Tag Archives: Israeli government

Israel’s Army of Spin-Doctors is Doomed to Defeat

8 Jul

gaza_bombing_ahmad_dalloul_irin Aftermath of Israeli raid on Gaza. (Ahmed Dalloul, UN)

By Jonathan Cook, Nazareth, The Palestine Chronicle, 8 July 2015

The Israeli government believes it is locked in an epic struggle to save Israel from the growing movement calling for an international boycott. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that Israel must quickly “rebrand” itself to avoid pariah status.

Ordinary Israelis are therefore being conscripted into an army of spin-doctors in a campaign termed “hasbara” – Hebrew for “public diplomacy”, or more literally “propaganda”.

In the latest offensive, the education ministry has launched a compulsory hasbara course for Israeli students travelling abroad. All youth delegations are now required to learn how to justify to outsiders Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. According to officials, the students must challenge those who “seek to delegitimize Israel”.

It is yet more evidence that hasbara has become a national obsession in Israel – and that the line between support for one’s country and support for the subjugation of another people has been erased. Some 85 per cent of Israelis tell pollsters they are keen to become hasbara ambassadors for the Netanyahu government.

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Israel announces plans to build 1,000 new settler homes

28 Oct

 jerusalem.si

The East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan is seen with the al-Aqsa mosque in the background (Reuters/ Ammar Awad )

RT report, 27 October 2014

The Israeli government has approved plans to build over 1,000 new settler homes in East Jerusalem. It will expand two existing Israeli settlements on part of the territories seized in 1967.

An official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on the possible political and diplomatic impact. He said on Monday that “The government has decided to advance the planning of more than 1,000 units in Jerusalem – roughly 400 in Har Homa and about 600 in Ramat Shlomo,” as cited by Reuters.

He also said that plans would be “advanced for infrastructure projects in the West Bank that will include roads for the Palestinians.”

It is a sidestep by Netanyahu’s office, as the ultranationalist Jewish Home party and its leader Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, has been pressing the Prime Minister to call for 2,000 new building tenders.

 palestinians

Palestinians run to take cover from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces during clashes following the funeral of Palestinian-American Orwa Hammad on October 26, 2014 in the West bank village of Silwad, near Ramallah. (AFP Photo / Abbas Momani)

However, Palestinians regard the holy city of Jerusalem as a future capital of their state and strongly oppose any Israeli expansion. According to Reuters, in a statement the Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that “We strongly condemn the latest Israeli announcement to expand its illegal settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine.”

“This announcement amounts to evidence of an intent to further commit crimes defined by, and punishable under international law,” he added.

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