Friday, July 10, 2009

Hasbara

Another useless and bad plan from Israel's Foreign Ministry. The author of the op-ed article on Ynet points out one of the reasons why for the time being the Foreign Ministry will continue to fail in its PR efforts: "...good PR cannot make the reality in the occupied territories prettier." The message can be packed in the most convincing wrapper, the messenger can be well-spoken and attractive ( M/F ), as long as there is not a real policy to be sold, or as long as you know very well that no one is buying the policy that you have been trying to sell for so many years, you will continue to be ignored, no matter how hard you try. See also this and this recent posting, the feedback to Rona Kuperboim's article, and ( in Dutch ) this article, to get an idea about the messages that Israel has been trying to get across in recent months, and about the messengers that are in control of Israeli PR these days. 'Hasbara' comes from 'lehasbir', which means 'to explain', hence the word's more neutral meaning 'information, explanation'. Today more than ever before the more aggressive ( though, in my opinion, much less effective ) content of the word ( 'propaganda' ) appears to be a more appropriate meaning.

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