The hasbara manual…


… has always been findable online, but I thought I’d do my bit to make it a little more findable. Click on the image above. It’s a biggish file and sometimes the download gets stuck, somehow; just hit ‘reload’ and sooner or later you’ll get it.

I’ve taken to responding to Zionists with page references: e.g., “Hasbara manual, page 4 et passim“, for the various rear-guard actions that begin with the phrase ‘Both sides…’

I do mean passim, by the way; the phrase occurs 71 times in 116 pages.

23 thoughts on “The hasbara manual…

  1. Blumenthal covered the latter-day PhD (as was Dr. Goebbels) who inspired this fine manual:

    The lurid hasbara of Brand Israel was directly inspired by corporate PR, and no single figure has devoted more energy at refining its techniques of damage control than Frank Luntz. Luntz earned acclaim–and notoriety–in 1996 when he crafted a memo for Newt Gingrich, the Republican speaker of the House, called “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.” The memo advised Gingrich to promote the GOP agenda with positive words like “moral,” “lead” and “prosperity,” while hammering Democrats with terms like “abuse of power,” “corrupt” and “intolerant.” Luntz went on to garner lucrative contracts from Enron, ExxonMobil and, most recently, the financial industry, which hired him to help undermine the Occupy Wall Street movement. Luntz’s bestselling vocabulary guide, Words That Work, was originally titled Killer Words.

    Given his history of helping corporate crooks talk their way out of crises, perhaps it was appropriate that Luntz was contracted by the Israel Project, an international pro-Israel activism outfit with ties to the country’s foreign ministry, to craft its official hasbara handbook. In the 116-page guide, fine-tuned for the sensibilities of an audience high on passion and low on information, Luntz outlines strategies for promoting Israel in the media and on campus. Throughout the document, Luntz urges pro-Israel activists to lead attacks on adversaries by “start[ing] with empathy for both sides first.” He advises Israel advocates to feign humility and concern for Palestinian children before opening up a relentless focus on the “Iran-backed Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.”

    In an unusual–and probably unintentional–moment of candor, Luntz warns that if Israel remains in a perpetual state of war with no plan to resolve its crisis, “Americans will not want their government to spend tax dollars or their president’s clout on helping Israel.” To hold off the looming storm, Luntz advises Israel supporters to “remind people—again and again—that Israel wants peace.” For him and professional hasbarists like Sucharewicz, the word “peace” is, of course, nothing more than a rhetorical device.

  2. I’m sorry that people are dying in the middle east over dumb ass shit but people are dying all over the world because of dumb ass shit. What I never get is why I’m supposed to give a fuck about Israel and Palestine more than all the other fucked up places on the planet. It’s not that I don’t give a shit but I don’t give it any more care than all the other fucked up places. I suppose it make me anti Semitic to not particularly care about that shit anymore than all the other fucked up shit?

    Because it’s really Fucking annoying how what is happening in Israel is always on the Fucking news.

    I don’t Fucking care… (Any more than I do about all the other fucked up shit and that I have to add that qualifier really shows how stupid the whole thing is)

    • Oh, everybody finds some fucked up shit more interesting than other fucked up shit. It’s like a taste for broccoli. You has it or you don’t.

    • Assuming that you are an American and you pay taxes, you should give a fuck about the monster that was solely created and financed by the American government. Yes, there are other monstrous states or groups financed by our tax dollars such as the new Caliphate in Iraq, aka ISIS but at least you don’t see pro ISIS rallies or pro ISIS justification by the media.

      Speaking of the new Caliphate in Iraq, they have been unusually quiet about the slaughter in Gaza. No statements denouncing Israel and the murder of their Sunni brothers and sisters. But then again, the Caliphate’s goal is to get rid of Shiites and since Israelis are no Shiites, ISIS has no comments about defending the defenseless in Gaza. Just shows you that all their talk about restoring the Islamic Caliphate is posturing and their real cause is nothing but to restore their glory days of Saddam. Now this is what I call one hell of a fucked up shit.

      • ISIS is all about encircling Iran. We know the Gulf states are behind it. To what extent Israel and the US have also been involved in begetting this golem is not entirely clear, but I bet they’re in it up to the elbows.

        • Totally agreed but my comment was more about the rank and file peons that have been recruited to fight their war. Do you think that real radical Jihadis would sit in the sideline and keep mum about this non-stop massacre? Yes, their leadership is paid and erected by the Gulf states but I think their rank and file is also in it more for the economic incentive than any radical ideology.


    • One state on the entire territory of historic Palestine, no distinction between Jews and non-Jews as regards legal status, right of return for Palestinians in exile. Next question.

      • That’s a cute idea, but just like the end of the North American genocide, the end result would be a class of wealthy, corrupt Zionists controlling the entire nation, using the “voting rights” and “equal status” of Palestinians as proof–not only proof that their country is fair now, but that it always was. The voting rights would be just as worthless as they are here. Arabs would be stopped and frisked, beaten by cops, lose their children to foster care, raped in prison, and lose their houses to banks instead of bulldozers, so that middle class Jews could move into them while the Arabs starved in alleys.

        Indian reservations were, and are, a stabilizing force, helping smooth over the transition from active genocide to cultural monopoly and minstrel shows. It’s little different than, say, building another Bush presidential library, and sending Dubya and Cheney to their retirements as respected, powerful influential multimillionaires. It will grease the wheels of the next colonial project, to see what Israel has done be so easily painted over.

        If we want to put an end to this, we need to approach it from one of two ways. If you believe in a supernatural form of charity and sacrifice, then continue letting white people establish colonies around the globe, exterminate native populations, feel weepy about it, rinse and repeat.

        If you don’t believe in a supernatural form of charity and sacrifice, then every colonial settler should be stripped of every asset and left as a penniless non-citizen, welcome to compete with Koreans by applying for guest-worker visas in Japanese chip factories, or compete with Mexicans for fruit-picking jobs. Their plight would be unfortunate, but it’s no less than they very specifically, very righteously deserve. And, learning how to do manual labor (after so many centuries of playing Calvin doing all the hard work by telling Hobbes which toys to pick up first) would do their character quite well.

        Yawn, I know, certain influential parties would never allow that to happen. But then, those are the same influential parties that have run this whole world war for so very many years. Do you want to vindicate them, by eventually making an unjust peace atop the decaying bones of generations of robbed Arabs? Really–cleaning this up nice and tidy will only empower the next project.

        That’s an interesting issue, really–living with Zionists. It’s like living alongside the Ku Klux Klan. How can it be rational?

        • South Africa, post-apartheid, certainly provides ample support for HA’s pessimistic take. But then, “out of the the frying pan, into the fire” seems to sum up human history pretty well. Deal with one problem and you’re immediately confronted with another. No political initiative leads to Utopia.

          • The most pragmatic, worldly approach would be something along the lines of Robespierre. So very rarely do we see the ringleaders of anything get punished. That’s why deep governments are “deep,” because they know better than to claim formal responsibility for what they’ve done. If we’re really pragmatic, realistic people here, who want to get things done, then we need to start punishing bankers. Those are the kinds of people who appreciate direct, visceral consequences–and whose offspring-in-spirit will be able to look at those episodes of history and think, “Wow, they really got us. I guess I’d better try working hard and living honestly, as it’s the safest path to success.” The way we’ve designed the world so far, we’ve been so needful for cruel, impassionate overlords, that it’s only rational for selfish people to follow that path.

            (I’m not pessimistic, since I think of all this as just a questionnaire for what kind of place you’d prefer to be next. The people who want to fight endlessly in the arena should have the chance to do so, just as others should have the chance to plant gardens together.)

          • You had me at “Robespierre”. Where are the tumbrils when you need them?

        • Nobody has, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I would observe that a no-state solution might require that there be no states elsewhere either.

          • One binational state is an inevitability, IMO. After inhuman amounts of bloodshed and tears. I used to support two states as an intermediate step to one state, but now see it as the impossibility it always was.

          • I’m not sure it always was an impossibility, though it was never, in my view, a very good outcome. (What about the apartheid regime inside green-line Israel?)

            Ironically, it’s the Israelis themselves who have made it impossible.

        • No state? It’s just humorous to say that, in the bad sense of the word. UN 242 is the massively obvious starting point, and if the left can’t make that point, then what’s the point? You can’t get a single state without starting with two for some extended period, barring it happening via an annexation. We can’t advocate that. No state is simply not a serious idea.

          • It looks like we’re headed to one state with an eventual fall-of-apartheid resolution. I used to believe in the notion of two state -> eventual one state, but that’s not going to happen.

  4. But that sounds so pre-modern Nation-State“.

    As a Southeastern European, who one would have expected to have bitter memories of Turkish rule, put it:

    The gap between earlier Western European perceptions and the ‘modern’ image is striking. Already in the 16th century the French naturalist Pierre Belon could note that ‘the Turks force no one to live like a Turk’. Small surprise, then, that so many Jews found asylum and religious freedom in Turkey and other Muslim countries after Ferdinand and Isabella had expelled them from Spain in 1492—with the result that, in a supreme twist of irony, Western travellers were disturbed by the public presence of Jews in big Turkish cities. Here, from a long series of examples, is a report from N. Bisani, an Italian who visited Istanbul in 1788:

    A stranger, who has beheld the intolerance of London and Paris, must be much surprised to see a church here between a mosque and a synagogue, and a dervish by the side of a Capuchin friar. I know not how this government can have admitted into its bosom religions so opposite to its own. It must be from degeneracy of Mahommedanism, that this happy contrast can be produced. What is still more astonishing is to find that this spirit of toleration is generally prevalent among the people; for here you see Turks, Jews, Catholics, Armenians, Greeks and Protestants conversing together on subjects of business or pleasure with as much harmony and goodwill as if they were of the same country and religion.
    …Let us not forget that the two great ethnic crimes imputed to the Turks in the 20th century—the Armenian genocide and the persecution of the Kurds—were not committed by traditionalist Muslim political forces, but by the military modernizers who sought to cut Turkey loose from its old-world ballast and turn it into a European nation-state.

    Armenians found refuge from modernizing Turkey in Middle-Eastern Lebanon and have not done too badly for themselves since 1915, he year of their massacres–later cited as a mostly forgotten precedent by Hitler a week before WWII broke out.

  5. Don’t mean to be picky (and you can delete this comment) but the 2009 Hasbara Manual actually has “both sides” in it only 26 times! Sorry.

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