35 thoughts on “IDF Needs a Few Good Hasbara Hackers – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “The notion that IDF videos of the Mavi Marmara massacre constitute “visual proof” of anything is simply beyond belief and beyond words”.
    Be careful, Richard, some of your Israeli posters might feel personally aimed at.

    1. I freely and proudly admit to being beyond belief and beyond words. To me there is “visual proof” that not all the right is on one side, and that many of the Marmari passengers were not non-violent demonstrators.

      1. Here we go again. There is no requirement for citizens of a foreign state to act non-violently when they are attacked by Israeli armed forces in international waters.

        *The U.S. State Department explains that blockades have historically resulted in belligerent recognition of statehood, because they are “a weapon of war between sovereign states.” http://future.state.gov/when/timeline/1861_timeline/prevent_confederacy.html That means neutral countries can deal with Hamas as a independent State with all the rights and duties regarding the laws of war and commerce. Those laws prohibit the use of blockades that attempt to starve a civilian population for any reason or that inflict disproportionate damage or suffering on them as a form of collective punishment.

        *Wikileaks recently revealed that Israel’s Military Intelligence Director, Amos Yadlin, said that Israel would be “happy” if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a HOSTILE STATE. (emphasis added) http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2007/06/07TELAVIV1733.html

        The Restatement (Third) of The Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 201.(h) says “Determination of Statehood. Whether or not an entity satisfies the requirement for statehood is determined by other states when they decide whether to treat that entity as a state.

        According to the Washington Post and many other sources the government of Israel maintained that it was clearly within its rights to stop the aid flotilla, saying “any state has the right to blockade ANOTHER STATE in the midst of an armed conflict.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/01/AR2010060102934.html

        Every state has the customary right of self-defense during an armed conflict, not just the Israelis. There were no Israeli flagged ships in the flotilla. The customary rule of international law states that the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that – failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary- it may not exercise its power in any form in the territory of another State. See Article 2(4) of the UN Charter http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml and the Permanent Court of International Justice ruling in Case of the S.S. “Lotus” (France v. Turkey), PCIJ Series A, No. 10, at p. 18 (1927) http://www.icj-cij.org/pcij/serie_A/A_10/30_Lotus_Arret.pdf

      2. @Shmuel:
        You certainly are beyond belief and beyond words. The videos were clearly faked, using some IDF training footage spliced with footage showing peaceful Israeli commandos descending from helicopters. No passenger on board the Mavi Marmara or any other flotilla boat was armed. When attacked with lethal force, a few picked up whatever was available in order to protect themselves and their families from pirates who had already murdered some passengers and were clearly capable to continuing the massacre. If Israel had nothing to hide, why did it confiscate all the cameras, photographs and video records of the unprovoked attack on boats well inside international waters?

  2. Western public opinion can be manipulated easily. See how American thinks that starbacks is selling coffee, not to say that they think it is good coffee.

      1. Don’t get too upset about this, “French fries” have nothing to do with France, “English tea” comes from Sri Lanka, and China crockery comes from Holland.

        Israel is Mediterranean so eats Mediterranean food. If Israelis called Polish food Israeli then I’d start getting worried that they don’t belong.
        Anyway I seem to remember that a large percentage of Israelis are Palestinian by origin, so obviously these are now indiginous national Israeli foods.
        Were it to be called “Jewish salad” you might have a point.

        1. Come on, Shmuel. “French fries” might have nothing to do with France, such as what is called “Macedonian salad” in French is called “Italian salad” elsewhere, but we’re talking of a state being established on other people’s land, and not only was the majority of the natives expulsed but their food was ‘nationalized’ too.
          Every time I go to my local supermarket I see tahineh and hummus, branded as an “Israeli speciality” and I feel like crying. After the Jaffa oranges, and the Carmel, now the Palestinian salad. Don’t you understand that ?
          Political, military and gastronomic hasbara 🙁

          1. If it’s any consolation, in Israel the salad is invariably called “Arab Salad” on menus. I’ve never come across the term “Israeli Salad” in Hebrew.

            I really don’t believe there was ever an attempt to nationalize the Palestinian\Arab cuisine, but it is simply a business and tourist way of promotion. There is no Hebrew word for hummous, falafel, tehina, etc and I don’t think any Israeli denies the Arab origins of hummous or falafel, and every Israeli knows that for “real” hummous you go to Abu Gosh or the Arab suq rather than McDonalds.

            I’m truly sorry (not cynically) if this particular thing is so heart rending for you, but I don’t think there is any malice in this one.

          2. Well, you’re doing your job as a defense attorney for the state of Israel 😉
            Abroad, and particularly in NY, it’s invariably branded as the ‘Israeli salad’. Try google it.
            It’s not the name itself, but paraphrasing Mahmoud Darwish “the Arab salad as a metaphor” (of dispossession).
            Gastronomic Hasbara as the rest of it is for export.

            If you ever get the occasion to see “Jaffa, the Orange Clockwork” by Eyal Sivan (it’s on the net in French, maybe it’s there in Hebrew too), a documentary on the Israeli-Arab conflict based on the history of the Jaffa orange, you’ll see, there’s nothing casual about the taking over of Palestinian cultural heritage.

    1. You have a minor point. Starbucks is truly awful coffee & I never drink it. But Starbucks media campaigns are light years beyond the IDF & they actually sell a product that millions want to buy. I can’t say the same about the IDF.

    1. I agree that it’s a blow below the belt to mock his physical appearance, but it is strange to put someone so unpleasent in appearence as your window model.

      I often thought that one of the reasons that the peace talks took so long over the years, and the Western world’s reluctance to recognise the Palestinian’s rights was partly due to Arafat’s unpleasent appearence.

      I don’t think it’s coincidence that all American Presidents are poster-boys since the visual media revolution.

    2. I’ve just patted myself on the back for never having remarked on Jennifer Rubin primitive appearance, nor the girth & general unattractiveness of Robert Kagan and David Makovsky.
      Apparently Haim Saban is very careful about his diet & appearance. Maybe he’ll require that his minions shape up as well?

    3. The US military obviously disagrees. The services involuntarily discharge individuals for failure to maintain their weight and fitness in accordance with the applicable published standards.

      1. And this guy isn’t even officially military. He has an honorary rank! Can you imagine the US Army’s chief spokesperson wearing a uniform, having the rank of Brig. Gen., yet not actually being an officer at all?? It’s preposterous.

        1. Benihayu, regardless of your disrespectful attempts to degrade him, is “official military”. While his rank was not attained through the ordinary course of army progression – he is currently a fully pledged officer, whether you approve of his weight or not.

          Being an officer in the IDF, protecting Israel, is far a more respectful job than sitting behind a desk and typing blog posts against Israel and its people.

          Major in the IDF’s reserve

          1. his rank was not attained through the ordinary course of army progression – he is currently a fully pledged officer

            Frankly, I don’t know what the “ordinary course of army progression” means. I assume it means that for every 100,000 officers there may be a single Benayahu who receives an honorary appointment or whatever you wish to call it. The truth is that he has never attended the officer course or any other form of officer training & so he’s an officer in name only. The IDF is cashing in on his contacts & rewards him with an honorific.

            Being an IDF officer is a “respectful job?” Tell it to the people of Gaza & Lebanon. Tell it to the millions of Israelis betrayed by Ashkenazi’s profound disrespect to his own uniform & country by his self-serving venality. Oh & btw, who was the IDF sycophant who served as Ashkenazi’s lapdog through all this? Benayahu. Benayahu who served a man (the chief of staff) instead of the IDF and the uniform he wore. Both betrayed their uniforms & yet you flack for them.

            Would you mind how someone whose e mail includes “Dave Kritz” can sign himself “Itai, major in the IDF reserves?”

            You wanna talk about respect? I have respect for the Israel and its people who are working courageously against the horrors perpetrated by majors like you in the IDF. And there are tens of thousands of those peace activists & others working for peaceful co-existence. That’s my Israel. And it’s an Israel just as real and important as any you represent. And if you dare to claim at any point in the future that I am against Israel & its people you’ll be outa here so fast your head will spin. And before you type another word into a comment box here you go read the comment rules & you follow ’em. Consider yrself on notice.

  3. Israel is displaying true genius in its use of its technology –corporations and governments around the world will be so eager do business with Brand Israel once more people are aware that Israel will hack or infect or include spy doors in Israel Brand systems.

    way to demonstrate to the world what a swell buncha people have their technology in your multibillion dollar industry.

  4. i was repulsed reading your description of Benyahous physical attributes. You were so offended when someone referred to you as old, probably after googling your picture. that was really low uncalled for, and disrespect you.

    1. Hey, you know what? Benayahu makes me sick. I’m sorry it offends you but I find him morally repulsive as well as disgusting in other ways as well. He deserves every measure of opprobrium one can muster & I mustered far more that were factual & objective than the subjective ones of which you disapprove. Focus on that & rebut those if you dare. You’re using my insults of his girth as a sideshow to distract fr. the main pts of the lunacy of what he’s trying to do & how he’s going about doing it.

      BTW, Eretz Nehederet uses such caricatures in virtually every performance & I bet you don’t hesitate to laugh at its portrayals. I usually keep away fr. comments on people’s physical appearance but Benayahu cries out for it. He’s a caricature of himself. And the fact that the IDF has elevated this buffoon to a position of honor & responsibility speaks volumes of about it & him.

      1. Defending your behavior you are adding a sin to a crime ( חטא על פשע) your critique of Benyahou may be in place but when you chose to go to such a low level your critique looses its validity.
        I refuse to discuss this issue further – as a protest.

        1. This is precisely what I was pointing to in my earlier reply to you. Instead of dealing w. real issues you pout & distract fr. them. You speak about my satirical description of Benayahu in moral-halachic terms while ignoring the far more significant moral breaches which the big guy is defending using every lie at his command. If Benayahu wants to go on a diet & start shilling for Weightwatchers or Jenny Craig (he’s essentially a PR flack–his real profession–dressed up in uniform) I’ll stop makin’ cracks about his girth. But until he does that I’ll allow myself to use the weapons of political satire to skewer my subject.

          And btw, I expect to hear no sounds of mirth in the IlanP household on nights when Eretz Nehederet airs and a politician or other public figure is similarly lampooned for being fat. I’m sure you’re far too serious to stoop so low as to think this might be funny.

          1. Don’t act dense. You are not, so don’t make a fool out of yourself.
            Your statement didn’t resemble a satire, and that’s why you had more then one comment condemning it.
            a person with integrity would have apologized and moved on. you dig your foot in the sound and try what ever maneuver do defend your despicable attack. which as you were told is a testimony to your character and not to his.

          2. Your statement didn’t resemble a satire, and that’s why you had more then one comment condemning it.

            Sure it was satire. What do you call it? If you don’t consider it satire it may be because Benayahu is your ox and you don’t like him gored. But if you look up the word in the dictionary you’ll find that the phrases I used are certainly satiric. Those who criticized my references to his girth either support what he represents or don’t really understand the role he plays in defending the IDF and its worst acts.

            Sorry, but you will fail in attempting to deflect attention fr. Benayahu’s bad character and deflect this to discuss mine.

            “Despicable attack?” Gimme a break. OK, that’s it. We’re done with the subject. Move on.

  5. The designation “little hackers” suggests something entirely different than the hordes of online hasbaristas already at work.

  6. Two things, here, that the Israeli military should learn from the US:

    – Hacking, meaning unauthorized entry into a system to disrupt it, can easily be used against Israeli targets, as Richard mentions. The computer industry improves security all the time, so this seems useless as a weapon against non-Israelis, and would wave a flag saying, “here! hit me” to all the rogues in the world. There are many.

    – Planting stories on websites is, for good reason, contrary to US military doctrine. Both unconstitutional and probably contrary to the US Code of Military Justice. Why?

    (a) The Constitution and US ttradition says that the military stays out of politics. The military does not try to influence publc opinion. (What if fewer Israeli generals ran for office?) Is Mubarak’s Egypt a good model?

    (b) A sailor at GTMO was ordered to prowl websites to give a true account of conditions at the US detention center. Even though he might have been more accurate, people traced him back to a military net and IP address. He was verbally kicked by his superiors, and the military had to apologize.

    The truth will come out, and Israel will look bad. Again.

  7. Richard, your derogatory remarks about the poor guy’s looks don’t add much to this otherwise very interesting story.

    I wonder what he means by LITTLE hackers. Are they going to recruit and train children or teenagers? If so, this may be qualified as military use of children and may be in violation of international law. So I guess he must be talking about 18-year-old army recruits.

    Secondly, what does he mean by HACKERS? Is he talking about training computer security experts who will break into computer systems, plant viruses and engage in other sorts of illegal activities? This is what the word hacker suggests to me, and in that case this is a very embarrassing story for the IDF. Or is it about digital and social media experts who will write propaganda blogs, chain emails, and engage in social network activities to promote the IDF standpoint? In that case, one does not need to be a hacker or to be “born and raised online”. The use of the word hacker would in fact be ridiculous in that context.

    1. I’m sorry about the low blows about his looks. Perhaps if you heard him speak you might have more sympathy for my portrayal. The guy is simply a buffoon in almost every sense of the world.

      I don’t think he really has a clue about internet terminology. So yes, he doesn’t understand what a hacker really is & thinks it’s someone who will engage in social network battle on behalf of the IDF & State. So his usage, as you said, is ridiculous. He probably meant to use a term like computer “nerd” or “geek.” Those would’ve been more apt.

      1. With that I can agree.
        I don’t like the man, wouldn’t like him near me or my children.
        He may have been chosen for the job, because of the way he knows how to manipulate the press.

  8. I saw Avi Benyahu at an ice cream place next to the Kirya gorging himself following a protest against the IOF’s murder of Youssef Amira, a child, in Ni’lin. This dude is the ultimate twit – the photo Richard used was relatively tasteful, given his usual appearance. The guy was being shadowed by an attractive female underling who totally failed to stop a large group of activists from surrounding his girth and questioning him regarding the murder. His only response was “no response” *eats more ice cream*.

    Richard’s distaste for the man is totally within reason.

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