How the US Army sees the propaganda war

By Ted Belman

In response to the previous post, Sovereign States Don’t Do Hasbara, I received this Army Report from a senior intelligence officer, prepared during the last Bush administration. He said “this analysis was prepared with the help of Muslim correspondents for a major news gathering organization which is run by 2 former students of mine.”

The Palestinians (and Hezbollah) have already defeated Israel in the international public relations war.

a) The Palestinians have gained control of the reporting of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the world media by gaining control of the words, phrases and definitions that the world media currently utilizes in describing underlying political, military and social conditions and in explaining their causation; in describing events on-the-ground; in presenting alternative negotiating positions; in evaluating proposed solutions; etc. Some examples include:

•occupation, occupying power, illegal occupation, brutal occupation;
West Bank, occupied territories, Palestinian territories, Palestinian West Bank;
•militants (referring to those Palestinians committing acts of terror) rather than using the term “terrorists”;
•catastrophic economic conditions in Gaza caused by Israel’s economic blockade, the economic and health catastrophe now occurring in Gaza, collective punishment, high unemployment rate which makes it difficult for Palestinians to feed their families, cuts in electrical power distribution which greatly curtails factories, inability to run hospitals due to the lack of electrical power and basic medical supplies;
•disproportionate response, innocent civilian casualties, women and children killed; • military check-points that choke Palestinian development, daily humiliation, humiliate Palestinian residents, prevent Palestinians from seeking medical care.

b) The Palestinian’s usually get their version of the story out first and their spokespersons stay “on message.” Even when, as is frequently the case, the Palestinian-issued accounts prove to be false, their story gains worldwide headlines. On the other hand, Israel’s response pattern is to hold back until they can demonstrate the validity of their information.

Then the Israeli story, if it’s covered at all, is relegated at best to the inside pages of newspapers or to the tail end of TV news broadcasts.

[Recorder’s notes: Israel’s government and media were criticized for Israel’s ineptness in making its own case and in responding to various Palestinian and Hezbollah accusations, thus creating, by default, substantial victories for the Palestinian and Hezbollah public relations machines.]

Three of Israel’s major public relations defeats were described in detail:

1) The Palestinian-generated fires that damaged the Church of the Nativity’s interior during Israel’s siege of Palestinian gunmen who had taken up positions inside the church;

2) The deaths of civilians (mostly women and children) when an apartment building in Kana, Lebanon collapsed several hours after an Israeli air attack on nearby Hezbollah missile firing positions; and

3) Israel’s incursion into Jenin. The discussion of the world’s media coverage of Israel’s April, 2003 military incursion into Jenin was cited as the most illustrative: Palestinian spokespersons (Saeb Erekat, Yasser Abed Rabdo, Ahmed Abdel Rahman) claimed that Israel had carpet bombed and destroyed the entire Jenin camp, that Israel had massacred thousands (500 to 3000, “half of them women and children”), that the Israeli invasion army bulldozers had buried the “martyrs” in mass graves in order to conceal the massacre, and that 60 to 70 Palestinians had been summarily executed by the Israeli military.

For several weeks, these and similar stories dominated the world news media and the editorial pages of much of the world press (Agence France Press, Associated Press, BBC, CBS, CNN, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, NBC, United Press International, United Nations press releases, etc.). Nearly two weeks elapsed before Israel began to respond: in fact, only about 10% of the buildings in the camp had been destroyed, nearly all due to the intense building-by-building, hand-to-hand combat that took place (this was confirmed by satellite photographs, interviews with PLO fighters and independent on-the-ground NGO observers); there had been no summary executions; the total Palestinian death toll was set at 56 (nearly all of them fighters) by the Palestinian medical authorities and was confirmed by Fatah’s director for the Northern West Bank (Kadoura Mousa Kadoura). However, the early false stories of Palestinians killed and massive destruction still dominates the public’s memory of the incident]

c) The Palestinians (and Hezbollah) exercise extremely tight operational control over all media access in nearly all areas that are controlled by the Palestinians or Hezbollah. In order to obtain any information on events occurring in these areas, the western media is forced to rely nearly entirely on the inputs generated by local stringers (who are usually allied with the local extremist establishment). Should any member of the media report any “unfriendly information” then the reporter’s physical safety is explicitly threatened and the reporters’ organization will be threatened with denial of all future access.

The western media, by continuing its presence in these areas, has demonstrated its willingness to comply with these restrictions on its reporting and it has also demonstrated that it will not reveal these restrictive and bias-inducing conditions to their audiences. [Recorder’s notes: some of the news organizations that have readily accepted these Palestinian and Hezbollah demands were listed. ]

My intelligence officer goes on to advise:

2. As Henry Kissinger points out every nation must develop a good understanding of their interests and then act forcefully to promote these interests. Israel talks and threatens “bold responses” “harsh responses” etc. etc. Israel must act rapidly, act forcefully, act decisively.

Protective Edge

Let us start with the recent operation in Gaza. “Protective edge” is a stupid operational name. It should have been something like “defang the cobra” or “smash the Viper” or something with regional and international recognition. Israel should have announced that its response would be proportional and proportional is whatever it takes to stop the missiles from Gaza now and in the future. The response should not have been that the missiles fired from Hamas were harmless because they fell into unpopulated areas or they were neutralized by iron Dome is and should have been that as soon as any Israeli is threatened Israel will raise the retaliation so that any potential enemy will conclude “never again”. The human shields were successful because Israel made them a very cost-effective weapon for the Hamas. Israel should have completed its missions regardless and on the 3rd night there would be no human shields to deter and/or blunt Israeli attacks. The observers of the Israeli action include Hamas, Hezbollah, Isis, the Muslim brotherhood and many other current and future groups. They were the target for deterrence… and Israel failed.

3. All arguments should be simple and direct. The rule that you shoud be able to deliver them “while standing on 1 foot” is very good for an operating guide.

And gives one specific example.

Currently, American blacks are sold the argument that Israel is a apartheid nation . Utilizing Ethiopian and other black Jews such as military officers, engineers. , beauty Contest winners, etc. and targeting black high schools and colleges would provide a very good example of Israeli acceptance of blacks in Israel. Some black student leaders could be included in operation birthright tours. I have encountered black Jews in America. Reaching out to them to reach out to the black community would be one aspect of such a submarket approach.

4. Short concise materials such as that prepared by stand with us , supplemented with detailed documentation should be part of every speaker’s kit. some of your responders and your circle of friends can prepare the list of major talking points.


*** We have been the inhabitants of this area for thousands of years. Then the Jordanian army ATTACKED and occupied the area AND FOLLOWING NAZI DOCTRINE KILLED or expelled all Jews making the land Jew-free. It was the Jordanian occupiers that brought in Arabs to Jerusalem to occupy Jewish homes.

*** The Arab nations expelled nearly 100% of the Jews that had lived in these countries for many hundreds of years. They stole all of their possessions.

*** Israel gave these refugees shelter and they became citizens of Israel. Those Arabs that chose to stay peacefully in Israel became citizens of Israel. Those that left (most at the urging of their leaders to free the Arab armies to slaughter the Jews) were offered a peaceful return but they refused. The number was far less than the Jewish refugees from Arab lands and currently they would number approximately (?) 40,000.


December 30, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. There is no shortage of good, logical, advice. There is a huge shortage of Jewish self-respect among Israel’s corrupt leaders which is preventing Israel from ever winning the public relations war. I can only wish that Israeli voters would finally decide to clean house politically.