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THE ISRAEL PROJECT’S SECRET HASBARA HANDBOOK EXPOSED

NewsWeek:

The Full Handbook propaganda of the Israeli Lobby secret Hasbara:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/206021

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Is there anything really secret or sinister in or about this? If so, what is it?
Palestinian's don't have hasbara?
Secret?
Yes, secret and it has been done all the time until it was revealed by a congressman. It is very similar to rites or doctrines of a sect. Have you read it? I read it all.
Riites or doctrines of a sect? How so? Examples please...

Have you ever been to meetings attended of left wing socailist groups and the peace movement?
I realize it sounds sexier and more sinister to use words like "secret" and "exposed" (it got me to check this posting :-) ). I think this speaks more to Arab's fondness of conspiracy theories and romanticizing (negatively) American Jews.

I am older so I missed out on the Hasbara phenomenon in school. I lived in Israel for 10 years and only found out about Hasbara and programs like Birthright when I came back to Canada. I don't know if many Israelis are even aware that these things exist. Or if they care all that much. I suppose we all want to be supported. I think Jews outside of Israel and Arabs around the world give this more attention than Israelis.

I realize that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims are at a deficit when it comes to "marketing" their views and side of the story. I think this is because of many factors: Jews have been in Europe and North America longer than Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians, have some power in the last 100 years which they never had before, understand how to speak to their audience and are passionate about the survival of the Jewish people and Israel as a symbol of that survival. Also, I think most Western peoples can relate better to the Jews than the Arabs- the Jews were the first minority not to be assimilated into European society over the past thousand years- I think there is more understanding of Jews in most places and more sympathy/guilt because Europeans abused Jewish populations for most of that past 1000 years and more.

None of this makes the situation very fair for Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians who don't have equal access to the media, aren't understood by the West and the media and watch from the sidelines as the Jews do a better job spreading information about their side's perspectives.

I think another aspect of this is that there is a difference in worldview between the West (US, Israeli, Europe, most Jews) and East (Arabs and Muslims). I noticed that there is a different way that Arabs frame their experiences, different priorities and issues of importance so alot of the messaging is simply lost on the audiences when we do try to communicate with each other. For example, for most Western people, the issue of humility and saving face does not have the impact as it does for Arabs and Muslims, the fear of annihilation of the Jewish people is not appreciated by Arabs and Muslims who have not been exposed to that narrative. Of course, there are exceptions but I am speaking in general.
Armawi,

Here is an article published in Haaretz about this document, the point is that it show how Israelis do have different view about it, and that the document actually expose the Settlers stress as we get more closer to the point of ending this activity and get Israel to progress toward a stage of definition of the borders.

Many American Jews will not heed the Israel Project's many suggestions. The leadership of the Reform community in the U.S. and Canada, which encompasses more than one million Jews, decided last month to adopt U.S. President Barack Obama's call for an end to construction in the settlements and for an immediate dismantling of the outposts. An official announcement released by the Reform community's leadership voiced concern over Israel's failure to meet its obligations in this regard. They are even demanding that the government take firm action against fringe settler groups that resort to violence against Palestinians.



source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1100059.html

Last update - 21:24 14/07/2009
Akiva Eldar / How to apply PR spin to the settlement issue
By Akiva Eldar
Tags: Israel Project, Mideast Peace

America's best Jewish minds are wracking their brains, trying to find a magic formula that will put the settlements close to the hearts of Israel's supporters, not to mention its critics. A new guide to the perplexed, disseminated by the leadership of the Israel Project, the organization spearheading Israel's public relations efforts in the United States, offers a glimpse into its very own internal confusion.

The informative document recommends discontinuing the usage of three traditional arguments, frequently used by Israeli and Jewish advocates in conversations with journalists and public opinion shapers: It cautions against religious arguments based on quotes from the Bible, which even put off a Jewish audience; it warns that the argument that the land of the settlements "belongs" (the quotation marks were used in the original) to Israel is unconvincing because, officially, Israel itself defines the territories as "disputed" (and not occupied); and explains that the argument that the Arabs use the settlements to their own advantage fails to justify Israel's policy.

The Israel Project's leadership recognizes that public opinion, even among Israel supporters, is ambiguous about the settlements. Despairing Israel advocates still embrace the delusional security argument, from which even retired general Moshe Ya'alon has distanced himself: They argue that the settlements are necessary for Israel's security and suggest telling audiences that the settlements were not created randomly. They were put on mountaintops and in militarily sensitive areas to create a security buffer between Israel and its Arab neighbors (Jordan?). If that does not do the job, remind the audience that the settlements constitute an effective early warning system (does this include their well-baby clinics?). And if that is still not enough, point to the Qassams as convincing proof of what happens when Israel evacuates settlements (kindergarten children in Gush Katif protected their friends in Sderot, or was it the soldiers who protected them?).

But the joker is undoubtedly the term "ethnic cleansing." A weak defense calls for an offensive. The guide for Israel warmly recommends that advocates complain bitterly about the idea that a given area will be cleared of Jews (did someone say Judenrein?). Why can Israel accommodate and even grant equal rights to its Arab minority (the Or Report is just a rumor?), whereas the Palestinian territories must be cleansed of Jews? Unfortunately, the guide does not suggest a response to anyone who heard and/or read the opinions of Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, or of Ahmed Qureia, the head of the negotiating team, who invited the residents of Ariel and Ma'aleh Adumim to remain in their homes and live in peace and equality as a Jewish minority in Palestine. Qureia even said he broached this subject with former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

Too bad none of the prime minister's many advisers directed his attention to this generous Palestinian offer. Had he been aware, he might have refrained from making cheap usage of the ethnic cleansing argument in a conversation he had last week with Germany's foreign minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier.

Many American Jews will not heed the Israel Project's many suggestions. The leadership of the Reform community in the U.S. and Canada, which encompasses more than one million Jews, decided last month to adopt U.S. President Barack Obama's call for an end to construction in the settlements and for an immediate dismantling of the outposts. An official announcement released by the Reform community's leadership voiced concern over Israel's failure to meet its obligations in this regard. They are even demanding that the government take firm action against fringe settler groups that resort to violence against Palestinians.

The roads less traveled

Apropos natural growth, it will be interesting to see how Benjamin Netanyahu will explain to Obama section five of the plan for road improvement, part of the Transportation Ministry's new budget book: "Upgrading Highway 1 between Mishor Adumim and the Good Samaritan Inn and between the Zeitim Interchange and the Coca Cola Interchange [at the foot of French Hill in East Jerusalem], at a cost of NIS 280 million."

Let's leave aside for now the question of why the government is investing over a quarter of a million shekels in relatively lightly traveled roads that do not extend beyond seven kilometers when, at present, there is no time to expand the most accident-prone roads, like the Beit Shemesh highway, where six more people lost their lives over the weekend. How, then, can Israel explain its decision to establish new facts on the ground in the heart of the territories whose future it actually agreed to discuss?

Who will believe that Israel came to the negotiation table with clean hands at a time when it is putting its paws on yet another chunk of land? Some will surely claim that it's all linked to safety reasons and that we sometimes even allow the Palestinians to use these roads. In a previous instance, the Migron-Adam deal, it turned out that business is proceeding as usual in the settlements - and not just while there were ongoing negotiations for an arrangement with the Palestinians, but at the very height of talks with the United States over natural growth. Washington was furious. Maariv's report of erstwhile American consent to completing the construction of 2,500 apartments in the settlements only added fuel to the fire.

A retired hero

European diplomats are wondering what happened to Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief. Throughout his many long years in this post, the Spanish statesman always carefully maintained a low profile with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here a relaxed meeting with Ariel Sharon at the height of Operation Defensive Shield, there a courtesy visit with Ehud Olmert toward the end of Operation Cast Lead. Even when his legs were in the East, his heart was far away in the West, in the White House and in the U.S. State Department.

During president George W. Bush's eight years in office, Solana transformed the European Union into a ward of the Americans with regard to anything related to the Mideast conflict. It is unclear what suddenly prompted him to take the initiative and suggest that the UN set a target date for the creation of a Palestinian state, even without Israel's consent. Perhaps it is the new spirit emanating from the White House, or perhaps it is his impending retirement - maybe both.
In numbers maybe- there are many more Christians than Jews in the US. But the mainstream Jewish community supports Israel at almost all costs. There are a minority of Jews who are vocal about being against Israeli policies and/or zionism but these are the minority. In fact from my experience, Israeli Jews are much more critical of Israeli policies than foreign Jews.

This brings up the issue of when we say we are pro or anti Israel, what are we referring to? To most Jews outside of Israel, Israel is a symbol of their link to their history, their roots and a rebirth of the new Jew who won't be passive to anti-Jewish hate and violence (as most of our ancestors were for a long time). Most Jews take what they know of their Jewish world and history and impose those ideas onto Israel. My father's friends who have never been to Israel talk about Israel like it is a large self-sufficient Jewish community in Canada. They think everyone is a businessman, speaks yiddish, and is being hunted by Arabs purely for being Jews. They defend Israel at all costs because to them, Israel is part of who they are. They only know partial information about Israeli history and the rest they fill in with assumptions based on his experiences and history as Jews.

This is not unique. The Arab world has done the same seeing Israel as a symbol of all the wrongs in their lives. Many of the posts by Arab posters here show this tendency to see Israel as a larger than life entity that has a coordinated and explicit plan to rid the region of Palestinians, or rid Israel of non-Jews. What always strikes me is how Israel as an entity is perceived by the Arab world to be so coordinated, systematic, pre-planned and devious in its actions.

I have to laugh at both the Jewish and Arab impressions of Israel and Israelis because they are both so far from reality.

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