Israel's Perennial PR Problem
Dr. Joseph FragerThe writer is a leading American pro-Israel activist who sponsors and coordinates...
As a ground invasion of Gaza appears imminent, it is imperative that Israel ramp up its usually weak PR actions and policies.
There are signs that some of the younger Ministers and MK's understand this need and have begun to address the problem. The Arabs live and breathe on public relations even if lies, myths, and distortions are their modus operandi. Arabs using children in schools, hospitals, and mosques as human shields while firing rockets into Israel still has not sunk into the minds and psyche of the American Public.
This point has not been hammered home enough. The American Public cannot fathom that any one would place rocket launchers in these locations and that Israel is forced to try to do everything in its power to prevent collateral damage. The idea that Arabs might actually kill their own to make it look like Israel did it is also still not understood by the West. It must be remembered that the apparent murder by Israeli troops of the boy Muhammad Al Durrah started the Intifada of 2000 was a total Hoax. The Western Media failed to realize it was a Fake until it was fully exposed in a French Courtroom.
In point of fact, although all the film clips showed Muhammad Al Durrah being shot at and killed, he was indeed very much alive walking the streets of Gaza. Photo-shopping, false press releases, doctored videos, made up and staged grotesque scenes filmed in other Arab countries, some actual scenes of murder taken from the killing fields of Syria, and inflated numbers of fatalities are the rule rather than the exception. Israel has failed to point out these facts. It has to be done instantaneously to have the most impact. The Internet should allow for a more level playing field but also leads to much greater inaccuracies which get easily disseminated and get picked up by the major News Agencies. Although the Prime Minister of Israel has been a sensational spokesman, he cannot possibly do it alone. Sometimes, I think that he feels that he can.
One case in point was when he came to the States in March of 2012 and was trying to convince the West of Iran's true sinister intentions. He could not possibly appear on every major Talk-Show. Naftali Bennett got his start in Politics by seeing the need to explain the Case for Israel and picked up the slack. He appeared on over 30 Talk Shows in a very short span of time. He continues to do so today even though his time is limited. Similarly, Danny Danon has been a Superstar on Fox and other Networks.
Israel needs more spokesmen, who are able to hit "Home runs" with their sound bytes to cut through all the lies and distortions being thrown at them. It takes a very well thought out and concerted effort. It is also an art form not easily achieved by most. If Israel masters the "Art" of PR the way they have mastered almost everything else they have taken on they will have a much easier time vanquishing their enemies, dealing with their "friends", and bringing true Peace.