Friday, July 10, 2009

Hasbara booklet: Just lie

The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary is a Hasbara booklet written by a Dr. Frank Luntz that adds on to a rich but unsuccessful literature existing in the field. Why unsuccessful? Let's quote from the author's introduction:

I wrote my first Language Dictionary for The Israel Project in 2003. Since that time, Israel has had three Prime Ministers, several stalled peace initiatives, found itself the victim of attack from its northern and southern borders, and has suffered greatly in the court of public opinion.

Memo to him: the problem is not with his previous booklets, it's with Israel.


The Israel Project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary -

I see favorably the publication of these hasbara materials inasmuch as they prove that Zionists don't actually believe that the world's negative view of Israel has anything to do with irrational antisemitism (otherwise they wouldn't waste their time trying to convince anyone). Other than that, I expect them to be professionally made and factually accurate. So that I did two searches on subjects the "hasbarization" of which I was curious about.

First, I typed in LOYALTY OATH on the search box. I was surprised to find no result. Mr. Liberman's initiative that Israeli Arabs should take a loyalty oath or be stripped of their citizenship is something an Israel advocate would be asked about, but this booklet offers no recipee to fend the questioner off.

Next, I typed in SETTLEMENTS. I did get a full chapter devoted to them. After listing a few somewhat dated arguments, on p. 63 we get the formula that summarizes it all:

Israel does not talk about dismantling Arab settlements within Israel. In a democratic society, Jews and Arabs should be able to live side-by-side in peace. Nobody ever says Israeli territory has to be free from Arabs. One should ask the Palestinian leadership why they always demand land that is free from Jews.

Note the terminology shift currently under way. Just like a few years ago the Jewish immigrants to Israel were suddenly turned into refugees, and voilà, the Palestinian refugees were wiped out from the debate, because they cancelled out with the Jewish refugees, the Arab towns of Israel are now being termed settlements, and voilà, there's no injustice at all: Jewish settlements in the West Bank cancel out with Arab settlements in Israel. I denounce the Israeli checkpoints between Jericho and Ramallah, but why do I say nothing about the checkpoints set up by Arab falafel vendors on the roads of Yafo?

That aside, the Words That Work include something that is not terminological at all, but which is simply a bare-faced lie, namely that the Palestinian leadership "always demand land that is free from Jews."

Up to a very recent time, no one talked about Jews remaining in the West Bank under a two-state solution. Everyone understood that Israeli Jews are deeply and unabashedly racist, and, in order to avoid living under Arab rule, they would be prepared to accept the unthinkable: higher taxes in Israel proper. Only very recently has the Hasbara community begun to claim the human right not to be uprooted from where you went to grab someone else's land in the first place. So that the Palestinian leadership had had nothing to say on the issue, because it was not a subject of debate.

Until now. But on Saturday, 4 July 2009, at the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Ideas Festival, in, of all places, Aspen, Colorado, Palestinian primer minister Saleem Fayyad was for the first time ever asked about his views on the subject. His answer:

“In fact the kind of state that we want to have, that we aspire to have, is one that would definitely espouse high values of tolerance, co-existence, mutual respect and deference to all cultures, religions. No discrimination whatsoever, on any basis whatsoever.

“Jews to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel.”

The Zionists went immediately ballistic. They took to the cyberspace to say, zillions of times "if you believe this I have a bridge in Brooklin to sell to you." Others were more straightforward:

don't listen to them! DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!! the arabs are very capable of lying and then making life miserable for the Israelis. and than it might be too late..and they can make horrible laws too. they have ruled Jews before.

Why were they so furious? Because finally Fayyad had learned the Israeli technique of making offers that the other side can't take, so as to appear very generous when the offer is actually meaningless.

But the Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary chose to ignore this Palestinian display of smartness, and instead instructed the Hasbara gang to lie about it.

Not that the Hasbara gang didn't know that lying is the approach to take when apologizing for Israel, mind you.


Gert said...

Frank Luntz, that's the same putz who does all these 'focus group' thingies with approval/disapproval dials and stuff, right? The guy from 'Words that sell'?

The guy who turned snake oil merchandising into a science?

But as a philologist you know he's right, don't you? There really are words that sell...

I'm gonna have myself some fun with that dictionary... Sounds like 'Conservapedia' all over again!

They want Jews living in Palestine? Fine, One Sate solution, here we come!

Abe Bird said...

Nice Falestinian ProPALganda, which you call "Hasbara", a hebrew word. Though you steal and grab the territory of the Jews and their language too?
Amazing Chutzpa !!!!

Gert said...

Seems to me Abe doesn't even understand what's meant by Hasbara. Are we going to have to teach him to read and write before we can have any meaningful discussion?

But he's real proud of his proPALganda thingy, he used it over at mine too...

Is it just my perception or is the quality of the Ziotrolls dipping again?

andrew r said...

methinks Abe needs to check this out

Krackonis said...

Creating a language of rationality from a world of hate.

This is what this looks like.

It's incredibily easy to see the victims and the torturers in this conflict. Who has the guns and the power and who does not?

Or... Who hates and rationalizes evil and who is begging and resisting this murderous plan?

It's cut and dry. No matter the 'justifications'.

Anonymous said...

No matter how hard you try to polish a's still a turd. The problem lies within

Anonymous said...

Religion was invented by petty little men, to divide and conquer the poor deluded sheeple. Baaaahaaa!

Thank God, I got out of religion while the going was good!

andrew r said...

I think it's time to ban anonymous comments. At least our classic anonymous gave us something to argue with.

About Medicine Blog said...

Other than that, I expect them to be professionally made and factually accurate. So that I did two searches on subjects the "hasbarization" of which I was curious about.