While we regularly update our military weaponry we continue fighting the information war with antiquated methods
Truth be Told (TbT) is a relatively new small group of concerned citizens dedicated to countering the information war being waged against Israel by bringing truthful factual information to the attention of those with open minds. TbT is proud to have supported the IDC for the past two years in the successful training and dispatching of delegations of top Ethiopian students to South Africa over Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) in countering BDS and its anti-Israel associates.
But even the most proficient pro-Israel advocate cannot function adequately without cooperation from the authorities by way of credible authoritative timeous information which only they can provide, and sad to say this cooperation is sadly lacking.
Below is an extract from a memorandum that TbT in cooperation with the Coalition of Hasbara volunteers (CoHaV) sent to the prime minister and several ministers last July. The response has been underwhelming.
It’s much later than we think. Israel’s PR efforts are a joke, with a budget less than the advertising budget of major companies in Israel
But even that minimal budget is wasted in an ineffective bureaucracy. Currently the PR activities of the Prime Ministers Office, The Foreign Office, the IDF and the former Ministry of Public Diplomacy appear to work independently of each other resulting at times in issuing contradictory and often irrelevant information. They need to be coordinated so that information can be provided in a timely and credible manner
Israel may consider itself invincible on the military front but our Achilles Heel is the political and information front where we have lost major battles. Unless we take corrective action we are doomed G-d forbid to be vanquished in the vital political and information war with all its serious consequences.
While we regularly update our military weaponry we continue fighting the information war with antiquated methods and with inevitably predictable negative results. We must face the awful fact that our military might is helpless against the well funded highly professional and successful anti-Israel propaganda war.
Our enemies are keenly aware of this. They are much more nimble than we are in learning from mistakes and adjusting their strategies. Acknowledging Israel’s military superiority, they have adopted a widely publicized NON-VIOLENT strategy which has won much international sympathy while Israel, to its peril, has not yet implemented an effective diplomatic counter strategy. Their tactics include hunger strikes, boycotts against goods and cultural activities and protests against the wall, checkpoints, child arrests, stealing of Palestinian and Bedouin land, army brutality and house demolitions. This is what Mustafa Barghouti told Al-Monitor on April 15, 2012
It has become clear that non-violent resistance is the best way. First of all, because it is the most effective way. We need to change the balance of power. Israel has a clear military superiority and non-violent resistance provides a challenge Israel is unable to meet as it exposes the real nature of the conflict, that Palestinians are the victims. Second, because it allows us to have what we need so much for the success of our struggle, which is moral integrity. And third, because it is a form of struggle that allows everybody to participate
The Palestinians and their supporters have been quick to make effective use of the internet with hundreds of professionally designed very persuasive web sites devoted to demonizing Israel and they wasted no time in effectively using the relatively new social media (Facebook and Twitter). Their well-oiled propaganda machine has succeeded in influencing well-known journalists, politicians and other opinion makers with misinformation to the extent that even prestigious mainstream media show an anti-Israel bias. Our sin is that there is hardly any credible factual response from our officialdom.
The saddest and most dangerous aspect is that very many erstwhile and would-be friends (Jewish as well as Gentile) have been reluctantly persuaded to turn against us because of these unanswered, pervasive and damaging accusations. WE HAVE ONLY OURSELVES TO BLAME WHEN INFLUENTIAL READERS BELIEVE ILL-FOUNDED DAMAGING ACCUSATIONS IF WE DON’T ANSWER PROMPTLY, CREDIBLY AND AUTHORITATIVELY.
MORE IMPORTANTLY WE NEED TO PROVIDE INFORMATION PROACTIVELY SO AS TO PRE-EMPT ACCUSATIONS.
There is no reason at all why even persons well disposed to Israel should not accept these inaccurate accusations as factual unless we provide them with relevant counter information. And as the accusations are repeated over and over again, it is inevitable that they must influence the negative concept of Israel in the mind of even the most friendly reader.
The encouraging good news is that Dr. Einat Wilf has entered the fray.
An inspiring speaker, Dr. Einat Wilf is an authority on ‘Israel and the Battle against Delegitimization’. A Senior Fellow with the Jewish People Policy Institute and an Adjunct Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Wilf was a Member of the influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the 18th Knesset. She previously served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and a strategic consultant with McKinsey & Company. An author of a number of books on Israeli society, Dr. Wilf has a BA in Government and Fine Arts from Harvard University, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge.
Listen to what she said at a function organized by TbT on June 2, 2014