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In today’s current atmosphere, there is a danger that observers of the clashes between Israel’s army and additional security units and members of Arab terrorist groups, whether Hamas or Fatah or the Islamic Jihad in Gaza or Judea and Samaria or, for that matter, the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen, will frame the messaging of the violence simply within the normative framework the Pro-Palestinian Propaganda Proponents- the PPPPs.

The danger is that the knee-jerk reaction will be to treat this another Hasbara concern, a matter of public diplomacy. To do so will lead to those defending Israel to think and react on a fairly straightforward and elementary level. Did the IDF have those arrested strip themselves down to their underwear in order to ridicule them or are suspected terrorist normally treated that way so as discover if they are hiding explosives or weapons? Is it legal to bomb mosques in which munitions are stored? Was Gaza occupied or blockaded?


Public diplomacy is initiating promotion and advocacy of the country’s policies on the one hand and defending, on the other, the state’s actions when criticized or questioned. The spotlight usually is on particulars and details of micro-issues. Not so the essence of the Arab conflict versus the state of Israel and its vitalization ideology of Zionism.

Christopher Ross, when Special Coordinator for Public Affairs in the Department of State, outlined seven pillars of public diplomacy. Among them is the need to ensure that the audience for foreign policy understands it as it is and not how others perceive it; proving the rationality of its core principles; executing actions through print and broadcast media directed at the general public and narrow target groups as well; and enlarging new target audiences. What has become evident at this time of wokeism in the streets and malls of major cities, on university campuses, in mainstream political parties (as in Britain’s Labour Party) and in major media outlets is that the ability and even willingness of these institutions and collectives to accept or even deliberately convey and resonate such messaging on behalf of Israel’s foes has resulted in a fractured thought system. Rational thinking has been undermined.

Those now practicing pro-Palestine promotion have succeeded to a great degree to dominate the conversation by redefining terms to suit their subjective perspective. In doing so, Israel’s advocates need to return to the basics of the macro elements. They cannot build on such perverted arguments as it leads them nowhere, except back to the untruths of pro-Palestine propaganda.

I suggest that there are, at the minimum, five basic components that underline the approach of the proponents of Palestine that need be recognized, as a first stage. It is only in the second stage that specific public diplomacy efforts need be suited to them. A third stage is to develop a more aggressive and uncompromising, as well as a fearless, approach. I emphasize that I am referring to the framework of the messaging at this point.

In the first instance, pro-Palestine proponency denies any Zionist claim, beginning with Zionism as a legitimate movement of national liberation. For them, being Jewish is defined as being solely religious. Those campaigning on behalf of Israel are immediately at a disadvantage in that to counter that opening gambit means Zionists deny Palestinian nationalism and that sounds bad. Moreover, as a result of resurgent neo-Marxism, being Jewish is enjoying “white privilege” and being part of the class of oppressors. In this presentation, they also attempt to avoid the charge of anti-Semitism while, intersectionally, aligning themselves with Blacks, as well as allowing progressive Jews to join on the bandwagon.

The second element is the usage of fabricated claims, events and even historical processes to both deny any right Jews may assert while also promoting a narrative of Palestine that never existed. One of the more outlandish was that of Saeb Erekat who declared he is “the son of Jericho. I am 10,000 years old … I am the proud son of the Netufians and the Canaanites. I’ve been there for 5,500 years before Joshua Bin Nun came”. A former Chief Archaeologist of the Palestinian authority suggested bones found at Shiloh were but those of a chicken his grandfather had eaten 50 years previously. And yet, when any pro-Zionist uses Biblical history that is automatically canceled since in any case, Arabs have been in the country “from time immemorial“.

Third, the objective of pro-Palestinianism is not to reach a compromise or to arrange accommodation or to create conditions favorable to coexistence. The end goal is eliminationist in character. There is no question of the configuration of borders, or numbers of refugees that may be permitted to return or whether Jewish communities can remain in Judea and Samaria.  No middle ground exists. It is a zero-sum project and has been since, at least, the Arab Congress in Jerusalem of 1919 when Zionism was rejected and the territory set aside as Palestine be rejoined to Syria as it was, they claimed, but Southern Syria. At Camp David Two, Yasser Arafat refused offers of over 95% territorial being granted by Ehud Barak at the prodding of Bill Clinton to a “Palestine” and continued to do so as did Mahmoud Abbas negotiating with Ehud Olmert and Tzippi Livni.

A fourth component is the device of rhetoric obversity by which I mean the orchestration of language to mean not what was originally intended as well as the expanding of their meaning to include new definitions. For example, pro-Palestine pundits will point to the word “colonization” in the literature of Zionist luminaries knowing that the word meant, at the time, agricultural settlement. The Land of Israel was not a colony but rather the kibbutzim and moshavot were named “colonies”. Lately, there is “apartheid” and “genocide”.

Rhetorical techniques are linguistic methods of persuasion by which people are induced, emotionally and even sensationally, into thinking that an idea or position is more favorable than it otherwise would be. To get pro-Zionists to debate or discuss politics on their rhetorical terms has been the major cognitive victory of the pro-Palestinians.

Only once these fundamental elements are understood can a proper, adequate and assertive push-back to the PPPPs be formulated. Yet the true goal should be not a reactive response and defense but a series of proactive initiatives undermining the narrative the pro-Palestine proponents have succeeded in fashioning that has taken over the minds and thinking of so many.



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Yisrael Medad resides in Shiloh and is a foreign media spokesperson for the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities.