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BBC lets right-wing Israeli write for its website

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Ben-Gurion airport

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Stuart Littlewood recalls that long before Hamas’s rockets closed Ben-Gurion airport – itself built on stolen land – Israel had destroyed Gaza’s airport, built with international aid and destroyed without a whimper. More »

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US plays decisive role in Israel’s attack on Gaza

Jonathan Cook argues that Israel’s deception on Gaza aside, of greater concern should be the Obama administration’s decision to back Israel to the hilt and the US media’s silence on the matter. More »

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Slaughter: Israel’s new “self defence”

Stuart Littlewood debunks the weasel-worded excuses dished out by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his newly-appointed foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, in defence of Israel’s blitzkrieg in the Gaza Strip. More »

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Competition corrupts minds and actions

Graham Peebles examines the harmful impact of competition on the individual and society, and argues that for social harmony and justice to prevail, cooperation and sharing must replace competition. More »

Israel Hamas relationship

Israel’s ambiguous relationship with Hamas

Uri Avnery views the absurd propaganda surrounding the current Israeli aggression against Gaza, and examines Israel’s relationship with the Hamas movement, which is more ambiguous than Israelis would have us believe. More »

BDS

Seize the moment! Boycott Israel

Stuart Littlewood calls for comprehensive sanctions against Israel and its Western mouthpieces and stooges – as well as against media such as the BBC which consistently fail to challenge Zionist disinformation. More »

William Hague friend of Israel

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Stuart Littlewood says the recently-resigned UK foreign secretary, William Hague, was waving Israel’s flag to the last minute, and holds little hope that Hague’s successor, Philip Hammond, would be any better. More »

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Lawrence Davidson examines the reasons for the persistently violent behaviour of Israelis, arguing that this pathological disposition to violence will have grave consequences for Jews unless they take a stand against Israel. More »

Strategy

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Alan Hart argues that Palestinian violent resistance to Israel is counterproductive and that Palestinians must dissolve the Palestinian Authority and thereby expose Israel and make it responsible and accountable for the occupation. More »

Daily Archives: January 2, 2013

Palestinian PR coordination and unity

The message from an Israeli think-tank all pro-Palestinian activist groups need to hear

By Alan Hart

One of the best articles I read in the whole of 2012 was published at the tail end of the year, on 30 December, by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz

The article was written by Barak Ravid. The headline over it was “Think tank: Israel’s poor international image not the fault of failed hasbara” (the Hebrew word for explaining and advocacy, for which read propaganda).

The subject of the article was the first report of a new Israeli think-tank, Molad: The Centre for the Renewal of Democracy. Outside Israel there are probably very, very few people who have heard of Molad, so let’s start with what it is.

Here is Ravid’s own description:

Molad, established less than a year ago [in January 2012] is a think tank devoted to providing Israel’s liberal left with new ideas regarding matters of foreign policy and security, as well as socioeconomic issues. The new study is the first project released by Molad as part of an effort to infuse leftist ideas in Israeli public discourse. This effort, the centre believes, will help resuscitate a political camp which is currently on its deathbed.

Molad’s governance includes a Public Council chaired by a former Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Avraham Burg, who for some years has been expressing with passion his disillusion with what Israel has become and his fears about where it is taking the Jews. In an op-ed for the New York Times last August, he castigated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his “warmongering” and Israel for its “unconscionable treatment of the Palestinians”.

…one of the main reasons for Zionism’s success for so long in selling its propaganda lies as truth was to do with the efficiency of its hasbara effort,its unity and coordination.

As Ravid noted, Netanyahu and his closest advisers believe that Israel’s poor and deteriorating image in the world is the result of a hasbara failure; and that a more effective presentation of Israel’s case, and increased advocacy efforts, will solve a large portion of the country’s woes in the international arena.

The Molad study concludes that the Netanyahu-driven criticism of Israeli advocacy is “detached from reality” and “a myth”. The real reason for Israel’s growing isolation in the world, the study proclaims, “is the Israeli government’s policies.”

Israeli success vs Palestinian failure

Ravid’s article also contains a very good explanation of why until recently the Zionist state was so successful in selling its propaganda lies as truth. It possessed the awesome ability to do so because of the National Information Directorate (NID).

Here’s Ravid’s description of what NID is:

Israel’s advocacy effort is directed by the National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office. All the other official advocacy entities, and there are several of these – the Foreign Ministry, the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] Spokesman’s Office, the Tourism Ministry, the Jewish Agency – are subordinate to the directorate. The National Information Forum, comprising delegates from these various bodies, is in charge of coordinating messages and formulating strategies. The directorate also consults media and marketing experts from both academia and the private sector. And, in addition, the government conducts an unofficial advocacy effort involving hundreds of Israelis and overseas activists, organizations and NPOs [non-profit organizations], along with non-Jewish supporters; this effort is aimed at delivering Israel’s messages mainly in the United States and the EU.

In other words, one of the main reasons for Zionism’s success for so long in selling its propaganda lies as truth was to do with the efficiency of its hasbara effort,its unity and coordination.

How on the other side of the coin has the pro-Palestinian camp performed to date?

Ravid put it this way:

After analysing Israel’s advocacy effort, the Molad study used the same tools and criteria to assess the efficacy of the anti-Israel campaign.

What it found was that the various anti-Israel efforts have failed to properly coordinate and unify their messages. The organizations do not operate under the aegis of one overall group; in many instances, they act separately from one another. Unlike Israel, with its National Information Forum, there is not a single anti-Israel group which takes overall responsibility for setting a unified agenda.

Moreover, the Palestinian Authority’s role and influence on anti-Israel advocacy is limited. “More than anything,” contends the study, “the conduct of these bodies reflects the anti-Israel advocacy campaign’s absolute failure to unify organizations and activists in this context around a single, coherent, official message.”

“Apart from basic principles,” it continues, “these groups lack a common idea or common goal that could consolidate them as partners in one official body.”

Most if not quite all pro-Palestinian activist groups everywhere are doing their own little things in splendid isolation and are like flies to be swatted away by the Zionist monster.

That’s an echo of what I have been writing in various articles for quite some time. At the risk of getting myself red-flagged by some if not many pro-Palestinian activist groups as well as by Zionism, the mainstream media and the Arab regimes, I’ll repeat myself. Most if not quite all pro-Palestinian activist groups everywhere are doing their own little things in splendid isolation and are like flies to be swatted away by the Zionist monster. Some will say I’m not being fair because pro-Palestinian activist groups are assisting the process of isolating Israel. That’s true but only at the margins. Pro-Palestinian activist groups could not point to any significant success if Israel’s actions and policies were not turning much of the world off.

Time for coordination and unified agenda

The right time for coordination and a unified agenda with a single, coherent message is now. And to my way of thinking what that coherent message should be is obvious. The only real prospect for a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict is via the creation of one state with equal rights and security for all. But as I indicated in a previous article, for this to become the driving idea of a coordinated and unified agenda, the occupied and oppressed Palestinians would have to set the ball rolling by demanding and bringing about the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority, in order to make Israel fully responsible and accountable for its occupation.

The right time for coordination and a unified agenda with a single, coherent message is now. And to my way of thinking what that coherent message should be is obvious. The only real prospect for a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict is via the creation of one state with equal rights and security for all.

That would create a new, dynamic political environment within which pro-Palestinian activist groups of all faiths and none would have their best chance of making a real difference in the struggle to change the course of history – provided they put their act together and were united and coordinated.

One of the merits of a global campaign for one state with equal rights and security for all is that the message is a positive one. It is about care and concern for both Arabs and Jews in Palestine. And that would resonate with many, many people around the world.

Israel has its NID. Perhaps what is most needed on the other side is a PNID.

Note

The above should not be taken to mean that I believe the countdown to catastrophe for all can be stopped. It might already be too late. I am saying only that a united and coordinated global campaign for one state with equal rights and security for all offers the only real prospect for trying to prevent a final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which could trigger another great turning against Jews everywhere if the rising, global tide of anti-Israelism was transformed into classical anti-Semitism.