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hasbarah

  • The logic of the occupation

    What we can learn from the arrest of a well-known Palestinian activist's wife. Nariman Tamimi was due to stand trial today at Ofer Military Prison for a rare charge: violating a closed military zone order. Nariman was arrested in her own village during an unarmed protest, in which not even one stone was thrown. When she was brought before a military judge, it was proved – through video evidence – that she never even resisted her arrest as the army previously claimed. Yet the military prosecution insisted on proceeding with the case. You can read Mairav Zonszein's report of the affair…

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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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  • 'Why don't you write about Syria?'

    Reports on Syria have become a public commodity in the political conversation regarding Israel/Palestine, and the Palestinian refugees in Syria have become an object in a debate, not living people that need urgent help. It's not unusual for any report on a wrongdoing by the IDF in the occupied territories to be received here with comments such as: "why don't you write Syria instead?" Or, when a report on a massacre in Syria does surface, someone is only to eager to use it to improve Israel's image, in some sick, relativist fashion. A rather funny - or tragic, depending on what you…

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  • The first Mr. Hasbara: Mike Wallace's 1958 talk with Abba Eban

    On the country's 10th birthday, Israel's ambassador to Washington touched on issues that remain on the political agenda half a century later: His government's territorial ambitions, the refugee problem and Israel's expectations of the American Jewish community. Mike Wallace, the legendary host of 60 minutes who passed away on Saturday, interviewed in 1958 Israel's ambassador to the United States, Abba Eban. It's an interesting viewing: Eban was the original Mr. Hasbara, unmatched in his mastery of languages and ability to relate to audiences around the world. Many of his talking points, readers may notice, are repeated by Israeli spokespeople to…

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  • In propaganda battle, PM Spokesperson tweets old photo

    The IDF is recently putting a lot of effort into propaganda campaigns, and especially new media ones. The army has a blog, a Flickr account, a Facebook page and a Youtube channel; officers from IDF spokesperson unit are very active on social networks, where they argue with journalists and activists and at times even endorse certain (rightwing) political positions. A recent entry in the IDF Spokesperson blog encouraged readers to help the army "spread the truth" about the military escalation in the south. Another entry was dedicated to a tweet from a Palestinian blogger, which showed a photo of a…

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  • The worst defense of Zionism in history

    An op-ed on Ynet, Israel's most popular news site, explains how to address anti-Zionism: Zionism will only cease being demonized in the politically correct corners of the West once our schools and film industry cease to demonize colonialism. The politically correct depiction of the colonialist as a racist and covetous brute must give space to the majority of well-meaning administrators that helped build roads, schools, and hospitals for the natives. It must be shown that colonialists administered law and justice far more fairly than most pre-colonial chieftains or post-colonial despots.

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  • Rightist Propaganda Min. looking for Arabs, gays to represent Israel

    Hoping to boost the liberal image of country, Israel has increased efforts to use the gay community for advocacy and PR assignments. This post was updated. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first to appoint a government minister in charge of propaganda, advocacy and international public relations. Minister Yuli Edelstein has taken this position at the head of the Hasbara office so seriously that he has even asked Netanyahu to be relieved of other government duties so that he can concentrate on advocacy and propaganda. Edelstein, a member of Likud, is known for his rightwing views. Recently, he posted a…

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