You’ve got to hand it to those cracker-jack propaganda experts at the Israeli foreign ministry. They’ve finally figured out how to make the world love Israel. It doesn’t involve changing Israeli policy or anything as obvious as that. No, that would too easy. The foreign ministry wants to do it the hard way: make the world love Israel without changing an itty-bitty thing. And the way they’re going to do it is by flooding the internet with the good news about Israel:
The Absorption Ministry is recruiting new immigrants and Jews living abroad who have access to a computer and who speak a second language to a volunteer effort to improve public relations for Israel on the internet. The campaign was launched last week.
In the cross hairs are problematic blogs, talkbacks, online social networks, online polls, Youtube videos, and more.
Some 60% of the applicants are immigrants, old and new. The rest are Jews living in the Diaspora, Israelis living abroad, and even non-Jews who support Israel and want to help out.
The Absorption Ministry forwarded the volunteers’ details to the Foreign Ministry, which briefed them via email and provided up-to-date material on the situation, including video clips that could help them in the field.
…Each time the ministry identifies an anti-Israel trend on a foreign-language blog, news site, or other website, it will immediately put out a message to the volunteers to flood the site with pro-Israel opinions.
Absorption Ministry Director-General Erez Halfon commented, “This provides an important opportunity for new immigrants, who have always been a strong Zionist nucleus, to feel like they are contributing to improving Israel’s image in the world. The foreign-language-speaking immigrants are a real asset, and it is important to take advantage of this. From our perspective, it was like an emergency call up, and I am thrilled that the response was so great.”
Yes, it’s an “emergency call up” and we’re fighting a war here, an internet war for the hearts and minds of those online. And the way to do it is through propaganda, duplicity, surreptitious collusion to turn a level playing field into a battlefield that Israel owns.
If you ask me, it’s beyond pathetic. And the fact that the government publicly crows about this enterprise shows just how clueless they are; just how out of touch they are with the protocols of the internet. Reputation is everything online. Trashing your reputation in the way the foreign ministry has done here brings Israel into even more disrepute than it ever was. In effect, it accomplishes precisely the opposite effect from what the PR flacks intended. Instead of improving Israel’s image it tramples it in the dirt. The most curious thing about this is that the government doesn’t need anti-Israel blogs and websites to tarnish its image–it does quite a good job of that itself.
I have to say I’m a bit disappointed in the quality of hasbaraniks it’s been sending my way. Here are a few representative samples. Gidi from Beitar writes:
…Every people roots out its traitors. that’s why you have a treason clasue in every criminal code. jewish people are filled with traitors like you. and it’s sad.
And Dion the Optionstud writes:
I strongly disagree that this is the time for those American Jews who oppose Israeli policies to speak out publicly. This is the time for the whole world to wake up and support Israel as she battles on the front lines of an ever growing terror and Islamist threat, and who knows what will happen now under Obama.
Wewillsurvive espouses an especially pungent form of racism that sanctions genocide:
It is well documented that throughout human history, many races have been “absorbed” into other races through conquest, intermarrying, slavery…etc.
…It is perfectly normal and good for a wild fire to purge an overgrown forrest…….for what is born of the ashes is stronger and more suited for survival.
But alas, people are very narcissistic and believe that they are special and entitled to “survive”. Africa is a great example. 90% of Africas [sic] popoulation [sic] depend [sic] on the west to feed them. If we suddenly stopped, nature would quickly eliminate them. Harsh but true……….
The jews took the holy land fair and square in the 1967 war. The philistines are lucky they got the WBank & Gaza. The jews didn’t have to give them anything. strong and the civilized will always triumph over radical and uncivilized.
Jonathan Shomron is actually too far to the right to participate in a hasbara campaign like this since he’s written in the Jerusalem Post that he’s in favor of a putsch to topple Israel’s democratic government (“Screw the elections. A right wing military backed coup is the only thing that will save Israel from destruction”). No, Shomron is a one-man hasbara operation on behalf of Israeli fascism:
Kapo, don’t try to compare Israeli deaths with Palestinian deaths, as one Israeli is worth at least a million Palestinians. The Gaza operation is a failure only because not enough Palestinians were killed.
The Israeli government should set up Death Squads to deal with Kapos like you. You are all a bunch of filthy Kapo scum. Moderate that.
All Palestinians are subhuman terrorists…There will only be peace in this world when the ideology of Islam, which is equivalent to National Socialism, is eradicated from the earth.
This is but a tiny sampling of the kind-hearted propaganda foisted by the pro-Israel crowd on blogs like this during the past few weeks. But just imagine what I’ll be reading here after that hasbara campaign really kicks into high gear. I can’t wait.