Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Dummies Guide to the Hasbara

I have been writing a blog piece for several months about the lessons I am learning from my good friends in the Hasbara. But every time I think I've mastered their strategy, what do you know, there's another valuable lesson to learn just waiting round the corner. But for the impatient, here's a taster, and yes, they all begin with 'I'.

1. Infiltration
Get alongside your opponent and try and turn them, buy them, befriend them, bring them on-side. If that doesn't work move to level 2.

2. Intimidation
Don't like what they are saying or writing? Then bombard them with emails, letters and phone calls. Put them on the defensive. Intimidate them with accusations of anti-semitism, holocaust denial, etc. If that doesn't work, move to level 3.

3. Isolation
If you can't stop them, isolate them. Limit the damage they can do by making them a pariah. Intimidate others by smearing them with 'guilt-by-association', with accusations or insinuations. If necessary, threaten to withdraw any funding provided in #1. If that doesn't work move to level 4.

4. Incrimination
Associate them with criminal activity, with sex abuse, terrorism, incitement, anything to arouse the interest of the authorities.If that doesn't work, consider level 5.

Kevin Miller (one of the brilliant script writers for With God on our Side) is working on an expanded list which, since all good ideas are borrowed, I've adapted and incorporated into this scheme:

1. Ignore -- they always start by hoping you'll just go away.
2. Insult -- if you don't go away, they'll ridicule you or make you out to be a nut.
3. Intimidate -- when simple mockery fails, the gloves come off and they bombard you with emails.
4. Isolate -- then they seek to divide and conquer by intimidating others to isolate you.
5. Incriminate -- they frame or smear you and force you to defend yourself with legal fees.
6. Incarcerate -- when all else fails, as judge and jury, they put your life in the crosshairs.
7. Immolate -- and it will probably appear as suicide (because eliminate begins with an 'e').

Like many others, I have the bruises from the first five and I know a few who have made it from the sixth to the seventh 'heaven' for speaking out for justice, peace and reconciliation

You can read more in the Hasbara Handbook here
For an expose on the Hasbara see here. and Richard Silverstein here