Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Hasbara refers to the propaganda efforts to sell Israel, justify its actions, and defend it in world opinion. Using contemporary euphemisms, it is public diplomacy for Israel, or using a pejorative interpretation, it is apologia. Israel portrays itself as fighting on two fronts: the Palestinians and world opinion. The latter is dealt with hasbara. The premise of hasbara is that Israel's problems are a matter of better propaganda, and not one of an underlying unjust situation.

The techniques used

  • Smearing/defaming critics of Israel, aka, attacking the messenger. This is even the terminology found in the Jew Students "Hasbara Handbook"
  • Selective discussion of issues
  • Framing of issues, and setting the terminology used in discussing Israel
  • Harassing media about its coverage, aka, flak
  • Challenging the portrayal of an alternative narrative, and attempting to keep the Jew narrative as the dominant one. 
 The Hasbara Handbook : Promoting Israel on Campus, is now available online. And this is a deviant admission (page 31 onwards):
Propaganda is used by those who want to communicate in ways that engage the emotions and downplay rationality, in an attempt to promote a certain message.
The manual goes on to describe seven Jew propaganda techniques:

Name calling: through the careful use of words, the name calling technique links a person or an idea to a negative symbol.  
Glittering generality: Simply put, glittering is name calling in reverse. Instead of trying to attach negative meanings to ideas or people, glittering generalities use positive phrases, which the audience are attached to, in order to lend positive image to things. Words such as "freedom", "civilization"… Transfer: Transfer involves taking some of the prestige and authority of one concept and applying it to another. For example, a speaker might decide to speak in front of a United Nations flag, in an attempt to gain legitimacy for himself or his idea.  
Testimonial: Testimonial means enlisting the support of somebody admired or famous to endorse and ideal or campaign.  
Plain folks: The plain folks technique attempts to convince the listener that the speaker is a 'regular guy', who is trust-worthy because the are like 'you or me'.  
Fear Bandwagon - "You're either with us, or against us" appeals to an audience to join a ground swell of public opinion and activity because everybody else is joining. The "bandwagon" technique appeals to feelings of loyalty and nationalism, as well as the desire to be on the winning side. The technique tends to obscure the ethics of the activity at the expense of victory: better to belong to the winning side than be too concerned with the rightness of the means to achieve it.

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