Who created this Hasbara Dictionary?
Not an Israeli Think Tank or the Israeli government. The Global Language Dictionary is the brainchild of an American group started 10 years ago by three mothers called The Israel Project. They’re hip. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
This is how they describe themselves:
“The Israel Project (TIP) is a non-partisan American educational organization dedicated to informing the media and public conversation about Israel and the Middle East. A one-stop source for detailed and accurate information, TIP provides facts to press, policy makers and the public on issues affecting Israel and the Middle East, the Jewish people and America’s interests in the Middle East. TIP does not lobby and is not connected to any government.”
“Not connected to any government”? Au contraire. It’s fair to say there must be close coordination between TIP and Israel’s officialdom. In fact, the author acknowledges as much in the Preface. If the spin-masters (err diplomats) in Israel found TIP’s messaging counterproductive, you can bet the Global Language Dictionary wouldn’t have seen the light of day.
TIP hired communications expert, Frank Luntz, the “go-to consultant for communication and language guidance,” to draft the dictionary.
So the obvious question: why did this American educational organization decide to create the Global Language Dictionary? Have any groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or anywhere else helped the U.S. with our public image problems with a similar PR project? I doubt it.
TIP’s Global Language Dictionary is more evidence of the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Israel. We hear about that “special relationship” every time Netanyahu visits Washington, DC and every time Obama addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
We also know there’s a “special relationship” every time the U.S. vetoes a resolution in the U.N. Security Council that’s the least bit critical of Israel. Look at the list of resolutions between 1972-2002 that the U.S. has vetoed. Obama’s first veto in 2011 — after he promised better relations with the Muslim world — was against a resolution supported by all the other 14 members of the Security Council condemning Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories!
The Israel Project (TIP) appears to be a well-funded public relations machine to shape public opinion favorably towards Israel. [I really would like to know if there’s an analogous group anywhere in the world trying to shape public opinion favorably towards the U.S. We sure could use the help!]
While the Global Language Dictionary is geared towards an English audience, TIP also has an extensive Arabic media program.
TIP has an impressive list of projects — each designed to persuade participants to TIP’s vision of the Middle East and Israel. TIP is in the air showing people Israel’s security concerns and needs for defensible borders; TIP provides geopolitical tours of Jerusalem and tours of the borders with Syria, Lebanon, and the Sinai, as well as other topical ground tours; TIP provides “experts” to journalists and policymakers; TIP started a new non-profit journalism venture in February 2013 called TheTower.org; and TIP also has a 24 hr/day Arabic news site called Al Masdar covering Israel-related affairs.
Clearly, the three mothers launched a major enterprise a decade ago.
Their Global Language Dictionary, first printed in 2003, is nothing to sneeze at. In the posts to follow, lets look more closely at this “guide to visionary leaders who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel.”