jewish-Israelis leave their cars at the entrance to an intimidating military checkpoint outside Shuafat refugee camp. We are meeting with A., a representative of the Jerusalem Committee Against the Wall and the Settlements, who will be giving us a tour of the camp. We walk…

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  • In response: The benefits of academic Israel programs

    In response to Olga Gershenon's critique of one-sided programs that bring American academics to discover Israel, one writer counters that those very programs are actually a step in the right direction, both due to the openness by which they are run and by the people they attract.  By Brent E. Sasley Olga Gershenson wrote a strong critique in these pages of three programs that aim to bring academics from around the world to Israel. Her criticism centers on the accusation that these programs, all funded by Jews, Israeli, or right-leaning individuals and organizations, present a sanitized version of Israel that highlights the…

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  • Countering single-narrative academic tours of Israel

    A number of programs bring international professors to Israel, shaping the way they teach their students about the country and conflict. What's missing is a Palestinian narrative. But can any alternative program match the all-expenses-paid tours and luxurious accommodations offered by the hasbara-centric Israel programs? By Olga Gershenson In the last few years, a new discipline by the name of Israel Studies has emerged on the academy scene. The field, which includes politics, society, and culture of the State of Israel, is a rather new development which has resulted in an effort to train faculty in the field and to encourage…

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  • Close your books! We’re having a pop quiz in Hasbara!

    Israel's Hasbara Ministry is starting early these days. 'Yedioth Aharonoth' profiles the 10-year-old children who are being trained to 'make the case for Israel,' and tests their new skills. Yedioth Aharonoth published today a story about two 10-year-olds from Sderot, Noa and Christopher (quite the Jewish name there, eh?) who have been “hired” (the kids volunteered) by the Ministry of Hasbara (Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry) to explain Israeli positions. After school, the kids went to a special Hasbara course in which they honed their skills in English and practiced standing in front of cameras. Here are the answers…

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  • Marketing Israel: Is it the campaign, or does the product suck?

    A study shows that Israel's tarnished image has nothing to do with its Hasbara mechanism. Actually, the reason for the failure is pretty straightforward. Some ad companies can do miracles. They can actually do the impossible: sell a bad product. The easiest examples come from the food industry. Take Coke, or McDonald’s burgers. These are products that are known to be unhealthy. Yet, the Mad Men still somehow get these companies to sell, sell, sell. Israel has its own ad company. It’s an enormous, cross-ministry-organization apparatus known as Hasbara. Yet, despite being one of the most successful propaganda machines ever…

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  • Israel's social media campaign: The first war lost on Twitter?

    By Anna Momigliano It has been noted that this is the first war declared on Twitter. At this point I find myself wondering if this might be as well the first war lost on Twitter. Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that there are thousands of people on both sides in fear of their lives and that the use of social media is the least of their concerns. Nor do I think that the “media war” is even remotely as relevant as the actual conflict that is raging over Israel and the Gaza Strip. Yet, as someone who…

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  • In Corrie ruling, court calls nonviolent activism 'practically violent'

    An Israeli judge claims activists who oppose house demolitions - and not those who demolish them - are the perpetrators of violence. The Israeli court system was, for a long time, the most successful fig leaf of the only Jewish state in the Middle East.  Now it has gone diving into the Hasbara morass. After "diplomatic terrorism" (opposing Israel in the world, a phrase favored by our foreign minister) and "economic terrorism" (boycotting settlements) we now have the District Court of Haifa blaming (Hebrew) the ISM organization of being  "practically violent," even though the court admits it had nothing to do with…

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