As a result of the failures of Israeli hasbara, media coverage has led to negative perceptions of Israel resulting in, among other actions, calls for boycotts in Europe, especially in Britain, and even in the U.S.
Israel’s hasbara has been scattered and ineffective. Israel needs to recognize that there are military wars and communications wars. Israel needs a war room in every major country ready to move into immediate response mode when necessary. Experts from the world of marketing, PR firms, business, and academia must work together to forge a campaign that is not propagandist but educational and one that puts a positive face on Israel.
Competent individuals in the local languages rather than Israeli officers in military uniforms should serve as spokespeople. And most of all, Israel needs an effective and centralized Ministry of Information.
Joseph Puder, a freelance journalist, is founder and executive director of the Interfaith Taskforce for America and Israel (ITAI). A somewhat longer version of this article originally appeared at FrontPageMag.com.
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Throughout its 62 years of independent existence, Israel has had to defend itself from attacks by Arab states and in more recent decades from Palestinian terrorism and the Lebanese Shi’ite Hizbullah. Despite its existential struggle against the genocidal intentions of the Arab world and the Palestinians, Israel failed to establish an Information Ministry that would contextually present a Middle East reality: A Jewish democratic state struggling against dictatorial regimes that deny democratic rights to their people and religious freedom to minorities, and who choose to impede the progress of their people while using Israel as the scapegoat.