The New York Times describes hasbara as public diplomacy. But it’s often concerted propaganda efforts on behalf of the Israeli government– and the word and its cynical meaning deserve to be in the American language, just like those other imports, schadenfreude, chutzpah and apartheid.
In the print edition of the New York Times today, Robert Mackey writes about a global twitter campaign undertaken by Israelis to highlight the case of the three teens who disappeared in the West Bank last week and are thought to have been abducted:
a group of Israelis trained to promote their country online started a#BringBackOurBoys campaign last week after three teenagers disappeared on their way home from religious schools in the occupied West Bank…
#BringBackOurBoys was started by graduates of the University of Haifa’s Ambassadors Online program, which was set up to train students to use the web for “hasbara,” a Hebrew term for public diplomacy. Part of their instruction, The Jerusalem Post reported in 2012, was learning how best “to use social networking sites to defend government policies” and “utilize online platforms to convey a pro-Israel message.”
Robert Mackey is an excellent reporter, but his definition of hasbara is incomplete. “Public diplomacy” makes it sound like Israelis are just encouraged to defend their country overseas– engage, speak out, advocate. Like Avi Mayer, who likes to say: “Just some guy living in Israel, trying to help advance the Jewish people and repair the world. No big whoop.”
But there’s a lot more to hasbara than that, and the practice deserves to be scrutinized. Hasbara, which comes from Hebrew for “explaining,” has come to mean chiefly propaganda: concerted and tireless efforts to pressure newspapers and governments whenever they say a word in favor of Palestinians or Arabs, efforts to swarm websites that make the same mistake. The activity is concerted, organized, and subsidized; and the organized component is partly concealed. Anyone who’s seen the regular shift changes in commenters at this site knows what I’m talking about.
New York Times readers are apparently not aware of this term, and they should be. Thanks to Mackey, we want Americans to start using the word hasbara with all its cynical implications. After all, other foreign words have entered our language because we need them– schadenfreude, apartheid, chutzpah, glasnost, to name a few. We need hasbara too. It describes a concerted form of propaganda that no one word in English captures.
Everytime Americans read a pro-Israel comment, we want them to think this might not just be some innocent soul moved to comment– though yes it may be that– but it could well be part of a propaganda campaign on behalf of the Israeli government.
Source: Make ‘hasbara’ a household word
Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: We are all aware of the Hasbara trolls, the Wikipedia Jews and the Israeli Neocon smear outlets. In the following important piece internet expert Jonathon Blakeley explores the vile and destructive impact of Sayanim and Hasbara agents on the social networks. What we really see is a surge of Zio-centric anti- social behaviour in our midst. They are united against humanity, humanism, pluralism, freedom of expression and tolerance basically all those things that are precious to the rest of us.
Hasbara is an Hebrew word defined as explanation. The purpose of Hasbara is to explain and educate western people about the Israeli mission. Hasbara can take many forms, adverts, websites, comments on blogs, letter writing, protests and so on. For a fuller idea of the depth of Habsara check this tool-kit from the We Believe in Israel Website. (made by BICOM). The difference between propaganda and hasbara? I would say Hasbara is more of a soft sell at first, it seeks to inform, influence and educate the ignorant to the Israeli cause. The narrative of Hasbara has a victimized quality underpinning it, a very passive-aggressive approach, Israel is always defending not attacking. They play the mis-understood victim and invite their critics to attack them. The sub-current being that Israel’s message is not understood. Israel views that the reason for this is either lack of education or stupidity. So the Hasbara agents explain until they realise that they are getting nowhere and then respond with disdain and disgust.
Key individuals are identified, some support Israel others oppose. These are the influencers, on Twitter they are people with over 1 000 followers and over 1 000 tweets. By seeking to influence and control these key individuals, Hasbara agents can influence many many more. Hasbara trolls on twitter try to act as shepherds for the tweeps, making them go this way or that. A troll traditionally on the Internet is someone indulges in off-topic abuse.
- a troll is someone who posts inflammatory
- extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response
- or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
I believe that calling someone – anti-semite or neo-nazi or racist is inflammatory, unless that is their actual beliefs.
By controlling information one can control people and the social networks. Hasbara volunteers help to police social networks for Israel. The big media are dealt with through BICOM and AIPAC, whilst the social media are policed unofficially by the Hasbara troll brigade. Priority is to stop influencers being compromised by anti-Israel sentiment.
Hasbara Troll brigade
Hasbara Trolls are generally quite polite at first. They pop up when someone is critical of Israel and it’s policies or interests. They target, write, engage, educate and insult. From my research it seems that there is some kind of hierarchy of trolls, they have leaders who tell them targets and guide them with their spin. Most work voluntarily but some are paid for by wealthy sponsors. They track topical keywords and persons using public websites such as topsy.com. Problems arise if one rejects the explanations being offered by the trolls, then their troll nature becomes apparent very quickly as they resort to smears and abuse.
Hasbara Troll attributes
- Supreme point of view
- The Hasbara troll knows best
- Condescending & Patronising
- Socialist (Smart and ‘caring’)
- Do not have to be Jewish but Pro-Israel
- Internet experts
- Like to ask the questions, not answer questions
- Control freaks
- Inflamed by anyone being critical of Israel
- ‘Moral’ Guardians
- Classic insults: Anti-semite, Neo- Nazi, White Supremacist, Holocaust denier
- Adept with social networks well trained on IT
Hasbara trolls use internet alerts to warn them when hot keywords are mentioned. Keywords such as Israel, Jewish, Judaism etc. When those words are mentioned they are alerted and they go to investigate who is talking about what. I have seen this happen many times with Gilad Atzmon, someone will post something from Gilad, shortly afterwards they are bombarded by hasbara trolls. Initially they explain where they had gone wrong and try to ‘educate’ people with their ideology. Usually they say something like
Do you know Gilad Atzmon is a notorious… anti-semite? neo-nazi, holocaust denier. etc.. etc.
The way to spot the troll is the inflammatory language. If Gilad was a anti-semite it should be self evident but he says quite clearly in his book “the Wandering Who” .
“In this book i will try to untangle the knot. I will present a harsh criticsm of Jewish politics and identity. Yet it is crucial to mention at this early stage that there will be not a single reference to Jews as ethnicity or race. In my writing, I differentiate between Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion) and Jewish-ness (the ideology). This book does not deal with Jews as a people or ethnicity. If anything, my studies of this issue suggest that Jews do not form any kind of racial continuum. In short, those who are searching for blood or race-related interpretation on Zionism will have to look for it in someone else’s work.” Gilad Atzmon P15 Chapter 1 -The Wandering Who.
Types of Jewishness
- Jews (the people) – born a jew, being jewish.
- Judaism (the religion) – Jewish beliefs.
- Jewish-ness (the ideology) – Jewish ideas
Despite Gilad Atzmon making a clear and unequivocal point above, it has not stopped many zombie zionist hasbara trolls from accusing him time and time again and many others of anti-semitism or being a neo-nazi. What is wrong with these pathetic and misguided people? Can’t they read, or have their brains just curdled in their own cranium. The truth is they choose not to read or listen or debate.
I would actually say, those people who advocate every interventionalist war in the name of freedom of speech, democracy and pluralism, are operating in the west as gatekeepers, censors and resent any form of intellectual debate – Gilad Atzmon
These people are the new Book burners, those that oppose freedom in all its forms. These Hasbaratrolls oppose free speech and try to suppress open and free debate and instead replace it with their own hasbara wash & spin. It is astonishing the amount of times I have seen trolls warning people not to read this book or that book. Why do we have all these twitter trolls trying to influence what people choose to read?
Are they the people of the anti book?- Gilad Atzmon
We must unite to name and shame these despicable individuals as they try to suppress free and open debate. These people pose a great threat to our political systems and must be identified to stop them spreading their vile mis-information far and wide.
Here are some of the most active hasbara trolls.
- Turn up randomly asking question about Israel, trying to engage/educate.
- Guilt by association, they point to some source your are linked to as being anti-semitic or neo-nazi.
- Opportunity to redeem – the offer chance to recant from your naive ways.
- Smears and insults – if the top 3 fail then it’s just character assassination.
- Name bombing – using seo in blackhat ways to denounce and smear people. ie website with 37 mentions of someones name will prob get a Page one on Google.
- Hasbara trolls generally follow the rules of social networks, because they want to continue to influence people and subvert open and free debate.
After repeated attempts to indoctrinate you, I mean educate you, the Hasbara trolls then resort to name bombing. Mentioning a persons name as many times as possible on social network sites to create negative report with strong SEO. Basically using the internet to smear people to the maximum. Hasbara Trolls are well organised and have links they point to to prove their flaky points. Although the links these trolls cite are often from their own hasbara chums and the blogs they reference do not have original source material just second hand re-cobbled quotes.
Gilad Atzmon is not an anti-semite or a Holocaust denier
but there are many who would like us to think so. The question is why? To dis-credit him and his ideas. But it is not just Gilad Atzmon who is the target of the Hasbaratrolls the list is long and growing. To the right are a series of tweets from #Joe86pw, I have observed him part-time trolling on many occasions. Here he spots that Tom Watson famous Labour MP is thinking of buying a new book by Mearsheimer. – “Why leaders Lie” . Joe spots this tweet and shortly after is tweeting a helpful warning to Tom Watson MP (Hackgate MP) about that dangerous book. In these following tweets we see the “Emma Rosenthal” guiding a troll. @johne326 got upset when I placed him on my troll list. I asked him why he was trolling GiladAtzmon and he responded to me that it was clear to him that Gilad Atzmon is an anti-semite. All I want to say is this John, ” look up the definition of trolling”. I have never been into politics but sure enough the lovely open-minded “Emma Rosenthal” wastes no time at all in denouncing me as a “White supremacist”.
emma_rosenthal 2:09pm via Web .@jonathonblakele @johne326 by trolling they mean disagreeing, adding to the discourse? oooh wow sensitive white supremacists aren’t they? emma_rosenthal 2:11pm via Web .@johne326 you don’t get it. it’s ruder to actually oppose racism than to advocate it. don’t be so sensitive!
Just mentioning Gilad Atzmon on twitter is sufficient to attract the Hasbara vermin within a very short time. They all know each other as well and they enjoy bullying dissenters with their chums. Really it is just like being back at school being bullied by the school gang. Usually the lead bully goes into to attack whilst others stand by making encouraging noises. We are ‘told’ that we live in a free society, but we don’t! Free speech and debate are being squashed by the likes of BICOM, AIPAC and a small army of annoying Hasbara trolls. We must work together to stop them. From Truth comes Peace. #FromTruthcomesPeace
Because most never heard about it or were misinformed
Most Americans would oppose any Trump Administration support for an International Criminal Court investigation into Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinian protesters on May 14. This is because they either never heard about the massacre or received slanted coverage.
Thousands of Palestinian protesters in Gaza gathered in May near a “no-go” zone along an Israeli-built separation fence. They protested the 70thanniversary of the “Nakba” – or expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 from what is now Israel. Throughout “March of Return” protests Israeli snipers shot, killed and severely wounded protesters from behind the safety of protective berms. Palestinian casualties peaked the day Trump administration and Israeli officials celebrated recent U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by opening a brand-new US embassy in the contested city on May 14.
Palestine, a non-member observer to the U.N. since 2012, submitted a referral to the ICC calling on prosecutors to open an investigation into Israeli crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Trump administration opposes all such investigations, having returned to the “no daylight” stance preferred by Israel and its US lobby under which administration policies are indistinguishable from policies advanced by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley claimed Israel acted “with restraint” in Gaza. The US and Israeli governments, neither a signatory to the Rome Statute of the ICC, have repeatedly blocked such UN accountability measures. When polled, a majority of Americans also oppose any ICC investigation into the massacre.
Question: Should the US support an International Criminal Court investigation into the May 14 deaths of more than 60 Palestinian protesters and the wounding of another 2,771 in Gaza?
<figure> Source: IRmep poll of 1,504 US adults through Google Surveys May 23-25,
RMSE 5.5%. Raw data and demographic filters at Google. </figure>
What accounts for the lack of popular American support for an investigation into the shootings? The Israel lobby’s quest for unconditional US government support has been well-funded and ably pursued – through licit and illicit means – since long before Israel was established in 1948. Today the Israel lobby’s campaign finance network instantly imperils the career of any American politician who fails to parrot pro-Israel talking points and Israeli government positions. Clandestine cutouts conduct espionage and covert operations with utter impunity against US industries, associations and activists who meaningfully challenge harmful Israeli actions.
The Israel lobby’s long-term media manipulation has been particularly effective. A groundbreaking four-country poll revealed in 2016 that a plurality of US adults, unlike the citizens of the U.K., Canada and Mexico, believe Palestinians occupy Israeli land, rather than the reverse. Though methodologically flawed and overstated, mainstream polls accurately reveal higher American sympathy for Israelis relative to Palestinians. Many Americans are reflexively pro-Israel when asked about grisly occurrences such as the Gaza massacre because Israel media pressure groups and pro-Israel media outlets suppress coverage, or when that fails, blame the victims. Both impact reporting and public opinion during a crisis such as Gaza, and the most important single factor influencing lack of support for an investigation was that a stunning 81.5% of Americans say they never heard about the massacre through any channel.
Question: Have you received any mainstream, alternative or social media reports about the May 14 deaths of more than 60 Palestinian protesters and the wounding of another 2,771 in Gaza?
<figure> Source: IRmep poll of 1,506 US adults through Google Surveys May 25-27,
RMSE 4.1%. Raw data and demographic filters at Google </figure>
Another way to measure the saturation level and intensity of Gaza massacre media coverage is to compare the level of “follow up” search engine activity of internet users in the US seeking additional information after hearing about it. Interest in Gaza increased, but never garnered more than 9% of the volume search activity of the Santa Fe school shooting, despite having a much higher casualty rate and occurring just a few days earlier. (Numbers on the chart below represent Google search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the US over time. A value of 100 is the peak search popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term was only half as popular.)
<figure> Source: Google Trends keyword search for “santa fe” vs “gaza”
(Results downloaded May 27, 2018) </figure>
The “angle” or “slant” of the limited Gaza news coverage also matters. Leading news organizations such as the Washington Post, CNN and Fox News all freely headlined Santa Fe as a “massacre” in their saturation coverage, with abundant on-the-scene reporter interviews of victims and their families. What little reporting mainstream media performed about Gaza was so compromised and one-sided in support of Israel that some readers sarcastically responded to passive-tense headlines appearing in such outlets as the New York Times by inquiring precisely how “Palestinians died” in the reported “clashes” and whether it was perhaps the result of old age.
<figure> Source: Twitter </figure>
It may seem American popular opposition to an ICC investigation of Israel is yet another stunning defeat for those working against the deadly and damaging results of unconditional US support for Israel. However, what the poll numbers actually reveal is quite different. Despite being purposefully underinformed and misinformed about a major news story, 40.7% of Americans nevertheless still want Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza to be investigated by the International Criminal Court. If Americans continue to transcend the Israel lobby’s intense and well-funded new initiatives to undermine free speech, popular support for meaningful accountability – such as severing unconditional US aid to Israel – will continue to grow.
Note about the wording of the IRmep polls: The questions created by IRmep and fielded through Google Surveys have similar “lack of agency” and “passive tense” attributes that plagued US mainstream media reporting. That is because under rigorously enforced guidelines, Google will not field surveys about war or violence, most especially questions that clearly assign blame for violent actions, such as one group “killing and maiming” another group. According to Google Surveys feedback on drafts of IRmep survey questions, this is because “gruesome actions cited in the survey [drafts], some users and sites that run surveys might be offended by this kind of content. Regardless if it’s currently happening or a hypothetical event, the act itself is gruesome.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump is continuing to push top military advisers to accept a plan for a “sweeping” military strike against the Syrian government. They say he is “unhappy” with the Pentagon’s offers so far, feeling they don’t go far enough.
Defense Secretary James Mattis has been openly hesitant about a strike on Syria, saying he is concerned about it leading to a direct US war with Russia. Trump, however, is said to want Mattis to “push the limits a little bit more.”
Indeed, Trump wants the strike not only to hit the Syrian government, but to “exact a price” from both the Iranian and Russian forces inside Syria. This is in keeping with Trump saying just two days ago that Russia should “get ready” for US missiles.
This isn’t the first time President Trump was said to be unhappy with the options given to him by th4e military. A few months ago, before diplomacy in North Korea started happening, Trump was very keen on getting more and more options for attacking Pyongyang.
With Syria, Trump was already in the process of assembling a coalition and telling Russia to “get ready” before serious push-back began on the war. Which isn’t to say that Trump is the most hawkish in his administration on Syria.
That would have to be John Bolton, his National Security Adviser, who is said to be pushing for something vastly bigger than the 2017 attack. The Wall Street Journal said he favors a “ruinous” attack against Syria, that would cripple the government and national infrastructure of the country.
James Mattis has long tried to be a voice of reason in cabinet meetings, but with the sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Mattis now finds himself alone on the side of caution, and risking being drown out by a cacophony of calls from hawks to attack.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Inspectors Head to Douma to Investigate Alleged Syria Gas Attack – April 12th, 2018
- As US Mulls Options, Russia Says Priority Is to Avoid War – April 12th, 2018
- OPCW Confirms Salisbury Poisoning, Can’t Say Where Poison Came From – April 12th, 2018
Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a writer and consultant specializing in national and international security affairs. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He is listed in WHO’S WHO IN THE EAST (23rd ed.).
A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Sabrosky’s teaching and research appointments have included the United States Military Academy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Middlebury College and Catholic University; while in government service, he held concurrent adjunct professorships at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Sabrosky has lectured widely on defense and foreign affairs in the United States and abroad. You can email Dr. Alan Sabrosky at: email@example.com
Europa – The Last Battle [PART 1]
Communism was not created by the masses to overthrow the bankers, Communism was created by the bankers to overthrow and enslave the masses. “You must understand. The leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They hated Christians.
Driven by ethnic hatred they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse. The October Revolution was not what you call in America the “Russian Revolution.” It was an invasion and conquest over the Russian people. More of my countrymen suffered horrific crimes at their bloodstained hands than any people or nation ever suffered in the entirety of human history.
It cannot be understated. Bolshevism was the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant of this reality is proof that the global media itself is in the hands of the perpetrators. “We cannot state that all Jews are Bolsheviks. But: without Jews there would have been no Bolshevism.
For a Jew nothing is more insulting than the truth. The blood maddened Jewish terrorists murdered sixty-six million in Russia from 1918 to 1957.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), Nobel-Prize-winning novelist, historian and victim of Jewish Bolshevism.