The Hasbara Booklet: Just lie.
WRITTEN BY IBRAHIM IBN YUSUF
(photo from The Israel Project Photo Contest)
The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary
is a Hasbara booklet written by a Dr. Frank Luntz that adds on to a
rich but unsuccessful literature existing in the field. Why
unsuccessful? Let’s quote from the author’s introduction:
Dictionary for The Israel Project in 2003. Since that time, Israel has
had three Prime Ministers, several stalled peace initiatives, found
itself the victim of attack from its northern and southern borders, and
has suffered greatly in the court of public opinion.
Memo to him: the problem is not with his previous booklets, it’s with Israel.
Anyway, here’s the full text (CLICK ON FULL SCREEN TO ENLARGE, THEN ON CLOSE TO RETURN TO THIS BLOG):
I see favorably the publication of these hasbara materials inasmuch
as they prove that Zionists don’t actually believe that the world’s
negative view of Israel has anything to do with irrational antisemitism
(otherwise they wouldn’t waste their time trying to convince anyone).
Other than that, I expect them to be professionally made and factually
accurate. So that I did two searches on subjects the "hasbarization" of
which I was curious about.
First, I typed in LOYALTY OATH on the search box. I was surprised to
find no result. Mr. Liberman’s initiative that Israeli Arabs should
take a loyalty oath or be stripped of their citizenship is something an
Israel advocate would be asked about, but this booklet offers no
recipee to fend the questioner off.
Next, I typed in SETTLEMENTS. I did get a full chapter devoted to
them. After listing a few somewhat dated arguments, on p. 63 we get the
formula that summarizes it all:
WORDS THAT WORK
Israel does not talk about dismantling Arab settlements within Israel.
In a democratic society, Jews and Arabs should be able to live
side-by-side in peace. Nobody ever says Israeli territory has to be
free from Arabs. One should ask the Palestinian leadership why they
always demand land that is free from Jews.
Note the terminology shift currently under way. Just like a few
years ago the Jewish immigrants to Israel were suddenly turned into
refugees, and voilà, the
Palestinian refugees were wiped out from the debate, because they
cancelled out with the Jewish refugees, the Arab towns of Israel are
now being termed settlements, and voilà,
there’s no injustice at all: Jewish settlements in the West Bank cancel
out with Arab settlements in Israel. I denounce the Israeli checkpoints
between Jericho and Ramallah, but why do I say nothing about the
checkpoints set up by Arab falafel vendors on the roads of Tel Aviv?
That aside, the Words That Work include something that is not
terminological at all, but which is simply a bare-faced lie, namely
that the Palestinian leadership "always demand land that is free from
Up to a very recent time, no one talked about Jews remaining in the
West Bank under a two-state solution. Everyone understood that Israeli
Jews are deeply and unabashedly racist,
and, in order to avoid living under Arab rule, they would be prepared
to accept the unthinkable: higher taxes in Israel proper. Only very
recently has the Hasbara community begun to claim the human right not
to be uprooted from where you went to grab someone else’s land in the
first place. So that the Palestinian leadership had had nothing to say
on the issue, because it was not a subject of debate.
Until now. But on Saturday, 4 July 2009, at the Aspen Institute’s
Aspen Ideas Festival, in, of all places, Aspen, Colorado, Palestinian
primer minister Saleem Fayyad was for the first time ever asked about
his views on the subject. His answer:
“In fact the kind of state that we want to have, that we
aspire to have, is one that would definitely espouse high values of
tolerance, co-existence, mutual respect and deference to all cultures,
religions. No discrimination whatsoever, on any basis whatsoever.
“Jews to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of
Palestine will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less
rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel.”
The Zionists went immediately ballistic. They took to the cyberspace
to say, zillions of times "if you believe this I have a bridge in
Brooklyn to sell to you." Others were more straightforward:
don’t listen to them! DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!! the arabs
are very capable of lying and then making life miserable for the
Israelis. and than it might be too late..and they can make horrible
laws too. they have ruled Jews before.
Why were they so furious? Because finally Fayyad had learned the
Israeli technique of making offers that the other side can’t take, so
as to appear as very generous when the offer is actually meaningless.
But the Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary chose to ignore this Palestinian display of smartness, and instead instructed the Hasbara gang to lie about it.
Not that the Hasbara gang didn’t know that lying is the approach to take when apologizing for Israel, mind you.
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