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The word hasbara revisited

Reader comment on item: Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza
in response to reader comment: Great post DNM, but I beg to differ on your take on Hasbara

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Aug 27, 2010 at 06:54

Hi Sara

>I am reading with interest your educating exchange with Ianus regarding Nasser and Cyprus, etc. I was a bit taken aback when you lumped in what Israel calls Hasbara, which means literally 'explanation', with the massive arab propaganda machine. The two can not have moral equivalence.

May be

>Arab PR includes such detestful abuse of facts such as moving dead babies around for multiple photo ops, fabricating images, lying about deaths (Jenin, Al Durah, etc.), playing bloody scenes ad nauseum on TV, teaching children to hate Jews and Israel and on and on. I guess I would say that most of the arab PR machine is based on fabrication, exaggeration and all inciting hatred and loathing of Jews and Israel.When you refer to Hasbara by Israel, they most certainly do not include what you described in the Egypt pre-war and IMO falls more into disinformation campaigns with a military or political purpose. I am not saying that they are completely right all of the time, but their motivations are generally not to cause hatred and incitement but rather to counter the negative media reports and try to get the word out. You can see a great example of this in Latma recently, with their Flotilla Choir... Unfortunately, most of the time they fail at this vital task (if you think that world opinion is an important factor).

There is nothing wrong with misinformation, lies and fabrications in the course of world conflicts and I do not have any difficulty with hasbara and as one of my teachers who is Israeli he used to define hasbara as: " hasbara is good when it works but it is reaaly bad if it does not work" and notice that he does not even define the word

>So while I will admit that there are times when the (pisspoor) PR apparatus of Israel errs, the majority of the time they are simpy trying to get the word out to counter vile accusations and horrific claims made daily by the arab media.

Oh sure but what is most interesting is that i found Egyptians to be more skeptical about what their government says than Israelis

But now back to the word hasbara what is really the root of the word hasbara? The word explaining in Arabic would be tafseer or tawdeeh


Thank you


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