Internet killed the hasbara star

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?

95 Responses

  1. demize
    June 8, 2010, 3:33 pm

    “Mark Regev thought it was funny” and anyone can see by his demeanor that this man knows funny. Bleep Blop Blorp…

    • Oscar
      June 8, 2010, 4:33 pm

      Demise, the guy showed it to his kids and they had a bedtime chuckle — probably ROTFL over those whacky Israelis doing the blackface equivalent of dressing up as Ay-rags! Funnier than Amos ‘n Andy. Someone microwave the popcorn, time to be feeling the hate with the family!

      • Oscar
        June 8, 2010, 4:34 pm

        My iPad corrected ay-rabs as “ay-rags.”. Kinda killed the delivery.

      • demize
        June 9, 2010, 9:43 pm

        No I got it. With the errors I make typing my humor sensor is set on a bias so I just fill in the correct letters, like vowels in Arabic.

  2. DICKERSON3870
    June 8, 2010, 3:41 pm

    RE: “Internet killed the hasbara star” – Adam Horowitz
    “DJ Dijon” is proud to present:
    …In my mind and in my car
    We can’t rewind we’ve gone to far
    Pictures came and broke your heart
    Put the blame on VTR [that’s what the limeys called a VCR, y’all]

    You are a radio star, You are a radio star

    Video killed the radio star, Video killed the radio star…

    Buggles – Video killed the radio star,1979 (03:09) – link to

  3. Colin Murray
    June 8, 2010, 3:50 pm

    The Israeli government and its supporters have become used to being able to tell the most outrageous lies and getting away with it. I’m glad to see that their immunity is starting to come to an end.

    • Psychopathic god
      June 8, 2010, 5:59 pm

      Israel’s rank in Global Peace Index, from

      The bottom 10 countries are North Korea, Congo, Chad, Georgia, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia and, in very last place, Iraq.

      North Korea ranks higher than Israel, which just managed to edge out four places where US is “keeping the peace” — at bay.

      • James
        June 8, 2010, 8:35 pm

        i would have thought the usa would be down near the bottom too, or to proxy wars not count????????

  4. occupy nomo
    June 8, 2010, 3:53 pm

    News, images, videos, etc, are traveling around the globe at an amazing pace and people are becoming more and more informed. As hard as they try Israel’s PR machine can no longer distort the truth.

    “How long? Not long because no lie can live forever” MLK

    link to

    • VR
      June 8, 2010, 7:48 pm

      And if they think, actually if anyone thinks, they can take another course because they do not like the truth, there is another price to pay exacted by the people. That is because we have come too far down the road and we won’t turn back now, and if people refuse to hear there will be a great “wake up” call.


  5. Justice Please
    June 8, 2010, 3:54 pm

    Adam, thanks for the summarizing of all the great work these journalists did.

    But the big question regarding a change in the power structure when living in a mass democracy is: In one year, will even 80% of the populace know about this? Will 80% of the populace care about this? If the history books in 10 years still repeat the IDF talking points like most of the media did last week, giving a false account of the events or downplaying it, will the populace correct this mistake?

    In short, all those corrections are great, but do they really change the power structure, when the NYT, TV channels and most of the history books will ignore these corrections? Lies have long legs, unfortunately.

    • Richard Parker
      June 8, 2010, 8:04 pm

      Result of the corrections of Israel’s total command of the legend for the first few days:
      49% Say Pro-Palestinian Activists To Blame in Gaza Ship Incident
      A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 19% of voters think the Israelis are to blame. Thirty-two percent (32%) more are not sure.
      link to

  6. Philip Munger
    June 8, 2010, 3:56 pm

    Re the track of the Memorial Day flotilla: As we live-blogged the 90 minutes or so prior to the attack over at firedoglake, we noticed that the flotilla was pulling further away from the coast in the last hour or more before the attack. Positions of the last messages before the IDF’s final moves, radio signals that were tweeted about and independent tweets clearly showed this in real time. So, as good as the efforts of Ali Abunimah are, the track of the flotilla was accurately out there on the web already.

  7. eGuard
    June 8, 2010, 3:58 pm

    Yes, this is the great round-up post we need.
    I myself was impressed by the
    O’Keef statement. It sunk every IDF-word for me. He said like: “If we wanted to kill Israelis, we could have done so. We had three captured. I had a gun from one, but I emptied it.” (And every picture proves).

    • potsherd
      June 8, 2010, 4:02 pm

      The IDF has charged that O’Keefe is a terrorist, but they didn’t seem to have any evidence to hold him.

      • eGuard
        June 8, 2010, 4:54 pm

        They didn’t seem? The didn’t have a clue to him being a tewwst. O’Keef himself said: they didn’t have a sjoege to identify a terwst, if it were in front of them.

      • Conrad
        June 9, 2010, 12:18 am

        Boy potsherd, the depth of your critical thinking is truly lacking.

  8. sherbrsi
    June 8, 2010, 4:14 pm

    Great article, Mr. Horowitz.

    But, while the new social media does indeed negate the traditional narratives routinely presented by Israeli propaganda, Israel is not unaware of the problem, and is already mobilizing volunteers and professionals to retain its hegemony on spinning the conflict to its favour.

    “Yesterday, Israel’s ‘Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister’ Yuli Edelstein spoke at some length about his country’s ‘PR problem’, including possible plans to create a 24-hr news channel. But further down the article, Edelstein talked about the ways in which Israel’s propaganda effort is being increasingly delegated to volunteers:

    “We’ve been working on creating an infrastructure of our friends and allies around the world, in the Jewish and Christian communities, which is not fully ready yet. It’s based on volunteers and professionals [who will coordinate the transmission of accurate information],” the minister said.

    “This is the 21st century, and that means things that are not officially called hasbara are the best hasbara. The moment things come from the government, the state, or ministries, they are perceived as being less reliable and as propaganda,” Edelstein said.

    ”There are many things only volunteers can do. Writing on Facebook, Twitter blogs, and sending e-mails to friends is second to none. The best things people can do are not about money, but about doing things in the right way.”

    Edelstein cited an operations center housed in his ministry and staffed by volunteers, as well as a ministry secretary, both aimed at maintaining continuous contact with Diaspora communities.

    From: link to

    As is evident, the Israelis are operating a very comprehensive and elaborate network of disseminating propaganda, using non-traditional venues of information exchange (such as personal networking sites like Facebook) to subtly push the Hasbara agenda.

    • Mooser
      June 8, 2010, 4:39 pm

      “As is evident, the Israelis are operating a very comprehensive and elaborate network of disseminating propaganda, using non-traditional venues of information exchange (such as personal networking sites like Facebook) to subtly push the Hasbara agenda”

      Why not just shorten that to “complete desperation, with big fail on the way”?

      On the other hand, what a load on Witty and Wondering! Are they up to it? Is that really fair? And with Witty on his two-week vacation? Who’s gonna take up the slack, hophmi? What a situation.

      • droog
        June 8, 2010, 5:58 pm

        What I recieved through the interweb after a rather more political phone call than usual demonstrated slickness and incisive analysis in the way the raid demonstrated military prowess and common sense. Any home-made Hasbara campaign would bring the Israeli street into direct contact with that mythically frightening concept of the ROTW and the (last bastion of sanity acccording to zionism) American sheeple. I think this plan is good,
        for Palestinians,
        and Israelis if they wish-it/come to their senses..

    • Sumud
      June 8, 2010, 6:17 pm

      Ha ha ha! LInking off that PULSE article is this:

      “Gov’t mulling int’l Israeli news channel”
      link to

      That would be hilarious. A 24/7 hasbara TV network, less credibility even that PressTV during the Iran elections last year.

      Still, I support it 100%. A big window on Israel and it’s machinations is exactly what the world needs.

      • kapok
        June 8, 2010, 9:36 pm

        That’s interesting. I just realized why I’ve never wondered why Israel doesn’t have its own news service: It doesn’t need one.

      • Eva Smagacz
        June 9, 2010, 2:23 am

        Kapok, you wrote:

        That’s interesting. I just realized why I’ve never wondered why Israel doesn’t have its own news service: It doesn’t need one.

        Very, very astute.

    • melka
      June 9, 2010, 12:55 am

      Ok, I know this will sound stupid (lack of evidence + source), but we were talking about Israel’s PR campaign on IRC and an Israeli participant in the discussion said that he received an email from the “Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister” (not sure it was this minister) inviting Israelis to talk about the Flotilla massacre on Internet forums using 3 points :
      – This was not an humanitarian aid boat (Hamas contraband, etc…)
      – Israel’s blockade is legal
      – The people on the boat were looking for a fight
      Too bad I didn’t ask, I would have liked to have a copy of this email.

  9. annie
    June 8, 2010, 4:26 pm

    adam, thank you so so much. between you and phil..really i can’t tell you how much i appreciate you both bringing us everything immediately day in a day out. i appreciate it so much. you are amazing, splendiferous..i want you to know how much i appreciate you and all the bloggers out there.

    from ali’s update at your link

    But the time stamp indicates the video was taken at 5:03 am (02:03 UTC). If this is accurate then the ship had already been under attack for almost an hour, and at this time was located at position N 32° 41′ 7.8714″, E 33° 25′ 10.0164″ and was due directly west on heading 271 at speed 12.7 knots. In other words, far from preparing to “initiate confrontation,” the passengers were attempting desperately to defend a fleeing ship that had already come under a lethal and sustained attack from the sea and from the air.

    onward truth brigade!

    • Mooser
      June 8, 2010, 4:44 pm

      It was easier and better to follow the incident here at Mondoweiss. I appreciated the coverage a lot.

      • annie
        June 9, 2010, 2:28 pm

        exactly mooser, there just isn’t anywhere else like it on the internet. nothing better that’s for sure.

  10. Bumblebye
    June 8, 2010, 4:38 pm

    It’s all very well knowing so much hasbara has been comprehensively debunked, but come the next incident, it will all be trotted out again as if it was Gaaahd’s own troof, along with the next bunch of lies. And the mainstream media will go along with the “official” version, with their quotes, with their references, ignoring proof of lies. And so it will go time and again. And the numbers shouting out against it, busily debunking the new lies will still be too small, too powerless to make a significant difference.

    It will only be if, sooner or later, Israel elects a government even further to the right, that commits an even more blatant atrocity, that will finally repel the rose-tinted glasses type of the Israel-right-or-wrong brigade and mark a real turning point.

    • lysias
      June 8, 2010, 5:59 pm

      This time, it was only the mainstream media in the U.S. that went along with the “official” pro-Israeli version. The hasbara came under devastating attack everywhere else in the world, even in Britain.

      Will the U.S. for long be able to keep itself hermetically sealed from what people all over the world are saying? Many of us have relatives abroad. From what I have heard on the local D.C. Pacifica station, the black media are not going along with the official version.

      • hayate
        June 8, 2010, 8:43 pm

        The Black media has been skeptical of zionist hasbara for some time now. For good reason, they watched these zionists bring in the raygun regime and have noted the zionist support for support every racist law/politician/hate campaign since.

      • melka
        June 9, 2010, 12:58 am

        Just let me check the last TV news from France, but I’m pretty sure we, froggies, have been fed hasbara once again.

  11. MRW
    June 8, 2010, 4:41 pm

    We need Al-Jazeera as a cable choice in this country.

    • lysias
      June 8, 2010, 6:00 pm

      RT television is also great.

    • Psychopathic god
      June 8, 2010, 6:04 pm

      We need to send Hasbara manuals to every member of Congress.

      • Eva Smagacz
        June 9, 2010, 2:27 am

        Psychopatic god you wrote:
        “We need to send Hasbara manuals to every member of Congress”

        I am sorry to say, but I think they ALL have one already!

    • Sumud
      June 8, 2010, 9:56 pm

      It’s not quite the same but you know you can watch online right? hosts AJ English and a whole lot of other TV networks. There’s also dedicated apps for several mobile platforms, great if you’re feeling lazy..

  12. Oscar
    June 8, 2010, 4:47 pm

    When Hillary gave her most recent speech to AIPAC, remember how she hinted that Israelis had to understand we live in an Internet-wired world and change had to come. She was booed for that, but for once, she told a truth. It’s much harder for the US to collaborate in blatant falsehoods when you have Mondo, Judt, Electronic Intifada, Loewenstein, Andrew Sullivan, Pamela Olsen, TwiddleEastNews, as your sources, even before you dissect the latest institutionalized Hasbara from Ethan Bronner or NPR.

    The hasbarists are now frantic, trying to cram intellectually fraudulent propaganda down our throats through the MSM (I was enraged that the WSJ printed Elliot Cohen’s shockingly pedantic op-ed yesterday calling the flotilla passengers Nazis). They are losing us. The Israelis continue to think they’re the smartest guys in the room, and take a small victory in screwing over 90 year old Helen Thomas with a sting for having the temerity to pester Gibbs about US aid to Israel.

    Great headline, Adam. Pitch perfect.

  13. sherbrsi
    June 8, 2010, 5:17 pm

    The Hasbara squads are working overtime.

    Israeli students plan “Kurdish freedom flotilla”

    Just one week following Israel’s bloody raid on the “Free Gaza Flotilla,” which ended in the deaths of nine Turkish activists, Israel’s National Student Union announced that it was forming its own “freedom flotilla” that it would fill with humanitarian items and steer in the opposite direction.

    link to

    • sherbrsi
      June 8, 2010, 5:21 pm

      I wonder how sympathetic the West would be to Turkey’s self-defense if its forces infiltrated the flotilla in the middle of the night, in international waters and killed more than 9 of the Israeli students.

      Would that be self-defense or the second Holocaust?

    • lareineblanche
      June 8, 2010, 5:29 pm

      Christopher Hitchens will be on that one, like Kate Winslet on the Titanic…

      Freedom and Liberty!

    • lysias
      June 8, 2010, 6:03 pm

      Adding additional support to Turkish suspicions that Israel was behind the attack of the PKK Kurdish rebels on the Turkish naval base at Isekenderun near the Syrian border two hours before the Israeli attack on the flotilla.

      • lysias
        June 8, 2010, 6:04 pm

        Correcting spelling: Iskenderun.

    • eljay
      June 8, 2010, 8:17 pm

      >> Israeli students plan “Kurdish freedom flotilla”

      Sure, why not! Turkish terrorists went to Gaza, now Israeli terrorists can go to Turkey! :-) But, seriously, they’d better not bitch and whine unless the death count exceeds nine…

  14. thankgodimatheist
    June 8, 2010, 5:46 pm

    Time stamp on video shows “rioters preparing” were in fact already under attack for an hour

    The video shows passengers wearing life vests, some carrying sticks or other makeshift weapons and looking over the sides of the ship as if in anticipation of boarding attempts by Israeli soldiers.
    link to

  15. Yaniv Reich
    June 8, 2010, 5:51 pm

    At the risk of self-promotion, I wanted to add another important contradiction to the list (from (a post in the Hybrid States blog).

    The first official reports that hit the Israeli papers claimed that activists had brought guns, which was cited as evidence of their violent intentions. This assertion was based on an argument about the caliber of bullet casings found on the ship, which Israeli navy officials claimed they didn’t use.

    Days later, after this claim had been repeated all over the world, including by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in the NY Times, an interview with the Israeli commando who claims to have killed six activists makes plain that he (at least) was using 9mm bullets.

    Thus, the only evidence given by the IDF that the activists had guns was debunked by their own commando’s statement. Since then, I have not heard any additional statements from the IDF press office or from Israeli officials about activists bringing guns, this unsubstantiated bit of hasbara slowly fading from the official story.

    • Adam Horowitz
      June 8, 2010, 11:03 pm

      Yes, of course, sorry Yaniv! Hybrid States has been doing amazing work as well.

      • Sumud
        June 9, 2010, 4:47 am

        Agreed, I’ve been largely absent from MW since the flotilla raid and instead events on twitter. @HybridStates is one of maybe a dozen power-users – including @Mondoweiss – that have been critical in taking apart much of Israel’s stupid amateur propaganda.
        I was thoroughly cynical about twitter until the Iran elections (who cares what you had for breakfast?) but following events then, and in time since, it’s an *amazing* platform.

      • Sumud
        June 9, 2010, 4:49 am

        “and instead folowing events”

      • Sumud
        June 9, 2010, 4:50 am

        LOL evidently I’ve lost basic typing skills ~ following!

  16. Lysander
    June 8, 2010, 6:22 pm

    This is all well and good but, according to Today’s Haaretz;
    “Ramussen poll: Only 19% of Americans believe Israel is to blame for clash aboard Gaza-bound aid ship Mavi Marmara last week.”

    Most of the public still gets its info from the MSM. Mondoweiss and many other sites are doing a great job and it is deeply appreciated. But I still maintain that things wont change until the regional balance of power changes to Israel’s disfavor. Meaning a strong Iran and Hezbollah, high price for oil, difficult economy for the US, a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, a collapse of the “moderate” Arab regimes, possibly a shift in Turkey’s pro Israel position, etc.

    If those things happen, you will see Israel much more amenable to compromise. A change in US attitudes towards Israel will come AFTER all of the above happened (if they happen) and not before. It will be the sign of change (and a late sign at that,) not the cause of it.

    • Jethro
      June 8, 2010, 7:58 pm

      Rasmussen? Pffft. Got anything else? They have quite a right-wing house effect.

  17. Avi
    June 8, 2010, 6:32 pm

    This is a great overview by Adam.

    Thank you, Adam and Phil.

    Thanks to Max Blumenthal, Ali Abunimah, (Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill for setting the mainstream media straight), Lia Tarachansky, Robert Mackey and everyone who worked to bring truth to light, and to speak truth to power.

    • Avi
      June 8, 2010, 6:35 pm

      I knew I was missing a few others…..augh…. I’m terrible at these things.

      Adding Jared Malsin, Didi Remez… mentioned in Adam’s article above.

  18. talknic
    June 8, 2010, 7:28 pm

    Audio spectrum analysis of the alleged comments

    link to

    Analysis of the alleged “weapons cache”

    link to

    Other fallacies exposed

    link to

    • melka
      June 9, 2010, 1:16 am

      Wow, nice posts, especially the first one. If you have more technical infos about the audio spectrum analysis (how different white noises might be created, why the end of transmission signal must be the same, etc…) I’d be highly interested.
      I’d like to add something : why the timestamp and other infos from the helicopter camera shot in nightvision have been blurred ? Remember this video uncovered by WikiLeaks, about the helicopter shooting in Iraq ? You can see everything on it.

      • talknic
        June 10, 2010, 6:54 am


        In simple layman’s terms: White noise is a hiss ( sounds like shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – a combination of all of the different frequencies of audible sound) It is generated and used as an analysis tool to set or tune an audio sound system so the full spectrum of sound is present without hearing nasty frequency spikes. Different speaker brands and speaker enclosures and venue spaces, have different frequency responses. The operator should equalize the sound system to account for these variations using ‘white noise’ as the ‘known constant’. The stand out frequencies are reduced via an equalizer (EQ). link to Quieter frequencies are increased. The result coming out of the speaker system should sound what is called ‘flat’.
        Radio communication has a certain amount of inherent noise/residue/hiss from a variety of interferences, electromagnetic, even interference from the sun. It is a constant and exists while the microphone is on, when no one is talking. In each instance my analysis is from a gap between words. Reason being that everyone’s voice has a different timbre, sound. The only constant is in between words while the mic switch is in broadcast position.

        Radio signals are also compressed, i.e., the quiet sounds are amplified, including the residue/hiss, while the louder sounds are reduced. It’s like squashing a fluffy pillow between two boards so you can post it through a small gap (the limited frequency range allocated to the broadcast band).

        In the IDF transmission it is quite apparent. It is also apparent in the communication “We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority…” Highly compressed as one would expect from a marine radio transmission.

        The alleged comments are not. They have frequencies present that are not present in the “We have permission..” transmission, which has all manner of distortions and interference hiss, NOT seen (or heard) in either of the alleged comments.

        A ship’s marine communications are not on the same frequency as it’s onboard radio communications which use a different range of frequencies so they CANNOT intrude on marine communications. Otherwise the marine communications would be flooded, making communication absolutely impossible. The ships marine communications are usually operated from ONE central point. The bridge. One mic, one radio frequency. From there to the radio room if there is one, then to the antenna.

        If the alleged comments were made on the ships marine communications frequency, it would have the same residue or hiss as all the other marine communications from the ship. It would also have the same ‘end of transmission’ signal.

        Hope this helps..

        Meanwhile, propagandists don’t care about any analysis. They don’t care that it can be dis-proven, as long as it’s out there circulating, their job is done.

      • melka
        June 10, 2010, 7:22 am

        Ok, I think I understand now.
        Let’s say that this “recording” is made in the Israeli ship, so everything comes from the same antenna. If different ships are answering, should they have the same frequency band (maybe because it’s the antenna or the onboard radio system that is filtering) ? Or if the emitting ship (Mavi Marmara for example) have a different band than the israeli ship, is the signal received with the band of the emitting or receiving ship ?
        Not sure I’m clear, but thanks a lot for all the explanation.

    • Cliff
      June 9, 2010, 1:33 am

      talknic, your blog rocks! I’ve cited it here before. Your analysis is always interesting and informative. Glad to see you here on MondoWeiss.

      • melka
        June 9, 2010, 2:17 am

        talknic, I’m reading your post about the attack by the Arab League, it’s just fantastic, you’ve done such a great work !
        Going back to reading, still have a long way to go.

    • lareineblanche
      June 9, 2010, 4:06 am

      Excellent blog, talknic. * Favorites -> Save as … *
      One constantly has to be armed with so much information in order to rebut the misinformation and propaganda.

      Peter Casey wrote in an article recently :
      “…pro-Israeli legal arguments do not need to aim high. They do not have to be correct. They do not even have to have merit. In fact, to succeed, these arguments only need to be made. The trick is to refocus attention from the moral question “How could they do such a thing?” to the legal question “Does the law permit them to do such a thing?” ”

      Incidentally, the list of great sites on I/P in my browser is getting very long… So much good work being done by so many people.

    • Chu
      June 9, 2010, 12:41 pm

      nice job.

  19. Jethro
    June 8, 2010, 7:56 pm

    Did anyone notice that The Lede didn’t put any photos if the activists giving first aid to the commandos? Then when Ali pointed them to the photos. They added a link, but didn’t add them to the slideshow?

    • Sumud
      June 8, 2010, 10:05 pm

      Inserting just the text link rather than an actual photo gallery was a lame way to add the material. It should have gone in a new post altogether.

  20. Kathleen
    June 8, 2010, 7:57 pm

    Let’s make this video go viral
    Roger Waters – “We Shall Overcome”

    singing about the Gaza…and the West Bank

    link to


  21. Richard Parker
    June 8, 2010, 8:13 pm

    Worth repeating before anyone gets the idea that hasbara is defeated:

    Result of the corrections of Israel’s total command of the legend for the first few days:
    49% Say Pro-Palestinian Activists To Blame in Gaza Ship Incident
    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 19% of voters think the Israelis are to blame. Thirty-two percent (32%) more are not sure.
    link to

    • Oscar
      June 9, 2010, 6:33 am

      RP – although polls are a notoriously effective form of hasbara, I pay them no attention. Usually, it’s a “scientific” sampling of 500 people that is somehow meant to capture accurately the sentiments of 300 million Americans? Intellectually lazy journalists lap this stuff up.

    • Jethro
      June 9, 2010, 7:31 am

      And I’ll mention again, Rasmussen has a right-leaning house effect.

      Here’s Nate Silver on the subject.

      “What Rasmussen has had is a “house effect”. So far in the 2010 cycle, their polling has consistently and predictably shown better results for Republican candidates than other polling firms have. But such house effects can emerge from legitimate differences of opinion about how to model the electorate.”

      “But there are other respects in which I’m much less sympathetic to Rasmussen’s case. In particular, this has to do with their choices of question wording and subject matter. The Politico question, for instance, points toward an August question in which Rasmussen asked It’s always better to cut taxes than to increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money. That is not a question designed to elicit the most accurate reflection of public opinion.”

      “Likewise, Rasmussen recently produced a poll in which they purported to describe the Democratic health care plan to their respondents. Several other pollsters have found that support for the plan increases when it is actually described to respondents, but Rasmussen showed no such increase. However, the second sentence in their description reads:

      The plans before Congress would prohibit people from choosing insurance plans with lower premiums and higher deductibles.
      I don’t particularly know where this comes from; Rasmussen claims that its questions came from a ‘summary of the legislation provided by the New York Times’, but such a depiction of the health care policy appears nowhere in the New York Times article. But there it is in the Rasmussen survey, where it appears to be designed to build a relationship in the respondent’s mind between the Democratic plan and higher premiums.”

      Guess what–we can’t see the questions Rasmussen asked unless we have a premium membership to the Rasmussen site.
      “I also have some questions about Rasmussen’s choice of subject matter. In particular, they have a knack for issuing polls at times which tend to dovetail with conservative media narratives. ”

      link to

  22. hayate
    June 8, 2010, 8:35 pm

    The problem is not israeli hasbara, they are only doing what one would expect of war criminals, lying to make their crimes appear legit. The problem lies in zionist control of the major media in the usa. They promoted the israeli hasbara as facts and censored the real information that exposed israeli lying. Just like they have promoted every israeli hasbara campaign. The good thing about the web is that zionists have not managed to gain complete control of it, so real info still gets through.

    But for how much longer?

  23. Richard Parker
    June 8, 2010, 8:50 pm

    Delightful stuff on pro-Israeli activists in SF:
    link to

    • hayate
      June 8, 2010, 9:03 pm

      You know, those pro-israelis behave remarkably like German nazis taunting Jewish people in 1930’s Germany.

      • kapok
        June 8, 2010, 9:42 pm

        Jew Brown Shirts. Irony bleeds into tragic paradox.

  24. Keith
    June 8, 2010, 9:00 pm

    I think there is a more fundamental problem. Sites like Mondoweiss appeal to somewhat elite activists. The vast majority of people aren’t all that interested in confronting ugly reality. They are mostly faithful followers who rely on the corporate media to guide them as to how the power elites expect them to act. They are mostly concerned with fitting in and would be very reluctant to stand in opposition to concentrated power. Additionally, while I regularly view the Mondoweiss website, I am able to do so only because it is available for regular viewing. If the dominant elites ever concluded that the Mondoweiss website posed a real threat to elite domination and control, how long does anyone think that Mondoweiss would remain up and running? In other words, there is no way that the internet will ever be permitted to become a real threat to US/corporate control. Third World countries that the US wants to destabilize? Sure. Here? Dream on.

    • hayate
      June 8, 2010, 9:05 pm

      That famous saying:

      “You’re free to say anything you want, right up to the moment you become a threat.”

      • kapok
        June 8, 2010, 9:46 pm

        We’re free to shake our fists at the gates.

    • hophmi
      June 9, 2010, 12:01 am

      These people are the elite? Wow, we’re all in trouble.

  25. thankgodimatheist
    June 8, 2010, 9:14 pm

    The latest on IDF forgery:
    Time stamp on video shows “rioters preparing” were in fact already under attack for almost an hour!!

    “The video shows passengers wearing life vests, some carrying sticks or other makeshift weapons and looking over the sides of the ship as if in anticipation of boarding attempts by Israeli soldiers.

    But the time stamp indicates the video was taken at 5:03 am (02:03 UTC). If this is accurate then the ship had already been under attack for almost an hour, and at this time was located at position N 32° 41′ 7.8714″, E 33° 25′ 10.0164” and was due directly west on heading 271 at speed 12.7 knots. In other words, far from preparing to “initiate confrontation,” the passengers were attempting desperately to defend a fleeing ship that had already come under a lethal and sustained attack from the sea and from the air.
    link to
    Scroll down to update1

    • Shingo
      June 8, 2010, 9:51 pm

      This confirms my observation about the footage being fake. The water on the horizon was already illuminated by daylight, yet the attack took place in absolute darkness.

  26. Andre
    June 9, 2010, 2:10 am

    Hi all,

    I don’t post here very often but I have been reading this excellent blog for many years on an almost daily basis. I just wanted to say I am very grateful for all the information I found here posted by Phil, Adam et al. I also learned a lot from the many well informed contributors in the comment section.

    I am very active on other forums every day trying to explain and raise awareness for the plight of the Palestinian people and have done that for the past 15 years or so. The amount of Hasbara (and predictable insults) by Israel apologists I have encountered over time is simply stunning. But thanks to sites like this, those in the blog roll side bar and many others, debunking the myths, half truths and lies has become so much more easier in the last years.

    I would also like to give a special mention, if I may, to a web site that I don’t recall having seen mentioned here before, which is an excellent source for information and has a great data base:

    link to

    Thanks everyone again and please keep up the fantastic job you are doing.

    P.S. English isn’t my native language.

    • thankgodimatheist
      June 9, 2010, 2:23 am

      Thanks Andre. An excellent site! Bookmarked ..

      • Andre
        June 9, 2010, 2:53 am

        You’re welcome! The Palestine: Information with Provenance website is my daily first “go to page” the get an update of new articles on the web regarding this subject. It often links to Mondoweiss, too :)

        Like I said, their data base is just incredible and it boggles my mind how much time and effort must have gone just into building and maintaining that alone. I reallly believe that they deserve to be listed on this blog with a permanent link to their page.

  27. braciole
    June 9, 2010, 8:17 am

    Sorry to disagree with you Adam but too many crap stories from dubious websites like MEMRI and DEBKAfile as well as Mossad-planted stories in Israeli newspapers get traction in the MSM. For example, just recently those scumbags at DEBKAfile and MEMRI published a story almost cetainly planted by Mossad in a Kuwaiti paper claiming that Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri are hiding out in northeastern Iran and that the Turkish prime minister, Recep Erdogan, and his intelligence chiefs are well aware of this.

    Ah, you mighy say, no-one is dumb enough to believe anything that MEMRI or DEBKAfile report. Wrong!

    • Keith
      June 9, 2010, 2:05 pm

      BRACIOLE- You are quite right. Something I neglected to mention in my previous comment was the economics of the internet. A professionally run website like Mondoweiss doesn’t come free. In fact, I suspect that it is somewhat expensive. We are lucky that Mondoweiss has the funding to provide us this forum. Whose got the big bucks? Who is likely to get funded? For every Mondoweiss on the internet, there are at least 100 Drudge Reports. The internet is great and we should make maximum use of it, however, we should not delude ourselves about it’s inherent potential for social transformation.

      • annie
        June 9, 2010, 2:12 pm

        . We are lucky that Mondoweiss has the funding to provide us this forum.

        thanks for reminding us of that donation link on the top righthand corner of this website..

  28. Amar
    June 9, 2010, 8:24 am

    HonestReporting is still carrying the “go back to Auschwitz” comment as an authentic message from the flotilla. On its front page no less.

    link to

    • lysias
      June 9, 2010, 2:12 pm

      And I have yet to see a retraction in the Washington Post. I just checked today’s issue. Not there.

  29. talknic
    June 9, 2010, 10:23 am

    The Hasbara ‘explanations’ aim to justify.

    Truth and ‘explanation’ aren’t motives when justification is.

    A classic ‘explanation’ example is the discussions by the Jewish People’s Council/Jewish Agency on whether or not the declaration should include the boundaries of UNGA res 181 in the Declaration of a Jewish State. An ‘explanation’ which is often held up as evidence that Israel has no declared sovereign boundaries.

    In fact, it’s only a reflection that they didn’t want to mention the boundaries they accepted, because they knew they were bound by them, but wanted people to believe they weren’t. Very likely why the notification of Declaration isn’t anywhere on the Israeli Govt website, as far as I know. Yet it is one of the most important documents in the history of the State of Israel. Likewise the LIMITED British recognition. The Israeli Government does not want it’s people or anyone else for that matter, to be well informed.
    1) Folk who propagate this ‘don’t talk about the boundaries explanation’ are sooooo stupid, they don’t realize it actually ‘explains’ the intent to purposefully deceive.

    Israel comes at it again in Aug 1949 link to (plan unchanged even today, including carrying out the threat to not observe already existing State Sovereignties. aka the Golan & the Sinai, which they were eventually required to acknowledge as recognized Egyptian territory by withdrawing BEFORE peaceful relations were assumed)

    2) Why bother purposefully omitting something that is not required and does not appear in the Declaration of Independence of ANY country on the planet? Unless of course, one is trying to justify something. (if anyone can find an example of where a Declaration of Sovereign Independence does include the boundaries, I’d be very grateful)

    It’s not required because such declarations are made on the basis of the boundaries and control having been determined/agreed/established, prior to declaration in order to declare.

    3) The Jewish Agency/Jewish People’s Council/Provisional Govt knew the Jewish entity would not be recognized as a Sovereign Independent WITHOUT defining boundaries… (see how they demand it of Palestine) … …so their notification to the International Community of States of the Declaration of a Jewish State, stated the boundaries recommended in UNGA Res 181 were accepted.

    Britain’s limited recognition recognized Israel on the basis of the notification from the provisional Govt.

    4) UNGA Res 181 is enshrined in the Declaration of a Jewish State, WITHOUT reservations. The letter of notification has no reservations.

  30. mikeo
    June 9, 2010, 6:51 pm

    The Hasbara is mostly so ludicrous it would be funny, if it wasn’t being published and given precedence by (supposedly) serious media outlets worldwide. Here in the UK you can see that comments sections in websites like the Guardian are literally inundated with apologists. I wonder what the proportions are between paid/volunteers/genuine wingnuts.

    One of the strangest things is how amateurish it all seems. Badly constructed fake broadcasts, exposed as fakes under the simplest spectral analysis. Off-colour satire, funny only to those completely lacking the most basic human empathy. Photos of captive and beaten commandos held up as proof of the violent, nay murderous intentions of the “terrorists” (one might ask, if the flotilla activists intention was to kill, why are they not dead?).

    A case in point is the official story that the commandos only acted in self-defence after being attacked on the boat. Here is a article from the Jerusalem Post . I quote: “T. said he realized the group they were facing was well-trained and likely ex-military after the commandos threw a number of stun grenades and fired warning shots BEFORE rappelling down onto the deck. “They didn’t even flinch,” he said. “Regular people would move.” (My capitalisation).

    If they are going to insult out intelligence with this drivel, at least they could make the effort to get their bloody stories straight!

    • Shingo
      June 10, 2010, 8:24 am

      Superbly put Mikeo,

      It boggles the mind how Mark regev could get way with describing the efforts of the activists as “deadly force” while ignoring the fact that the Israelis did all the killing. Even more bizzare is how some have insisted the activists were “armed to the teeth”, while brandishing nothing more than pieces of the boat and kitchen knives.

      • Miss Dee Mena
        June 10, 2010, 8:31 am

        If it’s any consolation Mark Regev is regarded as a bufoon and idiot by most of the foreign media in Israel. He is a bald-faced liar and nobody takes him seriously, except perhaps Fox. He is also a real bully and coward. He sucks up to the more powerful correspondents and shrivels when confronted by them. In contrast he bullies, talks over and ridicules the less seasoned journos. He knows he’s playing a game.

      • Miss Dee Mena
        June 10, 2010, 8:31 am


      • Shingo
        June 10, 2010, 8:37 am

        Mark Regev is the embodiment of Israel. He’s a bald faced liar, shamelssly dishonest, ignorant, arrogant and deeply unpleasant.

  31. talknic
    June 10, 2010, 7:05 am

    The Hasbara, like all propaganda, depends on folk NOT analyzing anything.

    The majority of folk form their opinions from news snippets, without investigating the validity of those reports. It’s only a handfull of folk who’re committed to corroborating and in depth analysis of events who’re likely to spot the holes in the Hasbara or any other news story.

    The fallacies propagated around the I/P issue beggar belief… link to

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