The newly appointed European Commission Coordinator on Combating Anti-Semitism spoke at a Jerusalem conference that was a thinly veiled platform for bashing pro-Palestinian activists. Above all, it sent an alarming message about how she perceives her own role. By Ben White A senior European official spoke last week at an Israeli government-hosted conference in Jerusalem where human rights defenders were denigrated and smeared as anti-Semitic. The International Conference on Online Anti-Semitism was organized by the pro-Israel group Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism (ISCA). The group’s director, Ido Daniel, is a veteran hasbara activist who believes in “exact[ing] an economic and personal…Read More... | 4 Comments
For the past decade Mark Regev has become Israel's preeminent government mouthpiece. Now, as the world prepares to mark 50 years of occupation, Netanyahu appoints a hasbara heavyweight to represent him in the UK. By Yoni Mendel I’m not sure Mark Regev is a name Israelis are too familiar with. But around the world he seems to be one of the people most closely identified with this country, and certainly with its recent governments. A Google News search for “Mark Regev” produces only 180 results in Hebrew, but roughly 12,000 in English. Pretty bizarre for a man who worked so closely…Read More... | 4 Comments
LGBTQ organizations in Israel are threatening to cancel Tel Aviv's yearly Pride Parade unless the government allocates more money to their groups and causes at home — and not just use the parade to promote Israel as a bastion of progressive liberalism overseas. The government's response? Pull the international promotional budget. By Yael Marom The LGTBQ community in Israel is threatening to hold a huge demonstration instead of the internationally lauded annual Tel Aviv Pride Parade this year. The bold threat is the result of an announcement that the Tourism Ministry was budgeting NIS 11 million ($2.9 million) to promote…Read More... | 4 Comments
Slowly but surely, the process of shedding democratic characteristics in favor of 'ethnocratic' ones is becoming clearer and clearer for all to see. By Tomer Persico (translated by Maya Haber) Over the last few weeks we have heard about the collapse of the delicate duality the Israeli government has been trying to preserve for years. It is the duality of occupation at home and democracy for abroad, religious coercion at home and a booming high-tech industry abroad, the stabbing at Jerusalem's pride parade and pinkwashing abroad. It is a strategic duality. It allows Israel to play a part in the…Read More... | 2 Comments
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... | 23 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
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