Netanyahu’s ghost on ‘ethnic cleansing’ video is rightwing pollster Luntz

US Politics

During the last few weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched an effort to sway the world with short, English language video sermons on the conflict; and the latest has caused a diplomatic blowup with the U.S.: the Orwellian video Netanyahu put out last Friday titled “No Jews,” in which he said that “enlightened” countries’ pressure on Israel to remove settlements from Palestine is a demand for “ethnic cleansing” that those countries would never tolerate within their borders.

Netanyahu was trying to flip the script from the story that his country chokes and removes Palestinian communities on the West Bank, demolishes Palestinian houses, and has no interest in allowing a Palestinian state. The State Department called out that policy in angrily denouncing the video, while Palestinian leader Ahmed Tibi wrote, that Netanyahu’s statements were “immoral… [and a] total departure from rationality, history and Israel’s obligations under international law.” American liberal Zionists were also upset. J Street said that Netanyahu’s claims are “really absurd” because Israel has “systematically seized and occupied [Palestinian] land,” and Josh Marshall described the performance as an embarrassment to American Jews.

On Sunday in Haaretz, Barak Ravid reported a bombshell fact that the American media typically regard with indifference: Netanyahu’s clever language came from an American: Republican pollster Frank Luntz, the “wordsmith… political opinion guru… master political manipulator” (per the Atlantic). Ravid:

[L]arge swaths of Netanyahu’s remarks and arguments were taken from a 2009 document put together by Frank Luntz, a prominent U.S. political consultant who is identified with the Republican Party and those in the American far-right. Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, who is a close associate of the prime minister, worked with Luntz in the early 1990s.

Luntz developed the public diplomacy document for the Israel Project… Page 62 of the document states in part that ethnic cleansing is the best argument in response to the settlement issue when it comes to the U.S. public. In his video, Netanyahu repeated Luntz’s text almost word-for-word.

The document that Luntz prepared for the rightwing Israel project was titled “The Global Language Dictionary” and was an effort to sell Israel’s refusal to accept a two-state solution to an American audience in feel-good terms. It includes “The Best Settlement Argument,” which is pretty much what Netanyahu said the other day, we’re for co-existence. Luntz:

“If we are to have real peace, then Israelis and Palestinians will have to live side by side. The idea that anywhere that you have Palestinians there can’t be any Jews, that some areas have to be Jew-free, is a racist idea. We don’t say that we have to cleanse out Arabs from Israel. They are citizen [sic] of Israel. They enjoy equal rights. We cannot see why it is that peace requires that any Palestinian area would require a kind of ethnic cleansing to remove all Jews. We don’t accept it. Cleansing by either side against either side is unacceptable.”

In his video last week, Netanyahu used that Jew-free allegation — “Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with ONE precondition: No Jews” –and deployed Luntz-like imagery to suggest that everyone else is a bigot, but not Israel. Netanyahu:

Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace? At This moment, Jewish school children in Judea and Samaria are playing in sandboxes with their friends. Does their presence make peace impossible? I don’t think so.

And if you go back to the “Global Language Dictionary” from 2009, it turns out that Luntz got a lot of the language from Netanyahu himself– who you should never forget was once a furniture salesman. Luntz:

“Here’s the best news: virtually all of the language in this chapter comes directly from Prime Minister Netanyahu himself. These words are both in line with the Israeli administration’s policy and highly effective. That’s what we call a homerun in America. The challenge now is to get all of Israel’s spokespersons hitting the same notes.”

Luntz and Netanyahu are twins in their effort to sell unpopular ideas. The wisecracking 54-year-old pollster, who reportedly urged George W. Bush to use the words “climate change” instead of “global warming,” is the son of Connecticut Jewish textbook authors (per Wikipedia), and an ardent Zionist. He has counseled many Israeli Jewish politicians from all parties–because he is “pained by Israel’s inadequate but improving performance in [communications, and is] a Zionist who insists he has no partisan preferences here,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

In that interview three years ago, Luntz adopted the classic armchair-irresponsible American Jewish line about never criticizing anything Israel does:

It’s not for people who don’t live here to tell you what you should do. My job is to help you communicate your policy effectively…

I need Israel to be able to fight another day – linguistically, not just physically. And if there is a misperception, there has to be a better way to educate and communicate and inform.

His work is fully in line with the Israel Project’s goal, to package intolerant policies as Ben and Jerry’s latest flavor:

I exist because The Israel Project exists. And the reason The Israel Project exists is because nobody was focusing on the impact of messaging – not the delivery of it, but the impact of it. To this day there is insufficient appreciation of the impact that words, and how they are delivered, can have on audiences.

Netanyahu’s recent barrage of videos surely reflect Luntz’s theme, shaping communications for an idealistic American audience:

I really hope that the Israeli leadership realizes that the American political situation is not the same today as it was two years or four years or six years ago. And just as leaders have changed, the communication should change.

On Fresh Air in 2007, per Wikipedia, Luntz sought to portray the term “Orwellian” in a “positive” sense, as an effort to communicate a meaning succinctly. In his JPost interview, the streetsmart Luntz described his battle to turn Jewish students into warriors for Israel, and do so by tricky tactics:

We did a session with MIT and Harvard students. The best of the best. We had 35 people in the room: 20 of them were non-Jewish, 15 were Jewish. And I didn’t tell anyone who was which. And I’d recruited them by telling them “we’re going to talk about Iraq, Iran and the Middle East,” not telling them that the real focus was Israel….

It was so crowded that we had kids sitting on the floor. But that added to the intensity. They felt like they were in a dorm room. And within 10 minutes, the non-Jews started with “the war crimes of Israel,” with “the Jewish lobby,” with “the Jews have a lot more power and influence” – stuff that’s borderline anti-Jewish.

And guess what? Did the Jewish kids at the best schools in America, did they stand up for themselves? Did they challenge the assertions? They didn’t say sh*t. And in that group was the leader of the Israeli caucus at Harvard. It took him 49 minutes of this before he responded to anything.

The group is over. It’s a three-hour group. I then say, “Who’s Jewish, who isn’t?” And at that point some of the Jewish kids got a little outraged. I dismiss all the non-Jewish kids.

And the Jewish kids are there. And they’re now ticked at me for doing this, you know, “Why have you segregated us?” I said, “I’m Frank Luntz and I’m Jewish, and I’ve been working on this now for 10 years, and you all didn’t say sh*t.”

And it all dawned on them: If they won’t say it to their classmates, who they know, who will they stand up for Israel to?

So that’s where the Zionist project has taken the Jewish people. It has led to the tricking and isolating and embarrassing of the smartest and brightest young Jewish kids in the world, to guilt them to memorize an Orwellian immoral document, whose goal is to obfuscate, to celebrate tendentiousness, in order to defend the indefensible. All in the name of, and great cause of, Jewish ethnic loyalty. It has led to a permanent Prime Minister. Who now instead of duping his customers into buying a form fitting bed is using his grade B acting skills to try to sell the world on a permanent Israeli occupation.

 

About Phil Weiss and Yakov Hirsch

Phil Weiss is a co-editor of this site. Yakov Hirsch is a professional poker player and dog trainer.

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37 Responses

  1. Kay24
    September 13, 2016, 10:56 am

    Interesting article Phil and Yakov, here is an “Independent” article to support the information you give us. Luntz is a despicable man, who has unleashed the venomous zionist supporters we see in websites all over the world, spewing false propaganda as suggested by the Master of Hasbara.

    “There is a reason for this enhancement of the PR skills of Israeli spokesmen. Going by what they say, the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe. Written by the expert Republican pollster and political strategist Dr Frank Luntz, the study was commissioned five years ago by a group called The Israel Project, with offices in the US and Israel, for use by those “who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel”.

    Every one of the 112 pages in the booklet is marked “not for distribution or publication” and it is easy to see why. The Luntz report, officially entitled “The Israel project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was leaked almost immediately to Newsweek Online, but its true importance has seldom been appreciated. It should be required reading for everybody, especially journalists, interested in any aspect of Israeli policy because of its “dos and don’ts” for Israeli spokesmen.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/israel-gaza-conflict-the-secret-report-that-helps-israelis-to-hide-facts-9630765.html

  2. John O
    September 13, 2016, 12:41 pm

    ‘… “enlightened” countries’ pressure on Israel to remove settlements from Palestine is a demand for “ethnic cleansing” that those countries would never tolerate within their borders.’

    Enlightened countries never have to ask themselves the question “Would we tolerate this within our borders?” for one simple reason – enlightened countries don’t act in this way.

    • Rashers2
      September 14, 2016, 1:18 pm

      I agree with that, John O., but the key clause, the absurdity of which has unsurprisingly bypassed Messrs. Mileikowsky, Luntz and their fellow snake-oil salesmen, is, “…those countries would never tolerate WITHIN THEIR BORDERS” (my emphasis). I wasn’t aware that the illegal settlements in the OWB and occupied East Al Quds were, “WITHIN [ISRAEL’S] BORDERS” – has the UN been informed of this; or even the supine U. S. State Department? The responses to the video suggest not. Mileikowsky is merely treating his audience to more of the “Göbbels’ Principle” on the “settlements”, namely that if he tells the same lie loudly enough and often enough, it will become accepted as “fact”.

  3. Citizen
    September 13, 2016, 12:48 pm

    Luntz is on record saying the masses vote via emotions, not intellect, so you have to cater to the code word triggers of the given audience. He also instructed Netanyahu and hasbara bots to but their conclusion sentence last, not first, i.e., to build their conclusion, not start with it. His methodology is right out of Bernays, who was studied in depth by Goebbels.

    Julius Stretcher was hung at Nuremberg for his propaganda efforts in behalf the Nazi regime.

  4. Blownaway
    September 13, 2016, 1:27 pm

    Yacov where is the Goldberg expose? Did I miss it?

    • Yakov Hirsch
      September 13, 2016, 5:56 pm

      Blownaway
      September 13, 2016, 1:27 pm
      “Yacov where is the Goldberg expose? Did I miss it?”

      Trust me when the Goldberg expose drops, you won’t miss it. Meanwhile delivering some jabs and body blows, to soften him up, while Jeffrey’s waits for the knockout, he knows is coming.

  5. Philip Weiss
    September 13, 2016, 1:29 pm

    It’s up!

  6. amigo
    September 13, 2016, 3:06 pm

    ““If we are to have real peace, then Israelis and Palestinians will have to live side by side. The idea that anywhere that you have Palestinians there can’t be any Jews, that some areas have to be Jew-free, is a racist idea. ”

    Hmmm, remind me how many Israeli Arabs , (Palestinians ) are living side by side with Jews in the illegal settlements.

    • Citizen
      September 13, 2016, 4:55 pm

      Zionists want to live alone, not with goys–pretty obvious, isn’t it?

  7. Steve Grover
    September 13, 2016, 5:01 pm

    Thank you Mr. Luntz if this is true. My guess this video is far more effective for Israel than Bibi and Luntz presumed. And don’t worry Phil, Bibi ain’t permanent Prime Minister. I’m looking forward to seeing Michael Oren as Prime Minister.

    • Talkback
      September 14, 2016, 10:07 am

      ROFL. Please elaborate why this hypocrit hasbara lie is far more effective FOR Israel than the liars presumed.

      • Steve Grover
        September 14, 2016, 11:47 am

        It is very simple. Anything anyone says that isn’t hateful towards Israel is a “hypocrit hasbara lie” according to you and the Mondoweiss fools. Alas, your strategy is losing and comes across foolish.

      • eljay
        September 16, 2016, 7:57 am

        || Steve Grover: … Anything anyone says that isn’t hateful towards Israel is a “hypocrit hasbara lie” … ||

        Dunno about that. But pretty much everything a Zio-supremacist says in glowing praise of their deliberately and unapologetically oppressive, colonialist, belligerent, intransigent, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state is a lie.

        Well, except for when they tell you that Israel isn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”. Even Zio-supremacists occasionally tell the truth.

    • Talkback
      September 16, 2016, 6:54 am

      Steve Grover: “It is very simple. Anything anyone says that isn’t hateful towards Israel is a “hypocrit hasbara lie” according to you and the Mondoweiss fools. Alas, your strategy is losing and comes across foolish.”

      You are just another liar. I said that it is a “hypocrit hasbara lie” because it isn’t “ethnic cleansing” to deport illegal settlers and it is “hypocrit” of an Israeli prime minister even to use this word while legal Palestinian residents have been ethnically cleansed since 1948 by Israel. And that’s a fact and not something “hateful towards Israel” or any of you other infantile accusations.

      But the point of issue was that I asked you to elaborate why “his video is far more effective for Israel than Bibi and Luntz presumed”. And I guess you can’t, because you are just a troll.

      • Steve Grover
        September 16, 2016, 11:05 am

        Poor, poor pitiful talkback who lives in a world full of trolls.

      • Mooser
        September 16, 2016, 12:51 pm

        .” And I guess you can’t, because you are just a troll.”

        Hey, take it easy! “Grover’s” no troll, he’s my sock-puppet! (pace James North, who stands in loco parentheses to “Grover”)
        “Talkback”, I figure it like this; if the Moderators are going to let me get away with this, I might as well take it to the limit.
        Who else gets to actualize all of the meanest aspects of their character under somebody elses name?

      • Steve Grover
        September 16, 2016, 5:24 pm

        Mooser,
        The only reason Jimmy North (is he still Katrina vanden Heuvel’s valet at the Nation?) came up with the sock puppet schtick is bacause he can’t say anything negative about the Cubs anymore.

      • (((James North)))
        September 16, 2016, 7:23 pm

        Mooser: Be reasonable. Not even a sock puppet would make a comment this stupid. Give it up.

      • talknic
        September 16, 2016, 7:27 pm

        @ Talkback “You are just another liar.”

        They don’t care. It’s all part of a propagandist’s tool kit

      • Talkback
        September 17, 2016, 3:21 am

        Steve Grover: “Poor, poor pitiful talkback who lives in a world full of trolls.”

        You just proved my point, pitifull Hasbara troll.

      • Mooser
        September 17, 2016, 1:33 pm

        “Not even a sock puppet would make a comment this stupid. Give it up.”

        For (((G-d’s))) sake “North”, how many times do I need to tell you: I’m out of control with this “Grover” sock-puppet thing!
        I wish I could stop it. The Moderators will have to help me. I never, ever thought they would let it go this far. Do you think it’s pleasant for me to come face-to-face with all the “internalized anti-semitism” and “Jewish self-hate” twisting my character?

      • Steve Grover
        September 17, 2016, 4:11 pm

        Jimmy,
        I feel your pain we all had to endure stuff in our careers that we aren’t thrilled about. Heck it even happened to me.

        I got a job right out of college with a small firm in the early 80s. After two months the firm was purchased by a German firm.

        About 6 months later they wanted to send me to their office in Damascus for 2 weeks. I told them I can’t go because I have Israel stamped all over my passport and that I have a pro-Israel point of view. I wasn’t thrilled with working for a German firm and was even less thrilled by being sent to a Country that is an enemy of Israel and the United States.

        Even with all that they told me I had to go and assisted me with getting a new passport. So, I went and Hafez Al-Assad was the boss of Syria at the time. I found the country very interesting and felt bad for the people for being ruled by a regime of scumbags.

        I never spoke about my views of the Arab-Israeli conflict or let anyone know about my religion. My Syrian colleagues told me from time to time that virtually every problem in the world was caused by Jews. They kept insisting that George Schultz was a Jew. And that the United States was run by Jews which Phil Weiss seems to agree with.

        Luckily, about 2 months after I arrived home I got a job with a different firm. I vowed never to step foot in a country that doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Israel again. I haven’t done that since.

      • Talkback
        September 20, 2016, 8:58 am

        Steve Grover: “… and that I have a pro-Israel point of view.”

        That’s an understandment! You are pro Israel violating international law and violationg the fundamental rights of Nonjews and the right to equality in hist. Palestine. Ok, you are actually pro-Israel, because these crimes are inherent to its settler colonialism.

  8. mcohen.
    September 13, 2016, 6:02 pm

    amigo

    they do live side by side in israel.so it is possible they will
    in the west bank once it is annexed and it becomes part of a one state

    • echinococcus
      September 20, 2016, 4:02 pm

      Palestine does not include invaders from the moon.
      No matter if pre- or post-1967.
      Shoo.

  9. Kay24
    September 13, 2016, 7:16 pm

    Then we keep supporting a decades long occupation, illegal settlements, and hand over even more weapons to kill unarmed civilians….WHY?

    “Israel and the United States have reached an agreement that will provide Israel an unprecedented amount of military aid over a decade.

    The State Department said the agreement, known as a memo of understanding, will be signed Wednesday afternoon. Jacob Nagel, Israel’s acting national security adviser, arrived in Washington on Tuesday morning to sign on behalf of his country.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/agreement-on-military-aid-for-israel-expected-within-days/2016/09/13/50847ad8-79c1-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.html

    • Boomer
      September 14, 2016, 8:34 am

      @ Kay24 “WHY?”

      Why indeed. A good question. If you read this story from Politico, you might suppose that it is because Obama is on a futile mission to buy the love of his pro-Israel critics with our money. Which begs the question, “WHY?”

      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/obama-israel-aid-critics-228098

      • Kay24
        September 14, 2016, 11:59 am

        Obama must be suffering from some insecurity personally, if he has to keep pleasing those who have shown nothing but disrespect. There are so many WHY’s we need to ask, when it comes to being complicit in Israel’s endless crimes, and most importantly why we do not threaten to cut the biggest welfare queen off, until it acts more civilized. We should also ask WHY we allow a dangerous foreign entity to have access, and interfere in our policies, and why they are allowed to write some.

  10. Boomer
    September 14, 2016, 8:37 am

    Thanks for this background on Luntz. I have seen him appear quite a bit on MSM, mostly on CBS I guess. If background about his was given, it was just to say that he is a “Republican.” Without this background information about him, I didn’t have the proper context for his comments. I guess it isn’t surprising that MSM would feature him, and not describe his biases.

  11. DaBakr
    September 15, 2016, 11:07 pm

    Another bunch of hypocritical bullshit from pw and the professional gambler. They talk about luntz putting together a language proposal that presents a pro Zionist perspective. Like the million dollar Palestinian/bds hasbara industry hasn’t dumped millions into pressing their own language program. Apartheid, zio-nazi, supremacist, colonial project, and so many more. And so man hypocrisy commenters here say zionists whine. I’ve never heard such pathetic whining in my life. You people are having a coniption fit over a simple short hasbara video that was completely legitimate, no matter who was angered by it. Palestinians and bds people say horrible and untrue things about Israel all the time as a matter of policy. Big deal. Again, have to say get over it.

    • Yakov Hirsch
      September 16, 2016, 6:12 pm

      DaBakr
      September 15, 2016, 11:07 pm
      This professional gambler is feeling slight tremors beneath his feet. It could be the beginning of an earthquake.

      • Mooser
        September 17, 2016, 1:43 pm

        “This professional gambler is feeling slight tremors beneath his feet.”

        So do we hold ’em, fold ’em, walk away, or run?

    • eljay
      September 16, 2016, 9:02 pm

      || DaBakr: … And so man hypocrisy commenters here say zionists whine. … ||

      Well, you do. In fact, you’re doing it right now.

      || … I’ve never heard such pathetic whining in my life. … ||

      Yup.

      || … You people are having a coniption fit … ||

      Says the cauldron to the teacup. Cute. :-)

      || … Big deal. Again, have to say get over it. ||

      Indeed.

    • talknic
      September 17, 2016, 12:40 am

      Uh oh. DaBakr goes for another pathetic whining wade in the Ziopoop pool

      @ DaBakr September 15, 2016, 11:07 pm

      ” …. They talk about luntz putting together a language proposal that presents a pro Zionist perspective”

      Never mind the fact that it’s precisely what Luntz talks about

    • talknic
      September 17, 2016, 1:17 am

      @ DaBakr September 15, 2016, 11:07 pm

      ” Like the million dollar Palestinian/bds hasbara industry hasn’t dumped millions into pressing their own language program”

      Source of this “millions” claim please … thx … I’ll wait …

      “Apartheid, zio-nazi, supremacist, colonial project, and so many more”

      Israeli actions are deserving of apt descriptions

      Apartheid is written into the Declaration of Statehood
      1) “The state of Israel … will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel http://pages.citebite.com/a2v0e7y9x7lxd
      2) There were no representatives of the non-Jewish inhabitants “Accordingly we, members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish Community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist Movement http://pages.citebite.com/d2w2m2n6a3mad

      Israel practices Naziesque tactics https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/11/21/israel-stop-punitive-home-demolitions
      It’s propagandists are supremacists http://mondoweiss.net/profile/dabakr
      It has been a colonial project since 1897 http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8632-jewish-colonial-trust-the-judische-colonialbank

      “And so man hypocrisy commenters here say zionists whine”

      Indeed you do and are now. Unfortunately and as usual not whining at those who promote the injustices necessary for the continued colonization of Palestine

      “.. you people are having a coniption fit over a simple short hasbara video that was completely legitimate…”

      Netayahu LIED. Lies in your eyes are legitimate. Interesting theory

      “Palestinians and bds people say horrible and untrue things about Israel all the time as a matter of policy”

      They call for Palestinian rights under the Laws and UN Charter Israel agreed to and then blatantly failed to uphold. You must be so proud

      • Mooser
        September 17, 2016, 4:31 pm

        I don’t know how anybody can call Mondo “anti-semitic”! What other website has a server which regularly takes Saturday mornings off?

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