Douglas Carswell

UK Independence Party hugs Friend of Israel

Stuart Littlewood shows that far from standing for UK independence, the UK Independence Party’s latest “catch”, Tory defector Douglas Carswell, is a Zionist propagandist with a track record of stooging for Israel. More »

Zionism is the problem

“But is it good for the Jews?”

Lawrence Davidson explains why Israel and Zionism are not fit for purpose, and argues that Jews must distance themselves from Zionism and Israel, if only for their own enlightened self-interest. More »

Palestine questions

Questions to ask your pro-Israeli friends

Paul Kinzelman formulates a set of questions which people of conscience can ask Israel’s supporters on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general and on Israel’s genocidal war against the people of Gaza. More »

Happiness

Corporate capitalism versus human happiness 

Graham Peebles argues that the prevailing paradigm of market fundamentalism, neo-liberalism, globalisation and corporate politics, rather than promote social cohesion and the pursuit of happiness, engender depression, anxiety, greed and disharmony. More »

Britain-Israel

Ridding Britain of Israel’s stooges

Stuart Littlewood says Britons must get rid of the “enemy within” – the Israel flag wavers – before they could bring Israel to account and peace and prosperity to the Palestinians. More »

Netanyahu's ceasefire trick

Netanyahu’s self-inflicted Gaza conundrum

Uri Avnery says the collapse of the ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas may have been engineered by the Israeli secret service, and also helped Netanyahu out of a tight political corner. More »

Prosecute Israel for Gaza war crimes

Israel faces its own evil

Gilad Atzmon argues that on the eve of the collapse of the Gaza ceasefire, Netanyahu faced a dilemma: to lift the Gaza blockade or to end up at the International Criminal Court. More »

Liberal Zionist dilemma

The liberal Zionist dilemma

Lawrence Davidson highlights the contradiction between universal civil and political rights and support for Zionist state. He says that, faced with the choice, most “liberal” Zionists would ditch the veil of liberalism. More »

David Cameron and the Israeli flag

Freedom to live ordinary lives…

Stuart Littlewood argues that while Israel continues to ride roughshod over international law and the will of the international community, Britain’s Conservative-led government continues to regurgitate the same tired old messages. More »

Zionism corrupting US democracy

Open letter to President Obama: Your legacy

Alan Hart spells out, in an open letter to US President Barack Obama, what it would take for Obama not to go down in history as a Zionist stooge and a joke. 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.