ISRAHELL GAZA HASBARA: spoof video mocking activists (WARNING RACIST!!!) This is another piece of handicrafted Israhell goods in the framing of the murders it committed on int waters!

“But the most recent video distributed on Friday by the Israeli government press office (which belongs to the Israeli prime minister’s office and is responsible for accrediting foreign journalists) is distasteful and insulting to those killed and injured on the Freedom Flotilla, and quite frankly disturbing – especially since it was made by the Jerusalem Post’s deputy managing editor, Caroline Glick, who also moonlights for the American Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC. (Read more about Caroline Glick and her dual role as a pro-Israeli advocate and “credible journalist” in mainstream American and Israeli media here.)

On Friday afternoon, the Israeli Government issued the following email:

Due to a misunderstanding on our part, earlier today we inadvertently issued a video link that had been sent for our perusal.  It was not intended for general release.  The contents of the video in no way represent the official policy of either the Government Press Office or of the State of Israel.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you for your patients and understanding.

Efraim Roseman

Ref: Al Jazeera

Israel forced to apologise for YouTube spoof of Gaza flotilla

Israeli government press office distributed video link featuring Arabs and activists singing

The Israeli government has been forced to apologise for circulating a spoof video mocking activists aboard the Gaza flotilla, nine of who were shot dead by Israeli forces last week.

The YouTube clip, set to the tune of the 1985 charity single We Are the World, features Israelis dressed as Arabs and activists, waving weapons while singing: “We con the world, we con the people. We’ll make them all believe the IDF (Israel Defence Force) is Jack the Ripper.”

It continues: “There’s no people dying, so the best that we can do is create the biggest bluff of all.”

The Israeli government press office distributed the video link to foreign journalists at the weekend, but within hours emailed them an apology, saying it had been an error. Press office director Danny Seaman said the video did not reflect official state opinion, but in his personal capacity he thought it was “fantastic”.

Government spokesman Mark Regev said the video reflected how Israelis felt about the incident. “I called my kids in to watch it because I thought it was funny,” he said. “It is what Israelis feel. But the government has nothing to do with it.”

The clip features a group led by the Jerusalem Post’s deputy managing editor Caroline Glick, wearing keffiyehs and calling themselves the Flotilla Choir. The footage is interspersed with clips from the recent Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound aid ship, the Mavi Marmara.

The clip has been praised in Israel, where the mass-circulation daily Yediot Aharonot said the singers “defended Israel better than any of the experts”.

But Didi Remez, an Israeli who runs the liberal-left news analysis blog Coteret, said the clip was “repulsive” and reflected how out of touch Israeli opinion was with the rest of the world. “It shows a complete lack of understanding of how the incident is being perceived abroad,” she said. Award-winning Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport said the clip demonstrated prejudice against Muslims. “It’s roughly done, not very sophisticated, anti-Muslim – and childish for the government to be behind such a clip,” he said.

A similar press office email was sent to foreign journalists two weeks ago, recommending a gourmet restaurant and Olympic-sized swimming pool in Gaza to highlight Israel’s claim there is no humanitarian crisis there. Journalists who complained the email was in poor taste were told they had “no sense of humour”.

Last week, the Israel Defence Force had to issue a retraction over an audio clip it had claimed was a conversation between Israeli naval officials and people on the Mavi Marmara, in which an activist told soldiers to “go back to Auschwitz”. The clip was carried by Israeli and international press, but today the army released a “clarification/correction”, explaining that it had edited the footage and that it was not clear who had made the comment.

The Israeli army also backed down last week from an earlier claim that soldiers were attacked by al-Qaida “mercenaries” aboard the Gaza flotilla. An article appearing on the IDF spokesperson’s website with the headline: “Attackers of the IDF soldiers found to be al-Qaida mercenaries”, was later changed to “Attackers of the IDF Soldiers found without identification papers,” with the information about al-Qaida removed from the main article. An army spokesperson told the Guardian there was no evidence proving such a link to the terror organisation.

While the debate over accounts of the flotilla raid continues, Israel is facing more boycotting. In the past week, three international acts, including the US rock band the Pixies, have cancelled concerts in Tel Aviv.

Best-settling authors Alice Walker and Iain Banks have backed the boycott campaign, with Banks announcing his books won’t be translated into Hebrew. Dockworker unions in Sweden and South Africa have refused to handle Israeli ships, while the UK’s Unite union just passed a motion to boycott Israeli companies.

Ref: Guardian

Israel’s Attack on Us All

It is quite astounding that Israel has been able to create over the past 12 hours a news blackout, just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago, into which our main media organisations have willingly allowed Israeli spokespeople to step in unchallenged.

How many civilians were killed in Israel’s dawn attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla of aid? We still don’t know. How many wounded? Your guess is as good as mine. Were the aid activists armed with guns? Yes, says Israel. Were they in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Hamas? Certainly, says Israel. Did the soldiers act reasonably? Of course, they faced a lynch, says Israel.

If we needed any evidence of the degree to which Western TV journalists are simply stenographers to power, the BBC, CNN and others are amply proving it. Mark Regev, Israel’s propagandist-in-chief, has the airwaves largely to himself.

The passengers on the ships, meanwhile, have been kidnapped by Israel and are unable to provide an alternative version of events. We can guess they will remain in enforced silence until Israel is sure it has set the news agenda.

So before we get swamped by Israeli hasbara let’s reiterate a few simple facts:

* Israeli soldiers invaded these ships in international waters, breaking international law, and, in killing civilians, committed a war crime. The counter-claim by Israeli commanders that their soldiers responded to an imminent “lynch” by civilians should be dismissed with the loud contempt it deserves.

* The Israeli government approved the boarding of these aid ships by an elite unit of commandoes. They were armed with automatic weapons to pacify the civilians onboard, but not with crowd dispersal equipment in case of resistance. Whatever the circumstances of the confrontation, Israel must be held responsible for sending in soldiers and recklessly endangering the lives of all the civilians onboard, including a baby and a Holocaust survivor.

* Israel has no right to control Gaza’s sea as its own territorial waters and to stop aid convoys arriving that way. In doing so, it proves that it is still in belligerent occupation of the enclave and its 1.5 million inhabitants. And if it is occupying Gaza, then under international law Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Strip’s inhabitants. Given that the blockade has put Palestinians there on a starvation diet for the past four years, Israel should long ago have been in the dock for committing a crime against humanity.

Today Israel chose to direct its deadly assault not only at Palestinians under occupation but at the international community itself.

Will our leaders finally be moved to act?

Ref: Counterpunch

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.


HASBARA WARNING: Israel to use ‘ordinary’ people for PR/PROGAGANDA

Israel’s latest conscripts in the fight to improve the country’s image have been unveiled: ordinary Israeli citizens. Armed only with a government-issued hasbara pamphlet and a winning smile, they will be sent to wage war with their detractors, in an effort to present Israel as a benign, democratic utopia whose only achilles heel is poor public relations.

Into the breach has stepped a phalanx of Israeli spin doctors, who have devised a campaign in which they want all Israelis to participate when travelling overseas by “telling about the beautiful Israel you know”. To that end, three television commercials are currently being aired which mock the foreign media for its portrayal of the country. In one, a French newsreader is shown confusing Independence Day fireworks and flypasts with military action on Israel’s streets. “Fed up with how we’re portrayed abroad?” asks the advert. “You can change the picture.”

The ministry for public diplomacy goes to great lengths instructing Israelis how to conduct themselves when engaged in PR on behalf of the state: first listen, then speak; maintain eye contact; use relaxed body language and tone; don’t preach; ask questions; answer points raised; stick to two or three messages you want to convey; and maintain a sense of humour. If such rules are followed, the campaign literature suggests, there is a strong chance of winning over even the staunchest adversary.

Hasbara is seen as a vital weapon in Israel’s arsenal, both by government officials and ordinary Israelis. According to a poll, 85% of Israeli citizens want to help promote the country’s image abroad, and in itself there is nothing wrong with taking such a patriotic stance. However, as has been seen time and again with Israel’s attempts at hasbara, more often than not the campaigns are based more on witch-hunts and whitewashes than honest debate over the most thorny issues surrounding the state.

Despite the sarcastic adverts broadcast by the public diplomacy ministry, what causes such consternation abroad is not whether Israelis use camels as their primary form of transport, or whether the average Israeli home is connected to gas supplies. Rather, Israel’s flagrant and repeated violations of international law in its dealings with the Palestinians are key to most critics’ complaints – but, of course, this would prove a far harder nut for the spin doctors to crack.

Instead, those who stand up to Israeli aggression in Gaza and the West Bank are belittled by the likes of Shimon Peres, who recently quipped:

“There are millions of Indians who love us, a billion Chinese who love us, and millions of evangelicals, who love us. We have a problem with Sweden, but we’re working on it.”

Peres and the officials behind the latest PR drive are one side of the hasbara coin, trying to make light of Israel’s image problem and implying that winning over their opponents is only a matter of patient, good-natured explanation. The other, darker side of Israeli hasbara is the relentless pursuit of anyone deemed a danger to the state, whether domestic dissidents or external critics. The recent savaging of Naomi Chazan and the New Israel Fund, as well as the gunning down of the Goldstone report, showed the true face behind the hasbara mask, in which politicians and press alike utilised the most vicious tactics available to ostensibly “improve Israel’s image in the eyes of the world”.

Huge amounts of public and private money is spent in such a fashion, funding quasi-governmental thinktanks and watchdog organisations dedicated to the McCarthyite hounding of media companies, diplomats or human rights groups labelled inimical to Israel. The same organisations are adept at dangling carrots as well as waving sticks, courting incoming reporters and statesmen with anything from dinner parties to helicopter rides in order to show a “more positive public face of Israel … [to help] protect Israel, reduce antisemitism and increase pride in Israel”.

But the facts that emerge from Gaza and the West Bank make it more and more difficult for the hasbaraniks to paper over the cracks, regardless of how many smiles they flash or glasses of wine they hand out. Even Israel’s own leaders warn of a system of apartheid emerging if a settlement with the Palestinians is not hammered out soon, and for all that the spin doctors try to blow out the smoke, the underlying fire continues to burn.

It is no surprise that Israel’s leaders want to improve the country’s image without having to take concrete measures in the form of concessions to the Palestinians. Likewise, it is not unusual that the same politicians seek to blame others for “misunderstanding” the situation rather than admitting that their own policies are highly questionable and unethical. However, to rope ordinary Israelis in by repeatedly telling them that anti-Israel sentiment abroad is irrational and baseless is both a futile and dishonest path to tread.

Israel’s image problem will only disappear when the core crimes committed in the name of the state cease, and the Palestinians are dealt with equitably. The Israeli public should demand their government spend all its energy on such fundamental affairs of state rather than worry about how many foreigners know that Maccabi Tel Aviv won the Euroleague in 1977. Hasbara is no substitute for adherence to justice and basic human rights.

Ref: Guardian

Also read Israel to use ‘ordinary’ people for PR

After trying almost everything possible in its efforts to improve Israel’s image internationally, the government will embark on a new strategy Wednesday by training ordinary Israelis to represent the country abroad.

Ref: Jpost

ISRAHELL: List of pro-Israelis at service for Hasbara

Arab world and surrounding region
Culture

Avi Jorisch
Terrorism Expert
Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Office: 202-452-0650
Email: avi@defenddemocracy.org

Biography: Avi Jorisch is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and he has written at length about Hizballah, al-Manar, and related subjects, with articles appearing in many prominent publications.  Mr. Jorisch was a Soref fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy from 2001 to 2003, specializing in Arab and Islamic politics. More recently, he served as an Arab media and terrorism consultant for the Department of Defense.

Naomi Babbin
Managing Director, Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace
Email: cmip@netvision.net.il

Biography: Naomi Babbin is the managing director for the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, a non-political, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization monitoring school textbooks used in the Middle East to determine if they are critical of Israel and to pressure the various governments to change the way Israel is portrayed.

Dr. Daphne Burdman
Psychiatrist, Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace,
Cell: 053-593-244
Home: 02-644-9370
Email: daphb@netvision.net.il

Biography: Dr Daphne Burdman is a psychiatrist who recently retired from the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. Her research is on martyrdom, indoctrination and the Palestinian education that teaches children to hate. She has written extensively on these topics.

Adina Shapiro
Director, Middle East Children’s Association,
Office: 703-761-3939

Biography: Adina Shapiro is a clinical social worker and therapist, and co-director of the Middle East Children’s Association (MECA), a joint Israeli Palestinian educational organization. She has served as Acting Director of the Institute for State Attorneys and Legal Advisors at the Israeli Ministry of Justice.  She trains Israeli and PA teachers, introducing programs of tolerance.  Her work has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.

Itamar Marcus
Director, Palestinian Media Watch,
Office: 02-625-4140
Cell: 050-528-4907
Email: itamar@pmw.org.il

Biography: Itamar Marcus is one of the founders of Palestinian Media Watch, Marcus is the current director. Mr. Marcus was also the Director of Research for the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace from 1998 – 2000, writing studies on Palestinian, Jordanian, and Syrian school textbooks. Mr. Marcus was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Trilateral Committee to Monitor Incitement established under the Wye Accords.

Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch,
Office: 613-238-0933
Cell: 613-220-4570
Email: barbara@pmw.org.il

Biography: Barbara Crook is one of the founders of Palestinian Media Watch

Arab democracies; Terrorism; US Foreign Policy

Cliff May
President, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Office: 202-207-0719
Office direct: 202-207-0784
Email: cliff@defenddemocracy.org

Biography: Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a  policy institute focusing on terrorism created immediately following the 9/11 attacks on  the United States.  He previously worked as a foreign correspondent for the New York  Times.  He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news  programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues.

Arab-Israeli relations; human rights; Islamic fundamentalism; Arab nationalism; democratization; status of Christians and other Middle Eastern minorities

Dr. Walid Phares
Professor, Florida Atlantic University
Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Office: 561-297-3215
Email: walid@defenddemocracy.org

Biography:  Born in Lebanon, Walid Phares is a professor of Middle East Studies and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.  He lectures to academic and community audiences worldwide on various subjects such as Islamic fundamentalism, Arab nationalism, democratization, human rights, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the status of Christians and other Middle Eastern minorities. He has served as a board member of several national and international think tanks and human rights associations and is a leading advisor to several ethnic associations.

Arab-Israeli relations; US Foreign policy; Disengagement

David Makovsky
Senior Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy,
Office: 202-452-0650
Email: davidm@washingtoninstitute.org

Biography: David Makovsky is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he focuses on Arab-Israel relations and US foreign policy to the Middle East. He is an award-winning journalist who has covered the Middle East peace process since 1989. Mr. Makovsky is the former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, serving as diplomatic correspondent. In addition, he was the diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s leading daily Ha’aretz (1997-99) and had primary responsibility at both newspapers for covering the peace process. He also served as the US News special Jerusalem correspondent for twelve years.

Arab-Israeli relations; US Foreign policy; Terrorism

Frank Gaffney
President, Center for Security Policy,
Office: 202-835-9077
Email: gaffney@cenerforsecuritypolicy.org

Biography: Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., is the founder and President of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for the Washington Times, an advisor for Americans for Victory over Terrorism, and a founding member of  Project for the New American Century

Arab-Israeli relations; US Foreign policy

Martin Indyk
Former Ambassador to Israel, Saban Center
Office: 202-797-6462
Email: sabancenter@brookings.edu

Biography: Amb. Martin Indyk Middle East expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin S. Indyk joined the Brookings Institution on September 1, 2001, as a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program. Ambassador Indyk served two tours in Israel, the first during the Rabin years (1995-97), and the second (2000-June 2001) during efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace and stem the violence of the intifada. During these periods, he helped to strengthen U.S-Israeli relations, reinforce the U.S. commitment to advance the peace process, and substantially increase the level of mutually beneficial trade and investment.

Arab-Israeli relations; US Foreign policy; Peace Process

Dennis Ross
Counselor, The Washington Institute
Office: 202-452-0650

Biography: Ambassador Dennis Ross is The Washington Institute’s counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow. For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations.  His book The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, August 2004) offers comprehensive analytical and personal insight into the Middle East peace process.

Arab-Israeli relations; US Foreign policy; Iran; nuclear weapons

Congressman Brad Sherman
US Congressman, Subcommitee for International Terrorism and Nonproliferation
Office: 202-225-5911
Web Site:www.house.gov/sherman/about/

Biography: Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) is the ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee for International Terrorism and Nonproliferation and is on The Israel Project’s board of advisors. He supports American solidarity with Israel in its efforts against terrorism. He has repeatedly expressed his support for Israel on the floor of Congress and in his work.

Arab-Israeli relations; Israeli governance; Peace Process

Gidi Grinstein
Founder and President, The Re’ut Institute
Office: 011-972-3-624-7770
Cell: 011-972-52-220-0565
Email: gidi@reut-institute.org

Biography: Gidi Grinstein is Founder and President of the Re’ut Institute, a non-governmental think tank serving the State of Israel with analysis of long-term impacts on near-term decisions. He has extensive experience in policy-planning working with the Economic Cooperation Foundation. Under the Barak government, Mr. Grinstein served as Negotiation Secretary and Assistant Chief of Negotiations, Secretary of the Israeli delegation to Permanent Status Negotiations, and as a member of the official negotiations team on the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum. He was a 2001-2002 Wexner-Israel Fellow at Harvard University and holds a Law degree from Tel Aviv.

Archaeology

Professor Joshua Schwartz
Bar-Ilan Univ, Land of Israel Studies
Office direct: 03-531-8233
Home: 02-993-2625

Art

Professor Daniel  Sperber
Bar-Ilan Univ, Art Program
Office direct: 03-531-8645
Home: 02-561-7423

Chemical and biological weapons in Arab countries

Dr. Danny Shoham
Col., Begin-Sadat Center,
Office direct: 03-696-8953
Home: 03-695-2822
Email: shoham_d@netvision.net.il

Biography: Ph.d. Tel Aviv University

Counter-terrorism

Boaz Ganor
Executive Director, International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism
Office: 972-9-952-7277
Web: http://www.ict.org.il

Development of Israeli media; Media and Politics

Professor Sam Lehman-Wilzig
Bar-Ilan Univ, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-8578
Home: 03-922-6288

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; civil-political relations

Dr. Zeev Rosenhek
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3185 or 011-972-2-648-1162

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; conflict resolution

Dr. Gaberiel Horenczyk
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-2031
Home: 011-972-2-570-1437

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; conflict resolution

Dr. Illan Yaniv
Psychologist, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3026 or 011-972-2-588-1373
Home: 011-972-2-581-5646

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; disengagement and public opinion

Dr. Reuven Hazan
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-1117
Home: 011-972-2-533-3076

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; disengagement and resettlement

Dr. Shelley Fried
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-654-1576
Cell: 011-972-52-250-8782

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; implications for society of disengagement

Professor Amia Lieblich
Psychologist, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3031 or 011-972-2-588-3044 or 011-972-2-588-1870
Home: 011-972-2-563-3152

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; international relations; conflict resolution; the evacuation of Yamit

Professor Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3150 or 011-972-2-588-2340
Home: 011-972-2-533-4122

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; Israeli and American-Jewish politics

Professor Peter Medding
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3269 or 011-972-2-588-3059
Home: 011-972-2-563-5105

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; Israeli politics

Dr. Gideon Rahat
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3274
Home: 011-972-2-679-5744

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; Israeli politics

Professor Itzhak Galnoor
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3160 or 011-972-2-560-5256
Home: 011-972-2-641-2406
Cell: 011-972-52-263-3091

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; law and politics in Israel

Dr. Menachem Hofnung
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3164
Home: 011-972-2-581-8132

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; military- civilian relations

Professor (Emeritus) Moshe Lissak
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-563-6652

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; politics and the media

Professor Gadi Wolfsfeld
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3272
Home: 011-972-2-581-7680

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; U.S. role in the disengagement

Dr. Noam Kochavi
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3159
Home: 011-972-3-648-8786

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; U.S. role in the disengagement

Professor Michla Pomerance
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office: 011-972-2-588-3151
Home: 011-972-2-563-5995

Disengagement from Gaza and Samaria; right-wing politics

Dr. Morchechai Nissan
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office:011-972-2-588-2927
Home: 011-972-2-586-6350

Economy, industry, and financial sector

Professor Arye Hilman
Bar-Ilan Univ, Economics
Office direct: 03-531-8366
Home: 09-774-6424

Ethnicity, tradition and democracy– towards a new synthesis

Professor Avi Saguy
Bar-Ilan Univ, Philosophy
Office direct: 03-531-8421
Home: 03-619-7237

Final status negotiations; Israeli decision-making; Politics of the peace process; Settlers, settlements; Religion and party politics; Palestinian statehood – options and risks; Labor and Likud foreign policies; Israeli strategic thinking

Dr. Yossi Katz
Bar-Ilan Univ, Geography
Home: 02-993-1005

Biography: Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University is chairman of the political science department

Final status negotiations; Israeli decision-making; Politics of the peace process; Syria-Israel issues; Lebanon; Future of the Golan; Israeli Defense Forces- fighting doctrine, force structure, training, ongoing security operations

Major General Avraham Rotem
Bar-Ilan Univ,
Cell: 054-614-935
Home: 09-740-3329
Email: aromio@zahav.net.il

Biography: Ph.d. candidate at Bar-Ilan University

Final status negotiations; Israeli decision-making; Politics of the peace process; Syria-Israel issues; Lebanon; Future of the Golan; Palestinian statehood – options and risks; Labor and Likud foreign policies; Mideast military balance; Arms sales; Arms control; Nuclear weapons in the Mideast; Mideast space race; Missiles and satellites; NPT and other international control regimes; US-Israel strategic cooperation; U.S. Mideast defense policy force deployment; Gulf security; Arms sales; Regional commitments

Professor Gerald Steinberg
Begin-Sadat Center,
Office direct: 03-531-8043
Cell: 054-890-445
Home: 02-563-4426
Email: gerald@vms.huji.ac.il

Biography: PH.D. Cornell University is an associate professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University

Final status negotiations; Israeli decision-making; politics of the peace process; Syria-Israel issues; Lebanon; future of the Golan; Palestinian statehood – options and risks; Public opinion on national security issues; low intensity conflict; armed conflict with the PA; Israeli operations in south Lebanon; Terrorism/counter-terrorism; nuclear weapons in the Mideast; US-Israel strategic cooperation; Eastern Mediterranean strategic affairs; Israeli strategic ties with Turkey; Egypt’s role in regional affairs

Professor Efraim Inbar
Director, Begin-Sadat Center,
Office direct: 03-535-9198
Home: 02-587-0169
Email: inbare@mail.biu.ac.il

Biography: Ph.D. University of Chicago is Director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies

Final status negotiations; Israeli decision-making; Politics of the peace process; Syria-Israel issues; Lebanon; Future of the Golan; The Palestinian Authority; Terrorism/Counter Terrorism; US-Israel strategic cooperation; U.S. Mideast defense policy force deployment. Gulf security, arms sales, regional commitments; Eastern Mediterranean strategic affairs; Israeli strategic ties with Turkey; Egypt’s role in regional affairs

Professor Barry Rubin
Director, Global Research for International Affairs center,
Office direct: 09-960-2736
Cell: 050-279-571
Home: 03-528-7298
Email: profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

Biography: Ph.d.  Georgetown University is Senior Resident Fellow at the BESA Center

Final status negotiations; Israeli decision-making; Politics of the peace process; The Palestinian Authority; Palestinian economy; PA aid politics; Mideast economic cooperation; Israel-Arab trade; Arab economies

Dr.  Hillel Frisch
Bar-Ilan Univ, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-8872
Home: 02-535-3593
Email: hfrisch@mail.biu.ac.il

Biography: Ph.d. Hebrew University

Foreign Press Association
Glenys Sugarman, Executive Secretary
Office: 03-6916143

Higher education, universities

Professor Shlomo Eckstein
Bar-Ilan Univ, Past President of BIU
Office direct: 03-531-8919
Home: 08-946-2074

History of Zionism and the State

Professor Shmuel Sandler
Chairman, Bar-Ilan Univ, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-8158
Cell: 054-674-597
Home: 02-586-9206
Email: sandls@mail.biu.ac.il

Holocaust and the aftermath

Professor Dan Michman
Bar-Ilan Univ, Jewish History
Office direct: 03-531-7251
Home: 03-936-2256

Human rights; terrorism; tyranny

Claudia Rosett
Journalist in Residence, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Office: 202-207-0190
Email: info@defenddemocracy.org

Bio:   Claudia Rosett writes on international affairs, drawing on 22 years experience as a journalist and editor, reporting from Asia, the former Soviet Union, Latin America and the Middle East. Currently based in New York, she writes a column, “The Real World,” on issues of tyranny and human rights, especially as these relate to the War on Terror, for The Wall Street Journal’s http://www.Opinionjournal.comand The Wall Street Journal Europe.   Recently she has reported from Lebanon, and written on issues involving the United Nations, foreign dissidents, and tyrants who in various ways threaten the democratic world.

IDF

Miri Eisin

Biography: Colonel (Ret.) Miri Eisin is recently retired from the IDF intelligence corps.  Eisin has  served in various branches of the intelligence division, as well as serving as assistant  to the Director of Military Intelligence (the present chief of staff). She was assigned  as a special spokesperson of the Israeli government during Operation Defensive Shield and  has recently been at the forefront of presenting Israel’s case to the media, on national  and international news stations worldwide.

Immigration and absorption

Dr. Dvora Hacohen
Bar-Ilan Univ, Land of Israel Studies
Office direct: 03-531-7690
Home: 02-563-6667

Intelligence services; Mossad and GSS; Media and the security establishment; Role of the media in political extremism

Dr. Shlomo Shpiro
Bar-Ilan Univ, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-8108
Cell: 054-550-840
Home: 08-972-9036
Email: sshpiro@isdn.net.il

Biography: Ph.d. Birmingham University

Intifada background; IDF

Jacob Dallal
Cell: 50-835-9323
Email: jacobdallal@yahoo.com

Biography: Jacob Dallal serves as deputy head of the International Press Office of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, as spokesperson and liaison for the army with the press responsible for North American media.  Dallal holds the rank of captain. Dallal was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Chicago.  He has appeared on television programs numerous times.

Iran

Ilan Berman
Vice President for Policy, American Foreign Policy Council and
Author, Tehran Rising:  Iran’s Challenge to the United States (2005)
Office direct: 202-543-1006

Larry Haas
Visiting Senior Fellow, Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Cell: 202-257-9592 (cell)
Web site: http://www.larryhaasonline.com

Jeremy Issacharoff
Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel
Office: 202-364-5578 (office)
Web site: http://www.israelemb.org

Cliff May
President and Executive Director, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Office:202-207-0190
Office direct: 202-207-0184
E-mail: cliff@defenddemocracy.org
Web site: http://www.defenddemocracy.org

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Founder and President, The Israel Project
Office: 202-857-6644
Web site: http://www.theisraelproject.org

U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.
Member, Committee on International Relations; Ranking Member, Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights
Office: 202-225-5911
Web site: http://www.house.gov/sherman/about/

Ken Timmerman
President, Middle East Data Project, Inc.,
Author, “Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran” (2005)
Office: 301-946-2918
E-mail: timmerman.road@verizon.net;
Web site: http://www.KenTimmerman.com

In Israel:
Professor Ze’ev Maghen
The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University
Office: 011-972-3-531-7812
Cell: 011-972-52-383-4069
Web site: http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/

Iran; proliferation; terrorism; international law and international organizations; Middle East security issues; U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation

Ilan Berman
Vice President for Policy, American Foreign Policy Council
Office direct: 202-543-1006
Fax: 202-543-1007
Email: berman@afpc.org

Biography: Ilan Berman is Vice President for Policy of the Washington-based American Foreign Policy Council.  An expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, he has consulted for both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense, and provided assistance on foreign policy and national security issues to a range of governmental agencies and congressional offices.  Mr. Berman is Adjunct Professor for International Law and Global Security at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.  He serves as a member of the reconstituted Committee on the Present Danger, and as Editor of the Journal of International Security Affairs.  He is the author of “Tehran Rising: Iran’s Challenge to the United States” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).

Israel Defense Forces- dissent and disobedience within the army, anti-terrorist undercover units and special operations, manpower policies, civil-military relations

Professor Stuart A. Cohen
Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-8958
Home: 03-921-9986
Email: cohenst@mail.biu.ac.il

Biography: Ph.D. Oxford University

Israeli Arab Affairs expert; Islamic Movement

Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Begin-Sadat Center,
Office direct: 03-531-8073
Cell: 054-477-8908
Home: 09-744-9162

Israeli history; Israeli-American relations

Mitch Bard
Executive Director, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise,
Office: 301-565-3918
Email: mgbard@aol.com
Web Site: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org

Biography: Mitch Bard is the Executive Director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and a foreign policy analyst who lectures frequently on U.S. – Middle East policy. He also serves as the director of the Jewish Virtual Library.  He previously worked as the editor of The Near East Report and as a senior analyst in the polling division of the 1988 Bush campaign.

Israeli strategic thinking; Israel Defense Forces- dissent and disobedience within the army, anti-terrorist undercover units and special operations, manpower policies, civil-military relations; Israel Defense Forces- fighting doctrine, force structure, training, ongoing security operations

Dr. Avi  Kober
Major, Bar-Ilan Univ, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-7936
Home: 09-740-6040
Email: avik@doubt.com

Biography: P.h.D Hebrew University

Israeli-American relations

Malcolm Hoenlein
Executive Vice Chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations
Office: 212-318-6111
Email: info@conferenceofpresidents.org

Israeli-American relation; American Jewish Community

Biography: Michael Gelman serves as chairman of The Israel project and recently completed three terms as president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and is the new President of its Endowment Fund. Gelman is chairman of the United Jewish Communities Human Services and Social Policy Pillar and the UJC Birthright Committee. Mr. Gelman also sits on the boards of several organizations including the Jewish Agency for Israel, for which he chairs the Aliyah and Klitah Budget Subcommittee.

Israeli-American relations; American Jewish Community

Shoshana S. Cardin
Home: 410-486-2333
Email: shoshanaca@aol.com

Biography: Shoshana Cardin, born in Tel-Aviv in 1926, is a graduate of both UCLA and John Hopkins University. She is the president of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and has worked extensively in advancing the rights of women.

Jewish refugees from Arab countries

Professor Ada Aharoni
President, IFLAC,
Office: 972-4-8243230

Mordechai Ben-Porat
Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center,
Office: 03-533-9278
Email: babylon@babylonjewry.org.il

Shlomo Hillel
Office: 02-641-1416
Cell: 050-233-202

Asher Naim
Office: 972-2-679-2273
Email: anaim@mofet.macam98.ac.il

Military technologies & industries

Professor Zeev Bonen
Begin-Sadat Center,
Cell: 054-977-296
Home: 04-837-7787
Email: bonen@elronet.co.il

Biography: Ph.d. Cambridge University was the director-general and president of ‘Rafael’ and today serves as a research director for the Israeli Government’s Chief Scientist

Mother/Father of terror victim

Aviva Raziel
Cell: 050-809339
Home: 02-586-5681

Biography: Aviva Raziel was the mother of Michal Raziel, who was slain last August with her best friend and neighbor Malkie Roth, 15, and 13 others, including six children, when a suicide bomber attacked the Sbarro restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem.  At age fifty, she was a neonatal intensive care unit nurse at Hadassah Hospital for the past 25 years, had seen her share of life’s triumphs and tragedies.  Despite her husband’s two year battle with brain cancer in 1990, she raised four daughters – three of whom since married. But nothing prepared her for seeing “my lovely, beautiful, caring child,” Michal, 16, at Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s morgue

Frimet Roth
Cell: 055-746337

Biography: Frimet Roth was the mother of Malki Roth, 15 years old, originally from Melbourne, Australia, who, while dining with her best friend at the Sbarro in Jerusalem, was killed in a suicide bombing on August 9, 2001.  Her best friend was Michal Raziel, and she was also a victim of the Sbarro bombing.  Frimet Roth, is a freelance reporter who often writes for The Jerusalem Post.

Mother/Father of terror victim; Activist for Security Fence

Leah and Yossi  Zur
Cell: 054-424-8912
Home: 04-8248912

Biography: Lea and Yossi Zur and parents of Assaf Zur, who was a victim of a suicide bomb on a local bus in Haifa’s Carmeliya neighbourhood on March 5, 2003.  He was also a student of ORT Hannah Szenesh.  Assaf was only seventeen.

Arnold Roth
Home: 02-586-8937

Biography: Arnold Roth was the father of Malki Roth, 15 years old, originally from Melbourne, Australia, who, while dining with her best friend at the Sbarro in Jerusalem, was killed in a suicide bombing on August 9, 2001.  Her best friend was Michal Raziel, and she was also a victim of the Sbarro bombing.

Florence Bianu
Email: fbianu@gmail.com

Biography: Florence Biano was the mother of Mark Biano, who was 29 years old and one of 21 people killed in the suicide bombing carried out by a female terrorist from Jenin in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa on October 4, 2003.  Mark’s wife, Naomi (25), also was killed in the bombing.  Mark Biano was a reporter for a local Haifa cable TV news magazine, News of the Day and usually was the reporter who, ironically, covered terrorist attacks.

Seth and Sherri Mandel
Office: 02-6483758
Cell: 052-5225642

Motivation to serve in the IDF

Dr. Yaakov Katz
School of Education,
Office direct: 03-531-8557
Home: 02-993-1279

Music

Professor Edwin Serrousi
Bar-Ilan Univ, Musicology
Office direct: 03-531-8090
Home: 02-679-3885

Palestinian and Arab school textbooks

Naomi Babbin
Managing Director, Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace
Email: cmip@netvision.net.il

Biography: Naomi Babbin is the managing director for the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, a non-political, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization monitoring school textbooks used in the Middle East to determine if they are critical of Israel and to pressure the various governments to change the way Israel is portrayed.

Palestinian culture of hate

Nonie Darwish
Email: nonie@noniedarwish.com

Biography: Nonie Darwish speaks out against the divisive Wahabist ideology that is poisoning the Middle East and US. Raised in the Gaza Strip, Darwish grew up in conditions of intense hatred and anti-Semitic indoctrination. As an adult, she moved to America realized the full impact of indoctrinated hate she experienced and now speaks out against all around the world.

Palestinian economy; PA aid politics; Mideast economic cooperation; Israel-Arab trade; Arab economies

Dr. Gil Feiler
Begin-Sadat Center,
Office direct: 03-751-2780
Cell: 050-532-266
Home: 03-648-5297
Email: ipr@netvision.net.il

Biography: P.h.D Tel Aviv University is a consultant to the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information

Palestinian Liberation Organization

Walid Shoebat
Office: 877-832-7200
Email: walid@shoebat.com

Biography: Walid Shoebat was a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and participated in acts of terror and violence against Israel. He was imprisoned for his actions. But after studying the Jewish Bible he came to realize that what he had been taught about Jews and Israel was wrong, and he then made it his mission to spread the truths that he had learned.

Palestinian media; Palestinian polling

Dr. Aaron Lerner
Director, Independent media Review and Analysis,
Office: 972-9-760-4719
Email: imra@netvisaion.net.il

Biography: Dr. Aaron Learner is Director of Independent Media Review and Analysis.  IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, was founded in 1992, by Drs. Aaron and Joseph Lerner, as an ongoing analysis of developments in Arab-Israeli relations. Awarded credentials by the Government of Israel as a news organization, IMRA provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events.

Palestinian press; Arab-Israeli relations

Khaled Abu Toameh
Journalist, The Jerusalem Post, Arab Affairs
Cell: 050-331-600
Email: khaledat@zahav.net.il

Biography: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Israeli Arab, is the West Bank and Gaza correspondent for the Jerusalem Post and U.S. News and World Report.  He previously served as a senior writer for the Jerusalem Report, and a correspondent for Al-Fajr. He has produced several documentaries on the Palestinians for the BBC and other networks, exposing the connection between Arafat and payments to the armed wing of Fatah and the financial corruption within the Palestinian Authority. He has been threatened by Palestinian leaders over his work.

Palestinian public opinion research

Khalil Shikaki
Director, Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research,
Office: 972-2-296-4933
Email: kshikaki@pcpsr.org

Biography: Khalil Shikaki is an Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of the  Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (Ramallah).  Dr. Shikaki has conducted  more than 100 polls among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since 1993.

Palestinian suicide bombers; Palestinian and Arab school textbooks

Dr. Daphne Burdman
Psychiatrist, Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace,
Cell: 053-593-244
Home: 02-644-9370
Email: daphb@netvision.net.il

Biography: Dr Daphne Burdman is a psychiatrist who recently retired from the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. Her research is on martyrdom, indoctrination and the Palestinian education that teaches children to hate. She has written extensively on these topics.

Palestinian textbooks; Syrian textbooks; Jordanian textbooks; Palestinian media

Itamar Marcus
Director, Palestinian Media Watch,
Office: 02-625-4140
Cell: 050-528-4907
Email: itamar@pmw.org.il

Biography: Itamar Marcus is one of the founders of Palestinian Media Watch, Marcus is the current director. Mr. Marcus was also the Director of Research for the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace from 1998 – 2000, writing studies on Palestinian, Jordanian, and Syrian school textbooks. Mr. Marcus was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Trilateral Committee to Monitor Incitement established under the Wye Accords.

Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch,
Office: 613-238-0933
Cell: 613-220-4570
Email: barbara@pmw.org.il

Biography: Barbara Crook is one of the founders of Palestinian Media Watch

Religion and state; the Israeli judicial system; constitutional issues and conflicts

Professor Yedidia Stern
Bar-Ilan Univ, Law
Office direct: 03-531-8414
Home: 02-673-1122

Religious society and religious groupings and attitudes towards the Zionist enterprise

Professor Menachem Friedman
Bar-Ilan Univ, Sociology
Office direct: 03-531-8624
Home: 08-934-9184

Scientific advancement

Professor Shlomo Grossman
Bar-Ilan Univ, Life Sciences
Office direct: 03-531-8050
Home: 03-612-5511

Settlement and development of Jerusalem

Professor Zeev Safrai
Bar-Ilan Univ, Land of Israel Studies
Office direct: 03-531-8536
Cell: 069-98-423

Survivors of Terror Attacks

Gila Weiss
Home: 972-5-599-0836

Biography: Gila Weiss is a Maryland native who moved to Israel and was the victim of a terrorist attack in 2002. She was 27 at the time of the attack and suffered a severe gash on her head and extensive damage to her eyes and face from flying shrapnel. The attack was a suicide attack carried out by a woman, and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack.

Eliad Moreh
The David Project,
Home: 617-428-0012
Email: eliadmoreh@hotmail.com

Biography: Eliad Moreh survived the fatal terror attack at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on July 31, 2002. In the bombing’s aftermath, Eliad’s stunning picture and words were beamed across the world. Moreh, an Israeli of French-Iraqi origin, holds an M.A. from the Hebrew University in Modern Art. She has been interviewed in the New York Post, Fox News, and other international news venues. As a survivor of Islamist terror, Moreh strongly believes that observers in the West must condemn terrorism of any kind and take seriously radical Islam’s threat against the Western world and minority cultures.

Teaching peace in Israel

Yael Barkol
Office: 09-771-0633
Home: 06-754-8469
Email: gybarkol@zahav.net.il

Biography: Israeli school teacher who teaches peace in her classroom.

Zehava Kaufman
Office: 09-766-3770
Home: 06-434-9498
Email: ztmmn@013.net.il

Biography: Israeli school teacher who teaches peace in her classroom.

Barbara Uri
Home: 09-891-0788
Email: ojacob@inter.net.il

Biography: Israeli school teacher who teaches peace in her classroom.

Teaching kids peace; Palestinian and Arab school textbooks

Adina Shapiro
Director, Middle East Children’s Association,
Office: 703-761-3939

Biography: Adina Shapiro is a clinical social worker and therapist, and co-director of the Middle East Children’s Association (MECA), a joint Israeli Palestinian educational organization. She has served as Acting Director of the Institute for State Attorneys and Legal Advisors at the Israeli Ministry of Justice.  She trains Israeli and PA teachers, introducing programs of tolerance.  Her work has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.

Terrorism; Middle East politics; Arab-Israeli Affairs

Aaron Mannes
Author, TerrorBlog and Profiles in Terror: The Guide to Middle East Terrorist Organizations
E-mail: author@profilesinterror.com

Biography: Aaron Mannes analyzes terrorist networks at the University of Maryland’s Semantic Web Agents Group.  He has consulted for a range of government agencies on various international security and homeland security issues.

Mannes has written numerous articles on Middle East affairs, terrorism, and other international security issues for popular and scholarly publications including Policy Review, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Jerusalem Post, National Review Online, The New York Post, Weekly Standard, and the Journal of International Security Affairs. He speaks throughout the United States, has been interviewed on radio and television worldwide, and is a Contributing Expert to the CounterTerrorism Blog (counterterrorismblog.org).

Terrorism; US foreign policy

Andrew C. McCarthy
Legal Commentator, Terrorism Expert
Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Office:  202-207-0190
Email: info@defenddemocracy.org

Biography:  Andrew C. McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor and a contributor at National Review Online.  Following the September 11 attacks, Mr. McCarthy supervised the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Command Post in New York City, coordinating investigative and preventive efforts with numerous federal and state law enforcement and intelligence agencies.  He writes extensively on a variety of legal, social and political issues for National Review and Commentary, among other publications, as well as providing commentary for various television and radio broadcasts.

Terrorism; Arab culture, politics, and media

Avi Jorisch
Terrorism Expert
Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Office: 202-452-0650
Email: avi@defenddemocracy.org

Biography: Avi Jorisch is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and he has written at length about Hizballah, al-Manar, and related subjects, with articles appearing in many prominent publications.  Mr. Jorisch was a Soref fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy from 2001 to 2003, specializing in Arab and Islamic politics. More recently, he served as an Arab media and terrorism consultant for the Department of Defense.

The interplay between democracy, religion, and society

Professor Ella Belfer
Bar-Ilan Univ, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-8274
Home: 03-934-0071

Water problems and solutions; Eastern Mediterranean strategic affairs; Israeli strategic ties with Turkey; Egypt’s role in regional affairs

Dr. Amikam Nachmani
Bar-Ilan Univ, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-8044
Home: 02-566-4391
Email: nachma@mail.biu.ac.il

Biography: P.h.D Oxford University

Dr. Jonathan  Rynhold
Bar-Ilan Univ, Political Science
Office direct: 03-531-8108
Home: 08-972-7220
Email: rynhold@mail.biu.ac.il

Biography: Ph.D. London School of Economics

Women’s rights in the Middle East; Middle East democracy

Eleana Gordon
Senior Vice President, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Office: 202-207-0190
Email: info@defenddemocracy.org

Biography:    Eleana Gordon oversees FDD’s democracy programs and communications, with a focus on promoting pro-democracy, anti-terrorism activists from the Islamic world. Ms. Gordon helped establish the Women for a Free Iraq, a campaign by over a hundred Iraqi women to rally support for the liberation of Iraq.   She works closely with Iraqi women’s groups such as the Women’s Alliance for the Democratic Iraqand the Iraqi Women’s High Council to advocate for a democratic Iraqi government that secures individual freedom and women’s rights.  She previously worked with former Secretary Jack Kemp on foreign policy issues.

Ref: theisraelproject.org

Israel: “Haiti is a PR Win”

“Bravo!” the onlookers shouted. “We love you, Israel.”

It was a picture-perfect moment for Israel’s Hasbara propaganda department.

I’m a downright sceptic when it comes to the Israelis being involved in any international efforts, after all they have a proven track record of connivance and deceit. Surely being involved in the humanitarian relief effort in Haiti couldn’t involve any sort of moral subterfuge, could it?

Well the Jewish Daily Forward reports on the latest Hasbara campaign the Zionist state is involved in.

The Israelis are dedicating themselves to making sure people hear about their humanitarian mission and are spreading the word, even by means of attacking themselves via a classic piece of in-house propaganda.

Press officers from the Israeli death squads (military) are being flown in, as were photographers and a video team to document the work of medical and rescue personnel. They are distributing daily footage to the press, with representatives of Israeli and foreign media being embedded with the group to see their efforts at first hand.

A day after the Israeli field hospital opened, two Israeli officers in uniforms canvassed the row of TV producers sitting in their broadcast positions along the city airport’s runway.

“We’re telling them about our hospital,”

one said.

A CNN report, widely circulated on the web by the hasbara squadron, showed an injured Haitian in a rudimentary makeshift hospital, his doctor telling the camera that if he doesn’t make it to a hospital where he could undergo surgery shortly, he would die. A quick cut followed to the site of the Israeli hospital.

“I’m just amazed, this is like another world compared to the other hospital.”

CNN reporter, Elizabeth Cohen, gushed. Later in the report she asked how it could be that the United States did not set up a hospital in Haiti while the Israelis came from the other side of the world.

“It’s like winning the lottery”

Said Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, a Washington-based pro-Israel media group, describing the positive impact of Israeli PR efforts. Their website provides a very interesting breakdown of how to promote the efforts of Israel’s humanitarian efforts.

Her media-tracking data show that since the Israeli team began work in Haiti, thousands of positive news stories about Israel have appeared in the European press, and even more in America.

“As long as people don’t think that the motivation for this was PR and understand that it is a humanitarian cause, then you can’t go wrong,”

Steve Rabinowitz

Said Steve Rabinowitz, (whose client list speaks for itself) a Washington-based communications consultant who described the boost Israel’s mission gave to the country’s image as a “home run.”

The Israeli’s know exactly what they are doing;

“In Europe, Israel’s image is defined by the Goldstone report, so news items like those coming from Haiti can definitely help change that image”

Said an Israeli official referring to the United Nations report that accused Israel of committing war crimes.

Akiva Eldar pointed out in Haaretz;

The disaster in Haiti is a natural one; the one in Gaza is the unproud handiwork of man. Our handiwork. The IDF does not send cargo planes stuffed with medicines and medical equipment to Gaza.

The missiles that Israel Air Force combat aircraft fired there a year ago hit nearly 60,000 homes and factories, turning 3,500 of them into rubble. Since then, 10,000 people have been living without running water, 40,000 without electricity. Ninety-seven percent of Gaza’s factories are idle due to Israeli government restrictions on the import of raw materials for industry.

Soon it will be one year since the international community pledged, at the emergency conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, to donate $4.5 billion for Gaza’s reconstruction. Israel’s ban on bringing in building materials is causing that money to lose its value.

A few days before Israeli physicians rushed to save the lives of injured Haitians, the authorities at the Erez checkpoint prevented 17 people from passing through in order to get to a Ramallah hospital for urgent corneal transplant surgery.

Although I’d like to extend the benefit of the doubt, and rejoice in the Israelis rediscovering the long forgotten spirit of universal brotherhood, it’s quite apparent what their intentions are.

We have deliberately used as many quotations as possible, from pro-Israeli sources, lest I be accused of underhand tactics and being “hit for a home run” with the anti-semitic baseball bat.

The cynical exploitation of the death and suffering in Haiti by the Zionist state and their hasbara proponents is one that has to be exposed and condemned for all that it is, a piece of positive publicity for a country that has meted out death and suffering since it’s creation.

Ref:mapuck.org

Read more: http://www.mpacuk.org/story/240110/israel-haiti-pr-win.html#ixzz0dWoGMxPS

ISRAHELL: Public Relations instead of saving lives


Sending portable toilets to Haiti would have been a better option, but this does not provide good photo opportunities. Israeli missions to disaster areas in the past have shown that such activity was in vain.

DR Yoel Donchin

I received my final exemption from the army after I published an article which said that the State of Israel acts like the proverbial Boy Scout, who insists on doing a good deed daily and helping an old lady cross the road even against her will. How ungrateful of me to publish such a column when I had participated in almost all the rescue missions to overseas disaster areas! Suddenly I am no longer suitable to take part in such heroic endeavours. But in light of the experience I gained in such missions…we have wasted our effort.

Generally speaking, we start preparing for such a mission within hours of the announcement of a natural disaster. Most often the Israeli mission team is the first one to land in the area. Like those who climb Mount Everest, it plants its flag on the highest peak available, announcing  to all and sundry that the site has been conquered. And in order to ensure that the public is aware of this sporting achievement, the mission is accompanied by media representatives, photographers, an IDF spokesman’s office squad and others.

I understood the purpose perfectly when the head of one of the delegations to a disaster zone was asked whether oxygen tanks and a number of doctors could be removed to make room for another TV network’s representatives with their equipment. (With unusual courage, the delegation head refused!)

The lesson learnt from the activities of those missions is that when there is a natural disaster, or when thousands of people are expelled from their homes by force, as happened in Kosovo, survivors may benefit from international assistance only if it responds to the region’s specific needs. Also assistance must be coordinated among the various aid agencies.

The competitive race to a disaster zone imposes a huge strain on the local health and administration authorities. Airports are clogged by transport planes unloading a lot of unnecessary but bulky equipment. Doctors and rescue organisations seek ways to utilise single carriageway roads and in fact they are a burden.   The correct way to help is to send a small advance force to gauge the dimensions of the disaster…

Would they still call that child Israel?

Three components are crucial:  shelter, water and food — these things are crucial in order to save the largest number of people. Water purification equipment, tents, basic food rations are needed. But they do lack the desired dramatic effect. If we went down that track we would miss out on seeing that child who was born with the assistance of our physicians. Most certainly, the excited mother wouldn’t give her child (who knows if he will ever reach a ripe old age?) the name Israel or that of the obstetrician or nurse. (Would he get citizenship because he was born in Israeli territory? There would be many opposed to that.) The drama is indeed classy, but its necessity is doubtful.

It being Israel, our current force contains a Kashrut supervisor, security personnel and more.

In the present disaster, which is of a more massive scale than anything we have encountered to date, the need is not so much for a field hospital but field, ie portable, toilets. There is more of a need for digging equipment to dig graves and sewage pipes.

A country which wants to provide humanitarian aid without concern for its media image should send whatever is required by the victims, and not whatever it wants to deliver. But would the evening news show the commander of the Israeli mission at the compound with 500 chemical toilets? Unlikely. It is much more media savvy to show an Israeli hospital, replete with stars of David and of course the dedicated doctors and nurses, dressed in their snazzy uniforms with an Israeli flag on the lapel.

…It is quite likely that financial assistance commensurate with Israel’s resources would be preferable to the enormous expense and complicated logistics involved in the maintenance of a medical unit in the field…

But apparently a minute of TV coverage is much more important…and in fact Israel is using disasters as [military] field training in rescue and medical care. After a fortnight, the mission will reportedly return to Israel. To be truly effective a field hospital needs to remain for two or three months, but that’s a condition that Israel cannot meet.

…It is only in the Israeli aid compound in Haiti that large signs carrying the donor country’s name hang for all to see.

Prof. Yoel Donchin is the director of the Patient Safety Unit at the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem.
Translated by Sol Salbe, who directs the Middle East News Service for the Australian Jewish Democratic Society.

Ref: RichardSilverstein.com

Haiti: An Israeli Public Relations Moment?

Critics accuse Israel of exploiting the disaster in Haiti for public diplomacy.

It’s been a tough year for Israeli public diplomacy.

In the aftermath of the Gaza war, for over 12 months the Jewish state has been slammed by international media, think tanks, rights organizations and the United Nations.

Ambassadors have been recalled from Tel Aviv, arrest warrants have been issued for senior Israeli politicians and leaders, a Holocaust survivor led a fast for Gaza, dozens of human rights reports on Israel’s conduct in the war have been widely distributed and the international campaigns to launch boycotts and sanctions against Israel have seen measured success.

Israel has without question been in dire need of an image makeover.

They got it: for better or worse, Israel has received its public relations knight in shining armor in the form of an earthquake in Haiti.

Israel sent more than 200 Israeli doctors, nurses, soldiers and volunteers to Haiti soon after the gravity of the damage in Haiti became apparent. Within two days of arriving, the Israeli delegation had set up a field hospital, administered emergency medical aid from the Port-au-Prince stadium and rescued over a dozen living survivors from collapsed buildings.

Jewish state’s rapid and extensive response has hardly gone unnoticed by the country’s media, diplomats and foreign advocates. Updates from Israel’s delegation in Haiti have been sent regularly to hundreds of Israeli and foreign journalists via email, video, blogs and social networking sites.

Journalists were even sent a video of ZAKA volunteers somewhat unsuccessfully leading a group of Haitians in singing the Jewish song “Heveinu Shalom Aleichem”, literally meaning “We have brought peace upon you.”


Israeli newspapers and TV news programs have dedicated extensive space to coverage of the Israeli delegation in Haiti. Former President Bill Clinton’s thanks to Israel made the front page of Israel’s leading daily on Wednesday, followed by an article on the effects of Israel’s aid entitled “Now They Love Us.” When a Haitian mother who gave birth in the Israeli field hospital decided to name her child Israel it was the leading news item in most news outlets.

“Israel sent a very large delegation and we were one of the first to arrive,” Mati Goldstein, head of the ZAKA Israeli rescue delegation, told The Media Line on the phone from Haiti. “We built a hospital, are treating 300 to 400 people a day, and rescued 19 people from the rubble, more than any other delegation.”

Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister, said rescue operations were one of Israel’s shining lights.

“Whenever there is a disaster happening in any part of the world, Israel is reacting,” he told The Media Line. “We unfortunately have a lot of experience and well trained personnel that can help a civilian population suffering the consequences of earthquakes, floods, any kind of disaster. Israeli forces, rescue teams and medical teams operated in Armenia, in Mexico, in certain parts of Africa, all over the world.”

“The response in Haiti was very quick,” Edelstein said. “Before most of the countries managed to prepare their field hospitals for action, the Israeli doctors and nurses were already practically saving peoples lives… at this stage we are talking about hundreds of lives saved in Haiti by the Israeli team… From the reactions we are getting from different crews, delegations, teams from all over the world in Haiti, they basically all admire the work of the Israeli team.”

But while praising Israel’s response, critics say Israeli attempts to accent their aid to Haiti have been over-the-top, and accuse Israeli public relations officials of exploiting the disaster for political ends.

“The extreme right wing in Israel is using the Haiti operation to reframe the fallout from the Goldstone report in the eyes of the world,” Dr Yoel Donchin, an Israeli anesthesiologist and a veteran of Israeli rescue operations told The Media Line. “They know the Haitians are not part of the agenda and this is just for propaganda. But if it’s good for Israel they don’t care.”

“You can’t save everyone, and anyone who has studied mass casualty situations knows that the first thing you have to do is not rush in but to send a small team to evaluate what is the best way to help in the long run,” he said. “So the fact that Israel wants to race to be the first to be there means nothing in the big picture, because Israel is usually the first to arrive but also the first to leave.”

“If, for example, Israel were to bring water purification systems and chemical toilets it would be much more helpful,” Dr Donchin said. “But their logic is that then it wouldn’t get on the news.”

Dr Donchin told of an incident in which the head of one of the delegations to a disaster area was asked to move oxygen tanks and doctors to make room for an additional TV crew, and argued that Israel had become a state that “insists on performing a good deed each day and helping the old lady cross the road, even against her will.

“Like Everest climbers, Israel places her national flag at the peak to prove that the site has been conquered,” Dr Donchin wrote in a Tuesday opinion piece in Israel’s leading Hebrew news site YNet. “To publicize this physical achievement, media representatives, photographers, Israeli Defense Forces Spokespeople and others are brought along with the delegation.”

“Are we going to see the commander of the Israeli delegation on the evening news beside a compound with 500 chemical toilets? Unlikely,” he wrote. “It is much more “media friendly” to show an Israeli hospital, Stars of David and of course the staff of dedicated doctors and nurses wearing their uniforms with an Israeli flag on the lapel.”

600 readers responded to the article in its first 24 hours online and a number of other Israeli publications ran opinion pieces Monday and Tuesday accusing Israel of using the disaster for publicity points or of ignoring a humanitarian disaster on the country’s front step in Gaza.

Shlomo Aronson, professor of politics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, took issue with such assessments.

“Yes, it gives another image of Israel to those thinking about the rubble of Gaza,” he told The Media Line. “Here Israel is lending help to people who have been victims of natural disaster.”
“But it’s not a matter of political benefit nor a deliberate response to Gaza because Israel did similar operations before Gaza,” Aronson said. “We are simply better equipped and better trained than most of the others.”

“They say salvaging a few people from the rubble is not necessarily worth it,” he said of Donchin’s argument. “But Donchin deliberately omitted the fact that we don’t have the ability to do what he wanted to do and we need to acknowledge what we can and can’t do.”

Minister Edelstein said that while Israel was not offering aid as a tactic of public diplomacy, he hoped the positive images would change perceptions of Israel.

“Israeli is not assisting the Haitian population in order to get some brownie points,” he told The Media Line. “We are doing that because we are Jews, we are Israelis, and because we were brought up with this famous Talmudic perception ‘Saving one life is like saving the entire world’.”

“But definitely I wouldn’t deny that pictures of Israeli teams, uniformed Israeli doctors and soldiers helping, saving, rescuing, are positive pictures,” he said. “I sincerely hope that for people with open minds a question will at least appear: ‘How come the same people who have been portrayed as cold-hearted murderers are right now risking their own lives and definitely their living standards in order to save people and to help people they don’t know and people basically that are thousands of miles from our country?'”

Dahlia Scheindlin, an Israeli public opinion researcher and political strategist, argued that the reaction to Dr Donchin’s criticisms was born of a long standing Israeli sensitivity to their perception in the outside world.

“What I have learned over many years of public opinion research is that Israelis are quite sensitive to their image abroad,” she told The Media Line. “Israelis hate when they are seen only in light of the conflict, especially when they are seen as aggressors, and they feel that most of the world is against them, with the possible exception of America.”

“As a result, Israelis are extremely supportive of anything that shows them in a better light because it’s so rare that they get any good news about how they are viewed in the rest of the world,” Scheindlin said. “We see this whenever there is global attention towards Israel for anything other than the conflict. This happened recently, for example, when an Israeli won the windsurfing gold medal or when an Israeli astronaut died.”

“That said, do I think the government participated in this aid effort for publicity? Absolutely not,” she said. “I don’t think it was a cynical move. Israel would have participated anyway. But Israelis do try to use these things to try to leverage a better image for themselves around the world.”

Ref: Medialine