Thanks to Ofer Neiman and Jonathan Ofir for this absolutely amazing story of the “secret life” of Israeli hasbara.
But before getting into that I wanted to take care of several other matters important to the blog. First, I’ve been sick for a few days and so had little ability to prepare any new posts. I will get things back to normal with this new one.
I thank all those who contributed nearly $700 to support Tikun Olam. It’s a meaningful donation on behalf of all the hard-work involved in publishing this blog. While all your gifts are treasured, two messages to me were especially important because they came from Israelis. They were so important not because I find my Israeli audience any more important than non-Israelis, but because my reporting often questions key values and principles of the Israeli consensus. For that reason, it is very easy for Israelis to see me as the enemy; and so rare for them to appreciate what I do. In both cases, the messages I received were from Israelis who either disagreed with me about some of my views; or who chose a very different Judaic path than mine.
The first donor wrote :
I think this was the first time I’ve ever paid for something I can legally get for free.
Although I find some of your views quite disturbing and sometimes one-sided, they’re not more disturbing to me than my government’s actions and policies (or lack thereof).
It’s important to me to stay informed, and get as many opinions on the situation (however different they are from mine), in the process of synthesizing my own.
Thank you and keep up the good work!
The second Israeli is an Orthodox Jew who works as a journalist:
I am a journalist from Israel. Yesterday, I discovered your Twitter account. I think you are doing important work in reviewing the political situation in Israel and relations between Israel and the U.S. Your work is appreciated. Keep on.
For those who haven’t yet been persuaded to do so, I’ll offer a more concrete reason to make a gift (tax-deductible online). Until now, I’ve chosen the themes for this blog and also created its “look.” Though I worked very hard at this and did a reasonable job considering my lack of professional web design skills, after 12 years it’s high time that I asked someone with the right skill set to put together a compelling look for the blog. I’m hoping we can have the new site up and running in about a week.
I’ve just hired an old friend who’s designed WordPress blogs for many years. She is also a capable and distinguished artist. She will begin working on a new theme for the blog and redesigning it. This will cost money. Around $600 to be precise. So if you’re the sort of person who responds more favorably to appeals to fund a specific project, this could be yours for the asking. I’d even be happy to thank you publicly if you wish (or not as you prefer). Maybe I should even go the route of universities and let you buy naming rights? Imagine your name “up in lights!” I’m only half-kidding. For anyone enjoying recognition, I’m sure we can work out a suitable arrangement.
As part of this project, since so many of you have read and commented here for so many years, you may have a few pet peeves: things you especially like or dislike about the blog’s functionality. Let me know. I can’t promise we can address them all. But we will try. Don’t bother mentioning the issues with the Reply function. We know that’s a mess thanks to the current DIY Thesis theme which its designers, in their wisdom, have chosen not to fix. That will be the first thing fixed by the new theme and redesign. You can either communicate your thoughts in the comment thread or to me directly via the Contact form.
Now to the news of the day: an outfit called the Center for Public Diplomacy and Hasbara has announced on a public website that it is recruiting for a “top-secret” [sic] program that will train “covert hasbara agents” (yes, they used that precise phrase) to go into the wider world to spread the gospel according to Israel.
The following translated by Jonathan Ofir (with my slight modifications):
”A CALL FOR CANDIDATES FOR THE COURSE:
SECRET HASBARA AGENTS
From the International Center for Public Diplomacy and Israeli Hasbara:
For an elite wide-ranging, deep and practical program, the fruit of many years of successful experience from the training staff for Israeli Hasbara-agents.
Course graduates are certified as agents for the network of covert Hasbara-agents of the International Center for Public Diplomacy and Israeli Hasbara.
In addition to assignments for missions among foreign visitors in Israel, certified agents are urged to file their candidacy as participants in foreign Hasbara missions.
The course encourages participants to develop a wide network of contacts [“networking”] embracing the whole world.
Hasbara-agents earn distinction as graduates of a prestigious, impressive elite program of the International Center for Public Diplomacy and Israeli Hasbara.
Possibility for integration into the PKG program: Politics, Knesset, Governance’.
Documents to be presented to test-givers on arrival:
Decision of the acceptance-committee will be transmitted to candidates who provide all of the following:
– Essay on a related subject (300-500 words in Hebrew or English).”
Get with the Program: How They Do It
Despite the sophomoric nature of this pitch, the program content shows a more studied hand at work. Not a fair or balanced one, but at least a program that shows some thought in its preparation. Lecturers including well-known rightist figures Mordechai Kedar, a Bar Ilan Arabist known for training future Shabak agents how to torture their charges in proper Arabic. His talk is titled, “A Peek in at the Neighbors.” Besides the surreptitious frisson of that word “peek,” with its slight connotation of the peep-show (who knows what you might see?), there also that racist assumption that you’ll see something scandalous or other going one there.
The Arabs and Arabists among readers here will have a special interest in the lecturer who professes facility in presenting hasbara to the Arab world. He also has an interest in special education, though I’m not sure whether that means he considers Arabs to have developmental disabilities. At any rate, he responds to anti-Israel propaganda in a “considered and focussed manner” which “refutes the propaganda lies and terminology of incitement in the Arab media.” Seems fair and balanced, no?
Lina Bachman is the anti-BDS expert. She “sees herself as an ambassador for Israel everywhere she goes.” It doesn’t say whether or not Israel accepts her self-designation. Her day job is with NGO Monitor, which the website charitably calls a “research institute.” She was a close adviser to former Labor MK Einat Wilf, which explains why the latter serves on NGO Monitor’s board and why Wilf took such delight in skewering foreign leaders like Jack Straw with trumped-up charges of anti-Semitism.
Another Bar Ilan faculty member is a course leader, indicating that Israel’s leading National Religious university offers this hasbara course a patina of academic rigor, though not one deserved. Retired Amb. Yoram Ettinger apparently earns his credibility to speak on Israel-U.S. relations by virtue of the fact that he was once Israel’s Consul General in Houston and served as Congressional Liaison at the DC Embassy. He now earns a handsome living speaking on the pro-Israel rubber chicken circuit for the Jewish National Fund and others. He’s also a regular contributor to Algemeiner and Arutz Sheva.
An IDF paratrooper commander who fought in Operation Protective Edge (and presumably commanded troops engaged in war crimes) delivers this chilling talk: “Hasbara Through the Gunsight.” His chief hasbara claim to fame is that he participated as an Israel Bonds shaliach in the U.S. He was also awarded a Standwithus Hasbara Fellowship. For those of you who enjoy a chuckle, there’s: “Humor in Service of Pro-Israel Hasbara” (isn’t the “pro-Israel” a bit redundant before the word “hasbara”?). You know the lecturer has her comedy chops because she herself does standup. She’s also an actress and a journalist, though not sure which one gives her the most expertise in delivering the goods for her audience of secret agents.
A political speechwriter-consultant will deliver a lecture on, “Tips on Improving Rhetorical Skill Before Hostile Audiences.” I’ll bet his help will come in handy–or not. One of the lectures will deal with the subject of “The Fighting Media.” In other words, drafting the media to use as the equivalent of a military strike force. Among the arguments advanced: “We must transform the media into a tool and powerful fighting means in shaping public opinion and reality.” That says it all, doesn’t it? But not quite…because his bio wants you to know that he spent “three years learning how to deal with anti-Israel media and audiences in Canada.” Take that, Canada. I guess he never had the privilege of meeting Ezra Levant or Stephen Harper.
Another lecturer’s singular distinction is that he leads the political science department of the “Haredi College” in Jerusalem. Sorry, but I don’t think it’s been ranked in US News & World Reports college rankings. He’ll tell his listeners about the “Hasbara War in World Media.” You’ll be delighted to hear he’s been called “the new voice for Israel” (don’t know who awarded him that moniker). He’s been on the advisory board of the pro-Israel advocacy group EMET and spoken before the American Enterprise Institute, Aipac and many other similar outfits. If anyone knows about waging war on the media, er against the…oh, what the hell, with the media, it’s this guy, right?
I love this title: “Business Marketing Abroad Without Selling Israel Cheap.” The speaker is a specialist in marketing ‘renewable energy.’ Unless you consider hasbara renewable energy (I suppose that depends on how you generate the hot air), I’m not sure what’s his particular expertise on the subject. “Hasbara on Enemy Terrain” is offered by someone who claims special expertise in Islam and terror (why is it those two words are almost always linked in Israeli discourse?). His CV trumpets his role as founder of a group titled, “Druze, Christians and Circassians for Israel.” And a truly mighty NGO it is, I’m sure.
Oh, but how can I stop without telling you about this gem: “English for Hasbarists” (yes that’s a precise translation from the Hebrew, masbiranvim). Sorry, just when you thought I was done…here’s another gem: “The Middle East: How It All Began (Intro to Islam).” I’m really kinda bummed there’s no, “Hasbara in 60 Seconds.” That would be cool.
David Schein is truly one of the more repulsive members of the “faculty.” He will lecture, of course, on the Iranian threat since he was born in Iran. Though he hasn’t lived there in decades and his journalistic output in the far-right Orthodox publication, Makor Rishon (a new addition to the Adelson stable), indicates he cultivates no particular sources there, he of course will offer his expertise on just these subjects.
There will be the mandatory lecture on the “The Startup Nation in Service to Hasbara and Israel-Branding in the World.” A rabbi will tell the future secret agents how to prepare for radio, TV and newspaper interviews. The speaker’s special expertise is in “increasing the impact and effectiveness of Talkback activists (those are the sort who frequent this blog–you know who they are!). The good rabbi is also expert in the audio-visual realm in which he’s researched seeking common ground in multi-cultural and inter-religious dialogue–in order to better advance Israel’s agenda. ‘Nuff said.
There is also one “Zeev Jabotinsky” (you can guess which famous Israeli rightist he’s related to, though his bio says nothing of his lineage). Mr. Jabotinsky is a computer engineer, but somehow his grandfather’s lineage offers him street cred as an Israeli political analyst. His course topic is, “The Right of [Israeli] Sovereignty in Light of International Law.” Don’t ask why a computer engineer has special expertise enabling him to speak on the finer points of international law. He will specifically address claims raised by anti-Israel activists who make “fraudulent use” of international law.
Davidi Hermelin: Founder of the Hasbara Center
This program was the brain-child of Davidi Hermelin, a member of Young Likud. In other words, those youthful sycophants who aspire to national leadership when Bibi Netanyahu and this current bunch of aging Ashkenazi uber-nationalists leaves the scene in another half century or so. He ran for a seat in the 2009 Knesset, spending nearly $10,000 in his unsuccessful bid, as much as Danny Danon, who is now Israel’s UN ambassador. This is apparently one of his pathways to respectability and credibility among the Likud faithful. A political profile he published says the following:
Hermelin joined Likud in 1992. Even as a young boy he didn’t hesitate to join despite the Party then being at its nadir, because it was the right thing to do and that’s what was required of him at that moment. Even today, every Zionist must ask himself: “what does the nation demand?” And only afterward: “What do I want?”
My God, a leader who wants nothing for himself, but to give his all for his country. When has Israel ever seen his like…except for last time someone said that and then seized the opportunity to cash-out the first chance offered (Lieberman, Olmert, and on and on)?
Hermelin has also networked extensively among EU right-wing party youth wings speaking in Germany and elsewhere. He’s also lectured to more mainstream outfits like the Hartman Institute, which is home to the notorious normalizing project, the Muslim “Leadership” Institute.
Returning to those secret agents, let’s leave aside the fact that it’s just plain weird for a “top-secret” program to be advertised on a public website. If you were a legitimate spy you’d know in a heartbeat that whoever put this together is a total amateur, or even a fraud. I know I half-believed the entire website was an elaborate joke. But apparently not.
Though I’ve yet to prove the program is an official project of the Israeli government, the name alone virtually guarantees some association with the former Ministry for public diplomacy and hasbara. Though it was discontinued in 2013, some of its duties were absorbed into the ministry for diaspora affairs. I also note there are public diplomacy officers at Israeli embassies like the one in Washington DC. The chances that this venture is funded in whole or in part by the government are extremely high.
If that is so, and we can virtually assume it is, then the operation is indeed a joke. But one perpetrated by an Israeli government which has become well-known for such “jokes.” Virtually its entire foreign policy is a joke. And recruiting its foreign “agents” in this way only exacerbates the jokes. It’s like a spook-version of the Keystone Cops.
This type of venture is nothing new. In fact, in addition to scores if not hundreds of millions budgeted officially to combat de-legitimization (“hasbara” with a fancy name), a veritable cottage industry of rightist NGOs (Standwithus, Im Tirzu, The Israel Project, etc.) have mushroomed with similar projects. This is the soup du jour of latter day Zionism. Here’s a rather feeble effort of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya slapped together during Operation Destructive Edge. IDC is known for offering academic preparation and training for future Israeli spies and diplomats (is there much of a difference these days?).
On its Facebook page, the Center speaks approvingly of a report by Im Tirzu, so that also gives you a sense of the associations of Hermelin and his project. This YouTube video also gives you a taste of Hermelin’s distinctive approach to public diplomacy (hint: it’s not terribly distinctive):
Davidi Hermelin says
Getting such a devoted slander from you is the best compliment I could ever hope for: who cares if sycophant or not, as long as you call me “youthful”… I wish my boyfriend will Google me soon – he will be so jealous…
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! 😀
P.S.: I’d be thankful if you could advise me how to get a governmental sponsorship – the tax I pay for the incomes of this pirvte centre is so high, and even though I’m not so young anymore (so I’ve been inactive for young Likud already), it is still too much for me …
Richard Silverstein says
@ Davidi Hermelin: Interesting that Davidi Hermelin, future Israeli PM-in-waiting [sic] writes English so poorly. I guess he isn’t taking his own course in Hasbara in ENglish.” BTW, Danny Danon desperately needs your help as well. His, is marginally better English than yours. Brush up your Shakespeare, fella.
Note also, he has absolutely nothing substantive to say about the substance of my post. Not even to defend it. Nothing. He pretends to do so because the criticism is insignificant, but he really does so because this project is ridiculous & indefensible.
But I do enjoy offering people like Hermelin the rope with which to hang themselves and their causes. He’s done so admirably.
What is so objectionable and pathetic about a concerted pro-Israeli hasbara effort? What, the Palestinians are not involved in their own propaganda “hasbara”? Every side in conflicts everywhere present their narratives, truths and half-truths. (Yes, there is such a thing as half-truth). Some are more organized than others. So what?
Propaganda is a time-honored method of getting your message out there. What’s wrong with that?
Oops– I know the answer to my question. It’s wrong because your on the other side. Therefore anything the opposing side does is either false, immoral, or pathetic. Got it.
Arie Brand says
I salute the man of the “tribal perspective” and “narrative” again. I wish you a good new year and that you may be liberated from your narrative.
You seem to be blissfully unaware that in psycho-analysis a distinction is made between narrative and historical truth. A distinction which has equal applicability in political science.
Batyaz Weinbaum used that distinction in analysing the “narratives”of right wing Israelis:
“Narrative criticism provides a base to argue that subjects continually reinvent histories in the service of their own contemporary psychological and political aims. … The narratives thus induced construct events placed in both personal and social history and are extremely powerful. When circulated among their authors or tellers in social reality, they establish a basis for cohering and rigidifying many into right wing positions …”
“Narrative vs Historical Truth:
Insights from Field Work in Right-Wing Popular Consciousness in Israel”
in Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal (1999)
In “narratives” there is often not a conscious attempt to cover up the truth .
Nevertheless there remains a distinction between narrative and historical truth that you continuously ignore.
But I think in hasbara there is very often a very conscious attempt to cover up the truth. This can, in the first place, be done by the use of weasel words and euphemisms. Compare:
“The cumulative impact of the Israeli government upon the lives of the Palestinian Arabs was substantially the same as was the impact of apartheid upon the lives of the nonwhites of South Africa: a dual labor market operated, restrictions on place of residence and work applied, homes and villages were destroyed and almost all the decent agricultural land of the country was seized, strict “pass” or “travel permit” laws were enforced, there was no access to the political process except as collaborators with the regime, civil rights were severely restricted, and access to state welfare programs was greatly reduced for the minority. Yet Israel’s system in one crucial aspect was different from South Africa’s. Unlike the South Africans who refused to dissemble, the Israelis decided “to stand up and lie like white men” (in P.j. O’Rourke’s corrosive phrase). The appropriation of Palestinian lands and the economic, social, and often residential segregation of the indigene was never labeled as such. Always “redemption,” or “security” or similar words were employed.”
(Donald Harman Akenson, “God’s Peoples – Covenant and Land in South Africa, Israel, and Ulster”, Cornell University Press, 1992, p.242)
The most outrageous but by no means the least frequent cases of hasbara are deliberate and outright lies. Look at this article titled “Israel’s Lies” by Henry Siegman in the London Review of Books:
Arie Brand says
A note about “historical truth”:
“The fundamental split between the approach of the historian and that of the psychoanalyst has to do with their respective ways of conceiving temporality. For the psychoanalyst, time is blended: Present and past live together in repetition and in the reliving that is a part of the transference. For the historian, by contrast, the past is separate from the present, and even if there are causal links between the two, their order of succession remains immutable, since what endows an event with its historicity is precisely the fact that it occurred at one time that will never be repeated. Thus, seen from a psychoanalytic perspective, historical truth is not the material truth of an event, even if Freud may have believed this early on his works, but rather the truth of a history as it appears through an event.”
International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis
What then is the difference with the “historical truth” of the social sciences (including history). I agree that it has to do “with their respective ways of conceiving temporality” but disagree with the view that seems to be implied in this dictionary entry that “historical truth” in the social sciences (including history) is identical with the “material truth” of an event. It is this only to the extent that this “material truth” can be recovered through the “historical method” that Max Weber at one stage compared to the procedures of a court of law. One works with witnesses and documents and does the best one can to approximate “material truth”.
This is all far removed from the usual notions of hasbara.
@Arie–you are continuing the quote mining, which I am abstaining from responding to, not for lack of sources, but for reasons that I have already mentioned.
“You seem to be blissfully unaware that in psycho-analysis a distinction is made between narrative and historical truth”
So in the search for the elusive objective “Dad, he hit me first!” story, you have judged that the Palestinians narrative is historical truth, while Israelis only tell imagined fairy tales in order to make themselves feel better.
Again, I am prohibited by Richard from quoting certain sources, which extensively catalog some interesting narratives the Palestinians have about themselves and the Jews. Since presumably you are well read on the topic (not just Googling for sources that support your point of view) ,perhaps you are aware of them. Or perhaps you judge those facts not to matter, in service of the greater “good” of deligitimizing the Israelis and supporting the Palestinians…again–that’s narrative.
With regards to South Africa– you conveniently overlook that in SA the laws and system of apartheid were based entirely on race. In Israel, the so-called occupation has nothing to do with race but with national identity ( as you know nothing mentioned in your quoted opinion piece applies to Israeli Arabs or Jews of Arab origin, or other minorities) in the context of conflicting national claims and aspirations. It is completely different. Your comparison to apartheid is an imagined narrative.
You are proving my point over and over again that this is an argument about opinion and values, not about facts.
Arie Brand says
This is not a matter of choosing between narratives but between narratives and historical truth. Israeli narratives are infinitely more widespread than Palestinian ones (google on any topic having to do with Israel and you have to wade through page after page of pro-Israel “narrative” ).
And as Israel has the upperhand and sets the scene there and shows in its practices no “decent respect to the opinions of mankind” (to quote the founding fathers of the US) it is most in need of a narrative in which that respect is pretended.
As to the difference between Israeli and South African apartheid: to pretend that the crucial difference is that SA practices had to do with race and that that is not the case with similar malpractices by Israel is breathtakingly disingenuous. As if the Israelis are, for all intents and purposes, not dealing with the Palestinians as if they were a different (and inferior) race.
Actually of course the Israeli practices are far worse. The Afrikaners wanted to put people of colour in reservations but they were not intent on making their life impossible, in the style of the settlers. The Jewish anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils who became a cabinet minister in the new South Africa is of the opinion that Israeli apartheid is much worse in another way. The Afrikaners didn’t use artillery, tanks and aircraft to get at the other side.
Arie Brand says
If you want to continue this you will have to wait for my reaction (if any) until tomorrow. Bedtime in this part of the world.
Yehuda, your attempts to convince people that morality and truth do not exist, only ‘narratives’ that can be shaped to whatever form you like, are a complete failure. Give it up. It is tiring and only succeeds in showing, again and again, that this is no more than a desperate tactic in trying to defend a morally indefensible position.
Arie Brand says
It was to be expected that hasbara would stretch its tentacles to Wikipedia but yet I deeply regret that it happened. For a great many people this is their first source of information and with its encyclopaedic airs a fully trusted one. Electronic Intifada was one of the first to warn against a secret project by CAMERA to infiltrate the body of Wikipedia editors. It has since reported that the danger was exposed and removed but that is unlikely.
Here is wha”Wikispooks” had to say on the matter:
“Wikipedia is a wonderful idea, brilliantly implemented, but it was always bound to have weaknesses as regards hot topics. Enough biased editors would always be able to skew articles on any particular topic – and nationalist topics are the worst affected. One can find all kinds of head-to-head disputes over, say, small countries in Eastern Europe, where there is lots of news badly covered by professional journalists and hence easily distorted.
In one area, the problem is much more serious, covering far more articles than any other, and that is the Israel-Palestinian topic. Basically, Wikipedia was holed below the waterline as soon as editors such as Jayjg became firm personal friends of Jimbo Wales and set about writing history the way they wanted it to be. Jayjg was eventually told to knock it off, but only after most articles within the topic were heavily contaminated by the activities of him and his numerous cronies, great and small. Towards the end of 2010, one can still see a few very high-quality editors left and a huge amount of the most utter dross, editors who should, in very many cases, have been identified and stopped within days of their first appearance.
The content of this page is intended to demonstrate the bias within Wikipedia brought about, ultimately, by the selective promotion of Zionists such as Jayjg to all administrative roles.
Some of this page is a collection of evidence of the organisation (and funding) behind this manipulation.
1 Worthy articles preserved by Wikispooks
1.1 Articles deleted from Wikipedia
1.2 Articles under threat of deletion
1.3 Criticism articles white-washed
2 Other Hasbara tricks
2.1 Policies implemented to advantage Zionism
2.2 Historical period chosen to favor Zionist narrative
2.3 Strong preference for Zionist sources
2.4 Pro-Zionist articles get admin protection
2.5 Outright Hasbara articles
2.6 Uncontrolled personal attacks
2.7 Time-wasting arguments against all sense
3 Obvious pro-Zionist editor bias
3.1 Administrator bias
4 Known attempts to organise editing
5 Hasbara since 1977
6 Hasbara successfully resisted
7 External links
8 Related Documents
Richard Silverstein says
@Arie: link for this? Have to tell Wikispooks about censorship of articles featuring my work.
This 2007 article from a mainstream media publication tells of the Israeli destruction of a rehabilitation centre for disabled Palestinian children in East Jerusalem.
I wonder what the hasbara narrative is on that?
The hasbara narrative on this one?
(to quote from the article: “Israel’s long-term goal of evicting between 30,000 and 40,000 indigenous Bedouin from their lands in the Negev in order to create new Jewish settlements was cemented on September 11  with the adoption of the Prawer Plan.”)
The hasbara narrative on this one?
The hasbara narrative on this one?
The residency rights of 250,000 revoked by Israel.
Arie – not sure when the wikispook you mention was written but it is not relevant any more.
Nowadays wikipedian will allow almost any far left website as a source. Mondoweiss, +972 MEE, MEM etc. Ma’an is considered as reliable as NYT but Arutz 7 is completely out.
Anti-Israelis did a great job taking over.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Arik: That’s nonsense. Since the beginning of my blog, it has been systematically excluded as a reliable source by Wiki editors. It has been accepted in a few instances in which it would’ve been hard to exclude it because I was the first to break a very important story. In but one example, when someone wrote a story about Avera Mengistu & credited this blog the article was deleted based on a campaign of a former commenter who’d been banned after violating comment rules repeatedly. The same campaigner then wrote an article replacing the previous one. Though later events proved my reporting completely accurate and I was the first to report about Mengistu & name him, his Wiki article excluded any reference to my blog.
So don’t tell me about Wiki becoming anti-Israeli.
Arie Brand says
That Wikispook mentions that the page was last modified on 11th August 2015, that is barely five months ago.
Here is the link https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Wikipedia/Hasbara
I find it hard to believe that anti-Israelis (= anti Likud right wing Israel) have taken over. I looked at the description of the war of 1948 and thought it was heavily biased in favour of Israel. The terms Galilee and Samaria in the first bit of the text are also a give away.
But perhaps you can provide some more information on that alleged take-over.
[comment deleted: off-topic. You have been moderated. If you comment in future, only those which respect the comment rules & are directly related to the post topic will be published.]
Arie – check out the work of editors such as Nishidani.
There are more but he is the most blatant one and that wiki ‘community’ do nothing about it.
Check the Reliable Source Noticeboard to realize how unbalanced it is regarding which sources are considered credible.
Europe and the US are pampering, subsidizing and supporting Israel. Did we do that to the Soviet Union, Pakistan or Turkey? Your whining is tiresome and nonsensical Yehuda the Tribesman.
Arie Brand says
If you people stopped lying so obsessively, sometimes under the guise of just offering a ”narrative”or a “perspective”, and if fewer American politicians and commentators (with that absolute Yahoo Krauthammer in the vanguard) were covering up for you, less people would feel compelled to tell the truth about you.
The idea that only Palestinians are allowed to complain about you (as long as they don’t do it in front of their children because that would be “incitement”) fits in with your antediluvian tribal world view. Why do you think that a man like Henry Siegman would feel compelled to attack Israel’s lies? He was for long, long years Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress so he is not just any Jew. So why would he attack Israel so publicly? Here is why:
”I was a student and admirer of Rabbi Abraham Heschel. I read his books. We were friends. We marched together in the South during the civil rights movement. He helped me understand the prophetic passion for truth and justice as the keystone to Judaism. This is not, however, an understanding that now animates the American Jewish community. Without that understanding there is little to distinguish the call of Jewish leaders for Jewish unity and solidarity from the demands made by narrow nationalist movements that too often degenerate in xenophobia.’’
Those who haven’t reached his moral height might nevertheless still feel compelled to attack you because they can’t stand the lies and the distortions, and mendacity that is so publicly supported by a large part of the American establishment.
And stop acting the victim – defending the oppression of millions of people and acting the victim at the same time is most unbecoming. It is indeed, as Elisabeth says, whining. That too gets me.
Arie Brand says
Frankly I don’t understand how you could find evidence there for a Pro-Palestinian take-over. I looked at the Notice board for Israel related topics Archive 1 and Archive 2 and both gave me the impression that if they weren’t written by an Israeli then at any case by somebody who strongly sympathizes with their case.
And under the name Nishidani I found a very civilised and well informed discussion about the desirability, or otherwise, of using the terms Galilee and Samaria (instead of the international “neutral” usage West Bank). N. prefers West Bank and has obviously lost out because the terms Galilee and Samaria are still right there. I learned something new from Nishidani namely that Australia is an exception to the imperial renaming of places and that the surveyor Thomas Hill suggested right back in 1828 that aborigines could provide names for “every flat and every hill”. In 1884 this was apparently regulated by law.
The British comic Spike Milligan used to get a laugh from his audience when he told them that his parents lived in Woy Woy.
At any case if you don’t provide further evidence of that alleged take over I will stick to what Wikispooks tells me.
Arie Brand says
“Yet, you excessively, obsessively (and pathologically) focus on the deeds (or misdeeds) of the Jews, while rationalizing away, denying or otherwise ignoring the various actions and injustices done elsewhere,”
Check out: Arie Brand Papua
If the Indonesians had the same hasbara apparatus at their command, and if they enjoyed the same protection from the American establishment, I would;d spend more time on that topic. That not being the case I turn to the lies that are most pervasive and enjoy most protection.
[comment deleted: off topic, yet another warning of comment rule violation]
Here is how his user page used to be. Since then it was reset so you can’t see it in page history. (“People coming to the page to verify the shocking suggestion that wikipedia allows Jew-baiting antisemites to edit the encyclopedia”)
Arie Brand says
I clicked on that page and still don’t know what you are on about. Yes he was accused of anti-Semitism inter alia because of a throw away remark about Purim. He has referred to a number of notable scholars, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, who shared his view.
He also gives a list of entries here that he either started or significantly contributed to. Israeli subjects are only a very small part of that.