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‘Israel invented the water heater’

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The Jerusalem Post on the new government initiative to make everyday Israelis ambassadors of a rebranded Israel:

Hence the idea of training regular Israelis how to represent the country abroad, a campaign launched last week by Yuli Edelstein’s Ministry forPublic Diplomacy, is a welcome effort at (peacefully) fighting back.

Thousands of citizens are willing to help get across the message that Israel is a modern, democratic country with an impressive list of achievements….

The public relations experts behind the ministerial campaign suggest using analogies rather than apologies. For example, when the question of checkpoints in the territories comes up (as it inevitably does) they recommend comparing them to the need for security checks at airports – something unfortunately necessary rather than a means of collective punishment. [We don’t only put black people thru our airport security?]

Actually this is pretty awful. Look at the official site. Look at the Israelis using a camel. Look at the cherry tomato. And the water heater, in 1955:

Following the appeal of David Ben – Gurion to the Israeli scientists, demanding to find solutions to exploit state resources, key in 1955 Professor Zvi Tabor the water heater, when used today in most houses of Israel and provides about 4% of energy consumption in the country. Conversations environmental comments Do not forget to mention that Israel paid attention to this important subject more than fifty years ago.

Thanks to Anees of Jerusalem.

Sol Salbe updates:

The Hasbara website is indeed ridiculous but on the whole the stupidity is confined to politics and not the other claims made on the site. So while politically it is very much to the right of even the Israeli mainstream, the rest of it is not as stupid as it sounds. Remember these people have to con Israelis in order to get them to flog their story to the world. The worst seen for an Israeli is to be a sucker (a “frier”) and therefore the stuff needs to be believable.

From that point of view it is a pity that a case has been built on the basis of Google translate. It has improved over the years but it is a long way from useful or reliable. The item said to be invented by in Israel in the 1950s is not the water heater (dood) but the solar water heater (dood shemesh). According to Wikipedia this seems to be true:

“Flat plate solar systems were perfected and used on a very large scale in Israel. In the 1950s there was a fuel shortage in the new Israeli state, and the government forbade heating water between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.. Levi Yissar built the first prototype Israeli solar water heater and in 1953 he launched the NerYah Company, Israel’s first commercial manufacturer of solar water heating.”

I can vouch for using solar hot water there circa 1963 at a friend’s place. Bad example to build a case.

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