Internet killed the hasbara star

Israel/Palestine
on 95 Comments

One of the most striking trends following the flotilla attack has been how quickly Israeli hasbara has been exposed and discredited by internet journalists. Robert Mackey has a post on the Times Lede blog highlighting some examples today – Max Blumenthal’s reporting on the doctored IDF audio of the attack and Noam Sheizaf’s work on Turkish photos of the Mavi Marmara attack which contradict IDF claims. To these two I would add Lia Tarachansky and Blumenthal’s work disproving the IDF’s claim that the flotilla was linked to Al Qaeda, Jared Malsin’s work confirming the doctored audio, and Ali Abunimah, who has been in the lead on many of these stories and lately has been reconstructuing the path of the Mavi Marmara to show it was actually fleeing at the time of the Israeli attack. All of this has appeared on the internet and are helping to shape the story, despite the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s best efforts.

These efforts are helping to fill a crucial void around the narrative of the attack, as Israel still refuses to share the entirety of the video and still footage it confiscated from flotilla passengers. Israel has released snippets of the footage which they believe support their version of events, apparently believing that by limiting access to the footage they could control the story. This has clearly not been the case. Instead they are on the defensive, busy issuing clarifications and apologies. The one "success" in their hasbara effort has been the racist "we are the world" knock off which really only confirms how absolutely tone deaf many Israelis are right now to feelings around the world. The fact that this embarrassment is viewed as a success in Israeli circles has been termed "Hasbara Derangement Syndrome" by Israeli blogger Didi Remez. They ended up having to apologize for that one as well even though Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev "thought it was funny." 

It seems that Israeli hasbara is getting a bit tougher in the age of the internet. I mean, who’s going to believe "a land without people, for a people without a land" when there are ten YouTube videos to prove you wrong?

    Leave a Reply