Friday, September 8, 2017

Has anyone researched ...

Sar Shalom

A lot of effort goes into hasbara to try to convince people around the world to think more positively about Israel. However, how much effort goes into trying to determine what messages have the desired effect of inducing more positive opinions of Israel? Many on the right assert that the key is not to be too mealy-mouthed by constantly issuing qualifiers, such as restricting it to internationally recognized Israel, on such support. Are there any examples of anyone not already a supporter of Israel being convinced to support Israel by a no-apologies defense of Israel?

As far as anti-Zionists being convinced to support Israel, I am aware of two examples. The first one I learned of was Kasim Hafeez, a British-Pakistani Muslim who grew up with the stereotypical Muslim attitude towards Jews and Israel. His path to embracing Israel started with purchasing Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel, with the intent of fisking it, then discovering that his upbringing provided no answers for what was there, and decided to find out for himself where the truth is. The second is Hunter Stuart, a journalist who grew up in a typical liberal New England home where it was taught as self-evident that the Jews in Israel were European usurpers of Palestinian land. One of the critical items in changing Stuart's mind was meeting Mizrahi Jews and learning about the Jewish refugees from the Arab world, before which he believed that all Jews were Europeans.

If we're going to be effective at hasbara, it would help to identify a larger sample of people who changed from hostility towards Israel to support and look for common threads between what changed their minds. While there is a lot of material in The Case for Israel and there was more to Stuart's epiphany than meeting Mizrahi Jews, the standard hasbara is not what has convinced them. However, it does suggest that telling more of the Mizrahi story would increase support for Israel.


  1. I have to tell ya, man, diplomacy has never been my strong suit.

    My understanding is that the traditional Israeli attitude toward hasbara has been one of "fuck it."

    Y'know, the idea being that we'll be strong and if western Europeans don't like the fact that we take care of our children then to hell with them.

    However, I do think that if we must defend Jewish self-determination and self-defense on the land of our ancestors that we start with the fact of Jewish indigeneity.

    Bellerose is right.

    1. "Bellerose is right."

      My gut is with you on that, but we need to test the notion that telling the story of Jewish indigeneity will affect people. In a sense, Bellerose is a datapoint in support of his argument. To see why, ask yourself if Bellerose would care about the conflict if there was no issue of indigeneity. That said, he is only one datapoint, and even that is only of going from neutral to support.

      What I'm looking for gathering a large number of present supporters of Israel who had at one point been opponents of Israel, learning their stories and finding common features to learn how to create more stories like theirs.

  2. Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the USA) is condemned for owning slaves by: Liberal, Leftists, Progressives, Communists and Socialists. But amazingly, Mohamed, the founder of Islam, is NEVER criticized for owning dozens of slaves!

    QUOTE 1 OF 4:

    “Although slavery had been outlawed in Britain and the importation of slaves was illegal in the United States, an active slave trade continued between Africa and the Arab nations.”

    SOURCE: South Africa: 1880 to the Present (chapter 3, page 44) by Bruce and Becky Durost Fish, 2001 CE, Chelsea House Publishers, Philadelphia, ISBN 0-7910-5676-7.
    QUOTE 2 OF 4:

    “Moreover, the ability of the Arabs to pay depended on their success as slave hunters.”

    SOURCE: The River War (chapter 1, page 7) by Winston Churchill, year 1899
    QUOTE 3 OF 4:

    Foremost of the leaders of the revolt [in Sudan around year 1884] were the Arab slave dealers, furious at the attempted suppression of their trade.

    SOURCE: The River War (chapter 2, page 27) by Winston Churchill, year 1899 CE
    QUOTE 4 OF 4:

    “Slavery was a flourishing institution in Arabia in the 1920s, and for several decades thereafter. It was not formally abolished in the Kingdom until 1962. The pilgrimage was the main source. Nigerians and Sudanese would sell their children in Mecca to help pay for their journey home, and the slave trade was one traditional source of the shareefs’ wealth.”

    “In Nejd every emir and sheikh had at least one black family living in his household, and their children were assigned as playmates to the children in the household of their age and sex, growing up with them and often becoming their close companions in adult life.”

    “When Prince Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz visited New York [City] in [year] 1944 [CE], the management of the Waldorf Astoria [hotel] were shocked that he brought his slave Merzouk with him.”

    SOURCE: The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa'ud (chapter 22, page 177) by Robert Lacey, published in year 1981 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, ISBN-10: 0006365094 ISBN-13: 978-0006365099

    Why Muslims Hate Jews:


    How to Convict the New York Times
    of Unfair Bias Against Israel:


  3. There are absurdly few man bites dog stories about Jew haters who slowly or quickly become non Jew haters. If anything the reverse is more prevalent. There are a few who were otherwise neutral who come to our defense. And even fewer, like Giulio Meotti who are not Jews.

    I'm not sure anyone who can't be convinced, ever can, no matter what. Jew hatred, realized or not, is hatred in search of something to hate. Who better to hate? We're the object of every conspiracy theory, every religious persecution, every pogrom, every warped belief system about why that person's world is unsatisfactory. And this is why the left is fertile ground for it and for other similar paranoias. Anyone soaked in leftism inherently has this. It's hard coded. A kind of 17th century Calvinist superstition where the object of their hate is the living breathing incarnation of supernal evil. To them, the Devil was a 'person' they could accidentally bump into. This kind of totem-thinking is burned into their world view. Evil is real, a real person a real thing. There are no metaphors, only enemies. And everything they don't like is a threat, an enemy. A real walking breathing thing. Hence the unhinged hatred. Of Jews, of Israel..even of....Trump? It's the one simple explanation of everything. Nothing is complicated or vague, it's 'those people'. Get rid of them and the problems all magically evaporate.

    This is why it's fruitless to worry about convincing anyone. At best you can apply pressure to shame and embarrass them. But again it's hard to shame the shameless. Not when they believe they are fighting pure living evil.