Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ignoring Is Not A Tactical Option

Over here, is a piece on Israel's hasbara (public diplomacy) problems that someone sent me.

Called, "The anger, angst, anguish and frustrations of an Israel advocate: A novel technique for combating the vilification of Israel", a Israel Zwick makes some good observations.

Like this:

When I enter search terms [into Google] such as “war, ethnic conflict, liberation movements, refugees,” this is what I discover.
· There are about 5000 different ethnic groups living in 190 countries, some of which number in the millions and make up a large percentage of the host country. Many of these groups are suffering from oppression and denial of civil rights.
· There are a number of wars going on right now in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Most of these involve Muslims. The wars and conflicts are causing large numbers of deaths and injuries among civilian populations. Everyday innocent civilians are killed in conflicts, usually by Muslims. Children are dying from disease and starvation.
· There are scores of active liberation movements struggling for self-determination
· There are millions of refugees and internally displaced persons around the world living in deplorable conditions.

However, if I search Google News for the terms “war crimes, war atrocities, humanitarian crisis, and violation of human rights,” I get thousands of articles related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is what I read:

· Israel is an oppressive, racist, apartheid state that consistently violates Arab rights
· Israel is responsible for 60 years of suffering of the Palestinian people
· The Palestinians are struggling for liberation from the brutal, illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands
· Israel violates international law by establishing settlements on “occupied
Palestinian lands.” The established Jewish communities are “obstacles to peace.”
· Israel is guilty of vicious war crimes and atrocities against the Palestinian people
· Israel is committing ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Palestinian people
· Israeli military forces continuously commit brutal aggression against the suffering Palestinian people
· Israel is responsible for the horrid humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank
· Israelis grab precious natural resources for themselves while denying them to the Palestinians
· Israeli military occupation is responsible for the economic hardships in Gaza and the West Bank
· Israel is a gross violator of human rights
· Israel deserves to be boycotted commercially, militarily, culturally, and academically for its violations of human rights and international law.
· Israel’s illegal occupation of Arab lands is responsible for most of the strife in the Middle East

He also deals with responding to condemnations and writes:

So how should a frustrated advocate for Israel respond to all of these vile and vitriolic condemnations? The conventional wisdom is to refute and discredit them by presenting factual evidence...

...I worked as a school psychologist for about 17 years. One of the basic rules that a school psychologist learns is that if an intervention isn’t working, then it needs to be modified or replaced by a new intervention. So if responding to accusations only seems to invite more of them, then a different strategy is in order. Again we can take a clue from school psychology. A common intervention that is used for inappropriate attention-seeking behavior is “tactical ignoring.” This strategy is used when a child displays inappropriate behavior to gain a reaction, even if the response is a negative one, like causing the teacher to get angry. The child’s behavior may be rewarded by the extra attention that he is getting from the teacher or he may get satisfaction from seeing the teacher being annoyed. Similarly, the media will publish articles accusing Israel of unethical behaviors, precisely because they know that advocates for Israel are sensitive to these accusations and will respond to them, thereby prolonging the discussion and increasing the controversy. That suggests that a lack of response will reduce the incentive for publishing the vitriolic accusations.

Tactical ignoring is not a quiescent response. It makes a strong statement to the accusers. It says, “Your accusations are based on ignorance, bias, or self-serving needs. They are malicious lies that don’t deserve my time and effort to respond.” This is a much stronger, more contemptuous response than a defensive response that cites contrary evidence. If the accusations “fall on deaf ears” then the incentive for repeated accusations is removed.

I’m sure that many readers are skeptical about utilizing this strategy...

I have a problem with this.

You see, with the constant repetition of their anti-Israel, anti-Zionism and anti-Jewish propaganda, the longer it goes on, the more different the numbers of people are exposed. There is a greater number of persons and target groups involved.

"Tactical ignoring" is a major strategic mistake. This isn't a tactical problem.

I tried leaving a comment at his article but it's closed.

I do, however, like his ending:

There is one indisputable fact that belies the vile condemnations against Israel. If Israel is such an “oppressive, racist, apartheid state,” then it would be logical to assume that the Arabs should be eagerly lining up to emigrate to any of the 21 nations of the Arab League where they would presumably have more freedoms and civil liberties. But they are not. The Arab populations in the Galil and Jerusalem are actually increasing. Their communities are expanding...


Yacov said...

Most people dont realise that the source of the unreasonable hatred is Satan himself who hates God and His people the Jews.
Reason being they dont know the details in the Book of Genesis in their Bibles,
nor do most care to.
Shades of the Matrix!
It doesnt help either that the Arabs are willing participants in this wicked vilifying- but they come by it naturally through being of the seed of Ishmael- the presumptuous son of Abraham and are full of family hatred against the son of promise Isaac who inherited the biggest little land on the planet- Israel.
..and from whom came and will return Jesus Jeshuah, the Messiah to put done these rebels.
Daniel 9 makes that clear and this mp3 link can help
covered in
John #12 Ch. 12 .mp3

Yacov said...

those links are under the teacher by the name of Chuck Missler