So I have to admit: I haven’t properly read an issue of Newsweek since they did that infamous ‘The Most Dangerous Nation in the World isn’t Iraq. Its Pakistan’ cover. The only other feature I actually remember reading in recent years was their seven-part series on the Obama and McCain campaigns after the US election.
But this coup is brilliant: they’ve run a leaked document created by The Israel Project – a Washington based group – which outlines how advocates of Israel should communicate messages about the country to Americans. The document made me want to throw up my dinner, but it does serve as a great eye-opener for those who don’t believe the machinery that operates behind Israel. Perfect timing though – today’s other big Israel story is about the Israeli soldiers who have broken rank to talk about the atrocities committed in Gaza last year.
Excerpts from the 116-page report are available on KABOBfest here – via whom I was alerted to the story. Here are some choice bile-inducing excerpts that I’ve culled from the ‘manual’:
Start with positive themes like peace, mutual respect, empathy for the plight of Palestinians and their children, and the like.
“Come to Jerusalem to work for peace”: The visual symbolism isn’t lost on American ears. It’s an active challenge to turn words into deeds.
“Militant Islam”: This is the best term to describe the terrorist movement. Avoid Bush era sounding terms like “Islamo-fascism.”
When talking about a Palestinian partner, it is essential to distinguish between Hamas and everyone else.
Continually establish the connection between Iran and “Iran-backed Hamas” and “Iran-backed Hezbollah.” Doing so will help you continually remind the audience of the threat presented by Iran – a reminder they need.
Americans and Europeans are aware that Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons is a problem, but they are largely unaware of just how great and immediate a problem it really is. Americans have a President who is conducting YouTube diplomacy with Iran, sending holiday greetings and signaling to the world that Iran can be wooed out of its weapons
A five-step approach to talking about “civilian casualties in Gaza”: Empathy-Admission-Effort-Examples-Turn tables
Peace is the word.
The world wants and needs to hear that the terror can be stopped. They have to believe that at some point, the sides can come together and find common ground. You may not want to hear this but the side that seems to want peace more will win the support of the non-aligned public. This is exactly why the Palestinian spokespeople are repeating the word “peace” again and again. Unless this explicit desire for peace is conveyed in Israeli communication efforts, Israeli support will erode.
The arguments about demolishing Palestinian homes because they are not within the Jerusalem building code tested SO badly that we are not even going to dignify them with a Word’s That Don’t Work box. Americans hate their own local planning boards for telling them where they can and can’t put swimming pools or build fences. You don’t need to import that animosity into your own credibility issues.
Worse yet, talking about “violations of building codes” when a TV station is showing the removal of a house that looks older than the modern state of Israel is simply catastrophic.
Whenever “right of return is raised,” we must immediately respond with “No, you are talking about the right of confiscation. This is not about returning, it is about taking away and we will not accept it.”
President Obama’s language is so similar to what we have recommended you say for years that he could easily be stealing straight from our playbook.