The issue of Israeli Hasbara is being discussed more and more lately. It seems that the recognition of the simple fact that our PR sucks is becoming widespread. In researching Hasbara and consequently its persistent failures, a name kept popping up in a variety of articles. To be honest, I would have ignored this person had I not found so much material pointing in his direction. One side of Hasbara that made me curios, was the heat with which foreign journalist seemingly had it "in" for Israel on every reportable occurrence. Knowing that Palestinians have made an art form out of hosting foreign journalists, I couldn't figure out how Israel couldn't outperform them in this seemingly simple task. One can assume that if curtsey accompaniment is lavished on foreign Hacks by Palestinians hosts, these in turn can guide the reporters to see and write on suitable materials for the Palestinian Hasbara – which kind of makes simple sense. And so, I would like to focus on one single aspect of the Hasbara – the treatment journalists receive at the hands of our Government Press Office and its chief honcho, one Danny Seaman.
If you want to know how one, relatively small government office seemingly succeeds in destroying any attempt to improve the Israel’s image, here is the apparent formula:
- Say things like: “How are journalists different from any other foreign workers?”;
- Create an atmosphere of fear where no journalist, foreign or Israeli, dares to raise his voice in protest;
- And as a result, cause more damage to the state of Israel than a concerted IAF bombing raid on the HQs of CNN, AFP, Reuters, AP and, of course, Al Jazeera, ever could