Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, the Chairman of the Board of the Jerusalem-based think tank Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has begun a project called “Bad News about Holland” in order to prove that any country can be made to look bad with a negative journalistic spin. Gerstenfeld uses unflattering reports from Holland—for example, the involvement of Dutch soldiers in violence against Iraqi civilians—in his lectures and on his blog in order to illustrate the ease of giving Holland a negative image. His biased reports are similar, he says, to anti-Israel reports in the European media.
Gerstenfeld’s project is meant to illustrate his approach to media relations. He believes that writing letters to the editor in response to anti-Israel articles is a waste of time, and says that Israelis and Jews should counter-attack instead. Gerstenfeld has called on the Israeli government to improve its public relations, saying “the publicity war is part of the overall war.” His campaign is reportedly receiving media attention in Holland, and Jews in France and Britain have contacted him about beginning similar campaigns in their own countries.