Israel: A Linkage to the Spanish-Speaking Communities in the U.S.
The Jewish Post of New York, April
" For many years Israel has developed, especially in New York City,
a linkage to the African-American community in this country. It was
a smart, fruitful move. Its epiphany is the annual Israeli official
celebration of the Martin Luther King memorial day. It looks like Israel
has ignored the new dynamic in the U.S.: The rising of Latino-Spanish
communities ... The reality should be challenged by building a new infrastructure
of Israeli-Latino-Spanish relationships ... The first step will be the
launching of an annual Israeli-Latino-Spanish Solidarity Day ... This
launching of a Solidarity Day will be only the first step in a project
which will target the Spanish speaking people in this country. It will
be a new chapter of mutual positive 'people to people' relationships
between Israel, Jews and this world of Spanish ethnicity in America."
Turns to P.R. Firm for Makeover Amid Violence.
Miami Herald [from the Baltimore Sun],
July 29, 2001
"They have worked with Weight Watchers, the New York Yankees and
the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Now the experts at Rubenstein
Associates, a public relations company, are taking on a new client:
the state of Israel, which hopes to spruce up its image in the deadly
conflict with the Palestinians ... But Palestinian officials and young
boys interviewed at the Ayosh Junction in the West Bank town of Ramallah,
one place singled out by Rubenstein as a problem area, say the proposals
prove Israel would rather save face than lives. ``If they want to look
better, they have to stop shooting,'' said Nabil Abu Rdeineh, a spokesman
for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat."
PR Directive: Stress Ties to the Land. Jerusalem
Post, August 7, 2001
"Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday conducted his first intensive
meeting on Israel's public relations policies since taking office, meeting
for more than two hours at his Jerusalem residence with top officials
in the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office. Sharon was
quoted as telling the meeting that Israel should make a point of emphasizing
the Jewish right to the land, because it is too often forgotten ...
Based on suggestions by Howard J. Rubenstein Associates, the firm Israel
hired in New York, the government has already begun to increase the
representation of women in its PR campaigns and limit the usage of IDF
speakers in uniform."
New Assault Is Launched
in War for Public Opinion.
JTA [Jewish Telegraphic Agency], March
"The Palestinians may not be winning the war for American public
opinion, but Israeli diplomats and American Jews are still forging ahead
with efforts to augment Israeli 'hasbarah' – a uniquely Hebrew
term that falls somewhere between explanation and propaganda. The Israeli
government recently took the unusual step of contracting two prominent
American public-relations firms – Rubenstein Associates and Morris,
Carrick & Guma – on a three-month trial basis. More controversially,
a handful of Jewish mega-donors has created a think tank they hope will
generate long-term strategies for presenting Israel in a favorable light
... American Jewish leaders say international condemnation of Israel
during the past half-year of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed has made
a stronger P.R. effort necessary ... Enter the new think tank – 'Emet,'
the Hebrew word for truth. Spearheading the project is Leonard Abramson,
the Philadelphia-based founder of U.S. Healthcare, along with
philanthropist Michael Steinhardt and World Jewish Congress President
Edgar Bronfman. The group consulted with Hoenlein, Foxman
and other Jewish activists – and only then notified Israel’s Foreign
Ministry, Foxman said. American donors are expected to provide $7 million
for the think tank, with another $1 million requested from the Foreign
Ministry, according to reports."
Yisrael Ba'aliya Joins Forces with Democrats, Republicans,
Jerusalem Post, November 23, 2001
"Yisrael Ba'aliya has now formed a new alliance with two
larger, more influential parties: the Democrats and the Republicans.
The local [Israeli] chapters of Democrats Abroad and Republicans Abroad
have come together with the Yisrael Ba'aliya Israel Citizens' Information
Council, a project of the immigrant party's 'Anglo Department,' in an
effort to impact American policy toward Israel ... Democrats Abroad
and Republicans Abroad, organizations whose primary role is registering
Americans in Israel to vote by absentee, act as vehicles for their members
to express political views and try to influence American policy ...
Yisrael Ba'aliya director-general Eli Kazhdan said the
petition is a natural fit for his party, which has many voters who have
moved from America and care deeply about both Israel and the US. 'We
don't see it as interfering with American policy,' Kazhdan said. 'It's
not politicians who are doing this. It's grassroots people who have
War of Words Gets Dirty,
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (from
The Independent - Great Britain),
April 14, 2002
"Joel is a reserve captain in the Israeli army. He has a warm handshake
and a line in rapid-fire patter that betrays his New York upbringing.
He introduces himself as a 'military source', but it swiftly emerges
that he is a headline machine, churning out slurs. Joel is in the front
line of a multi-million dollar propaganda drive by the Israeli government
to try to prevent an international backlash over its military invasion
into Palestinian-run parts of the occupied West Bank. They face their
toughest challenge yet: limiting the damage to Israel over the atrocities
committed in the Jenin refugee camp, where its army has killed and injured
hundreds of Palestinians. In a newly opened Israeli government media
centre in Jerusalem, Joel was looking for journalists to make his pitch.
We cut straight to the question of Jenin. 'Believe me, we would love
to let you guys into Jenin, but unlike the Palestinian terrorists, we
respect the dignity of the dead,' he said. 'They want to gather up the
bodies and show them off to the international media as evidence of a
massacre that is typical of the sort of PR tricks they play.' The
press was also not being allowed into Jenin because of the 'abundance
of terrorists' looking for 'Western targets'. The Israeli army has frequently
shot at journalists, injuring more than 40 and killing one. Suddenly,
it was concerned for our safety. A journalist himself, Joel seems to
know all about 'PR tricks'. Asked why the Israeli army is refusing to
allow ambulances from the International Committee of the Red Cross to
enter the camp and evacuate the wounded, he urged The Independent on
Sunday to investigate. 'You are on to a good story there. Go to the
Red Cross and find out if they are using drivers from Sweden, or Palestinians.'
The propaganda war between the Israelis and Palestinians has always
been a dirty business, but now it has sunk to new depths. Israel's media
centre issued a statement boasting of 'countless examples' of humanitarian
aid to the Palestinians. This will be staggering news to the Red Cross
and Red Crescent, who have been barred from entry, shot at and repeatedly
humiliated, all in violation of the Geneva Convention."