Saturday, June 13, 2009

Any PR is good PR?

( A large part of this posting was written two weeks ago ) Those whose job it is to 'sell' Israel and Israel's policies and to explain - and gain support for - Israel's interests do not have an easy task, and in recent years have rarely been successful. One of the reasons for that is that some policies simply are unsaleable. Another is that Israelis tend to be stubborn and pigheaded, believing that they know perfectly well what is best for their country, that Israel is totally right, that the world is against us anyway and just does not want to understand our side of the story, and that in most cases a basic knowledge of ( Israeli ) English is good enough to convey our message: it is not our fault or problem if that message does not get across. Knowing all this, I still was struck dumb when I read two weeks ago about the latest PR campaign of Israel's Foreign Ministry. Forget about the timing ( I would have waited for a few more weeks, to see who wins the presidential elections in Iran; true, in more than one way Iranians could choose between various bearded tweedledums and tweedledees, but still, at least we should let Iranian 'democracy' run its course for a few more days before starting campaigns such as this one ), but don't you break into laughter when you read this: " The goal, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official, is 'to show the world that Iran is not a Western democracy' "? No, really? Thank you, Mr Lieberman, for pointing this out to us. At least this is a PR-goal that can and will be easily achieved. Another succes story for Israeli hasbara.

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