Op-Ed: The US State Dep't and Netanyahu Agree on This Issue
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPRThe author is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US.
A few months ago, Netanyahu was recorded in an interview as saying the two main enemies of Israel are the New York Times and Haaretz. He said, ‘They set the agenda for an anti-Israel campaign all over the world. Journalists read them every morning and base their news stories … on what they read in the New York Times and Haaretz.’”
Similarly, a US Department of State Report said: “The proliferation of media outlets (television, radio, print media and the internet) has vastly increased the opportunity for purveyors of anti-Semitic material to spread their propaganda unhindered. Anti-hate laws provide some protection, but freedom of expression safeguards in many western countries limited the preventive measures that governments could take. Satellite television programming easily shifts from one provider to another and Internet offerings cross international borders with few or no impediments.”
Critics of Israel frequently use anti-Semitic cartoons depicting anti-Jewish images and caricatures to attack the State of Israel and its policies, as well as Jewish communities and others who support Israel. These media attacks can lack any pretext of balance or even factual basis and focus on the demonization of Israel. The United States is frequently included as a target of such attacks, which often assert that U.S. foreign policy is made in Israel or that Jews control the media and financial markets in the United States and the rest of the world.
With this backdrop, it is not surprising that a recent survey didn’t receive much media coverage. A survey of more than 28,000 people in 27 countries asked respondents to rate 12 countries about whether they were a positive or negative influence upon the world.
On average, 56 per cent of people in surveyed countries viewed Israel as having a negative influence, while 17 per cent said its influence was positive.Iran scored 54 per cent and 18 per cent on the same questions.
Israel also stands out for having the largest number of countries viewing it negatively. Iran is regarded unfavorably in 21 countries, the United States and North Korea in 20.
So if one reviews these survey results, Israel and America remain big Satan and little Satan. Amazing in today’s times. Truly baffling.
Undoubtedly, repercussions worldwide for Jews and Israel emanate from the media coverage that causes people to consider Israel, which contributes so much to the world, as having more negative influence than Iran– and clearly the media is in the business of shaping minds – and they are harming Jews worldwide with their bias.
An adviser to Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency, said a few years ago, "You can't brainwash people for four years that Israel is an illegitimate country and that Israelis are like the Nazis and that Israelis are monsters and expect that nothing will happen to Jews."
As owner of a US PR Agency, I work on the front lines and believe that the media contributes in major ways to Israel’s problems in the world. Any supporter of the State of Israel should do his part to spread positive messages about Israel to try to counteract this.
And it can be done. Write, send in comments, make your voice heard. And don't support the enemies of Israel in any way.
Heeding the words of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, in today’s new media world, everyone can contribute to media: “There is no labor of higher worth than that of the journalist, whether he writes instructional articles or reports on a robbery that took place yesterday in the slums. Like the function of the blood circulating through the body, or like the function of commerce in the international market, so is the function of journalism in the realm of the spirit…
"Who were the first to teach us to always interfere in matters that are not ours, to judge people and nations, even though we were never chosen for the position of judge? The work of the publicist is a legacy from the Prophets of Israel…Our passion is to speak, to proclaim—
"'Shouting” is what the same audience calls it, ‘we have no need for words, give us actions.’ One thing that audience forgets is that speech is also an action – Perhaps the most authentic of all actions. Cities have been destroyed, and more will fall, but what was shouted in the wilderness thousands of years ago is alive and still relevant. The world was created by the Word. The world will be mended by the Article.”
Proactive positive Public Relations for Israel can help mend many problems facing the only democratic ally of America in the Middle East.
Ronn Torossian is head of 5WPR