5 Palestinian Propaganda Practices

Former Labor Minister of Knesset Einat Wilf recently stated that Palestinian propaganda is succeeding worldwide (as reported by Greer Fay Cashman in The Jerusalem Post).

This is all part of the Palestinian strategy of planting words, images, ideas and arguments into people’s minds…The world’s greatest atrocities were preceded by preparing people’s minds that what they were about to commit was not an atrocity, but something they were doing for a noble cause.

The Palestinians and their many worldwide supporters are succeeding, despite their obvious embrace of terrorism and anti-Semitic ideology, because they have embraced five premium propaganda practices.

1. Use a Magnifying Glass, Not a Telescope: Palestinians and their supporters portray the conflict as David vs. Goliath. When the conflict is viewed through a zoom lens, it is easy to portray Israel as a bully.

But when one looks at the bigger picture, it becomes clear who is really Goliath. In 1948, for example, Israel fought against Lebanon and Syria to its North, Iraq and Jordan to its East; Egypt to the South; volunteers from other Arab countries; and the Palestinians.

HarperCollins map shows how tiny Israel is, IF you can find Israel on this map.
HarperCollins’ map shows how tiny Israel is (if you can find Israel on this inaccurate map).

There are 22 Arab countries and many more Islamic states. This includes a 57-member bloc in the United Nations, which has isolated Israel diplomatically and economically, and singled out the Jewish state for unfair condemnation. As reported by UN Watch, the UN General Assembly adopted a total of 20 resolutions criticizing Israel in 2014 and only four combined against the rest of the world!

2. What Happens in Ramallah…: to paraphrase the famous saying about Las Vegas: what happens in Ramallah, stays in Ramallah. For years, the Palestinians and their leaders have said horrific things about Israel and the Jews when speaking among themselves in Arabic, while trying to present a more moderate face when speaking English.

For instance, Palestinian TV regularly features calls to violence from Palestinian leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas. And those who brutally butcher and injure Israeli Jews are given public honor and awards.

But when speaking in English, Palestinians often claim their goal is peace.

3. Ignore the Elephant in the Room: Palestinians and their supporters generally ignore the role of militant Islam in the conflict. Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant states:

The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, “Oh Moslems, Oh Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” Only the Gharkad tree would not do that, because it is one of the trees of the Jews.

The name of the Palestinian terror group “Islamic Jihad” is pretty self-explanatory. Palestinian advocates never explain what would happen to militant Islam the day after a Palestinian state is formed. Would it magically disappear?

4. What Jews?: as part of their efforts to paint themselves as the indigenous people, Palestinians and their defenders frequently try to erase thousands of years of Jewish history in the Land of Israel. For instance, both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas denied the existence of the Jewish Temple.

Just yesterday, news broke that HarperCollins is omitting Israel from maps it sells to English-speaking schools in the Middle East, because leaving Israel off the maps is in accordance with “local preferences.”

There have also been attempts to claim that European Jews are mostly descended from Khazars, to show that Jewish peoplehood is a fictitious invention.

5. The Boy Who Cried Wolf: when there is violence between Israelis and Palestinians (regardless of how the fighting originated), often someone on the Palestinian side will be quick to label the incident an Israeli “massacre.”

For example, in 2002, Palestinian authority negotiator Saeb Erakat claimed Israeli troops killed “more than 500 people” in Jenin. On April 15, 2002 he said, “And I stand by the term ‘massacres” were committed in the refugee camps.” A UN report later rejected these claims.

In more recent times, Israel has frequently been accused of “atrocities” and “massacres” in Gaza.

The New Battlefield

Public opinion has become an important battleground in the age of social media. Knowing common Palestinian techniques to manipulate worldwide observers will help defenders of Israel combat public relations attacks.

About the Author
Eric Danis lives in Modi'in, Israel with his wife and three cute kids. Whenever possible, he tries to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes about Israel and Judaism.