- Hasbara is a form of propaganda aimed at an international audience, primarily, but not exclusively, in western countries. It is meant to influence the conversation in a way that positively portrays Israeli political moves and policies, including actions undertaken by Israel in the past.
If you are a Jew, especially an Israeli Jew, the narrative you’re likely reading about the Palestinians is similar to this one.
If you’re an American, you’re likely seeing the news about Palestinians filtered through the same lens.
This dominant narrative makes these points (among others):
1) Palestinians are educated in the glory of terrorism from a young age, and children are encouraged to become martyrs.
2) Palestinians relish and rejoice when their acts of terror (ie. suicide bombers) kill many Israelis.
3) The National government of Palestine (Palestinian Authority), Hamas, and every other Arab organization calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.
4) Islamist terrorists are honored with street names and other public places.
5) The “Moderate” Abu Mazen honors mass murderers and arch Islamist terrorists.
These points are supported with video clips to prove their accuracy. Anyone steeped in this narrative from an early age onward will no doubt be convinced of its veracity.
Those who prepare this hasbara are very good at their job — packaging the narrative so one side is clearly good and righteous, while the other is bad and evil.
If you believe the world is really THAT simple, I have a swamp in southern New Mexico for sale.
Now, if I wanted to prepare a counterpoint, a Palestinian narrative that included propaganda to support the Palestinian resistance, I could.
Here are the points I might make:
1) The Zionists have a plan to exterminate the Palestinians which they have been executing with great proficiency, and with the help of many Western nations, since 1948 to the present day. The Likud Charter calls for the destruction of Palestine.
2) The Zionists teach their children that Palestinians are inferior, innately stupid, lazy and not good for much of anything.
3) The Zionists don’t believe in the Rule of Law — there are innumerable examples of Israel’s violations of international law.
4) The Israeli occupation forces kill Palestinian children, women and the elderly indiscriminately, relishing in their marksmanship. And Americans who are trying to help the Palestinians are fair game. Israel has killed a number of Americans.
5) Israeli settlers carry guns, teach their children to shoot Arabs, burn their olive trees, and carry out Price Tag attacks against Palestinians.
I could provide a video-clip to support each of these points (ask me if you want video clips) but I’ll post just one —- these Israeli soldiers talking about their action in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead (December 2008- January 2009).
The factually accurate narrative which is missing from Israel’s hasbara and the mainstream media’s reporting … must include the OCCUPATION. If the news you’re reading or listening to fails to talk about the Israeli occupation of Palestine, then you aren’t learning about the context that explains why Palestinians are resisting against the occupation and the occupier. You’re not hearing about the 99-year hudna (truce) that Hamas, Fatah and other Arab countries have offered Israel. You’re not appreciating the long and peaceful history that Jews, Christians and Muslims shared prior to the occupation and the Nakba.
There is another narrative, a more honest narrative, that doesn’t paint one side right, the other wrong —- one side virtuous and the other side terrorist.
Israelis and Palestinians need the world to understand this honest narrative, for both their sakes.