Dear Israel, You Are Terrible at Hasbara


Dear Israel,

I think its time we had a talk.

You are terrible at hasbara.

At first i thought about making this humourous, make a few jokes about how bad Jews are advocating for yourselves even as you are almost always among the strongest advocates for others. But seriously, at this point you are actually harming the struggle which makes no sense because its YOUR struggle. Every time you screw up it has repercussions, and sometimes those repercussions are in fact dead Jews. I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I ignored this.

You screwed up with Philippe Karsenty who has gone to the wall for you fighting one of the most destructive cases of modern-day blood libel in history – the Mohammed Al Dura affair. While you in the government literally actively put up roadblocks, and refused to listen to him, the other side turned an obviously false story into something that effectively demonized your country. All you had to do was listen, and Philippe tried several times to no avail. This was only one massive failure by you that was costly and ended up leading to dead jews. It could have been avoided BY LISTENING.

You screwed up with how you talk about your ancestral homeland. Until recently you wouldn’t even admit that Judea and Samaria are your ancestral homelands, in fact your ancestral HEARTLAND. You act like grasshoppers from the bible, you don’t act like the Lions who reclaimed your ancestral homeland against overwhelming odds. You act like your most sacred sites don’t matter, to the point where UNESCO has now decided to take you at your actions and denies your ties to them. This is YOUR fault. All you have to do is manifest your identity, demand what is yours and speak truth. You need to learn how to listen to people who are trying to help. There is an entire movement of people who understand the indigenous argument, perhaps you should try listening to them. ITS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE INS AND OUTS OF ARGUMENT BEFORE YOU START MAKING IT.

You screw up even the simplest things, because you think you know better than Grassroots activists who do advocacy with a tenth the budget you have, and do it effectively. Instead of using the resources you have, which are committed intelligent people who work hard for almost nothing, you ignore us.

This most recent gongshow with the NFL players was absolutely avoidable and had you spoken with anyone who does advocacy we could have told you FROM EXPERIENCE how to do it properly without drama. But instead you just decided you knew better and now you have given the other side yet another propaganda victory. Honestly, it’s like you were trying to be balanced and give them a victory.

First, anyone who fights BDS knows they use bullying tactics on social media and those tactics are effective because people would rather not deal with idiots and if they just don’t go they don’t have to. All you had to do was ask the players not to say anything until they got back. Oh, AND NOT ADVERTISE THE DAMN TRIP IN PUBLIC. EFFECTIVELY OUTING THE PLAYERS GOING AND EXPOSING THEM TO THE BDSHOLES BULLYING ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

Second, you do realise that your best weapon against the PA is the PA itself right? Schedule the players to speak to people from the PA, not only will it balance things out the right way but frankly the PA has no good argument. They will make your argument for you. This also removes the “it’s a biased trip” argument.

Third, learn how to be sales people – even the way you described the trip and its objectives makes you sound bad. You are Jews FFS, use your skill with words for once.

Fourth, find whoever leaks stuff to the media and fire their ass, its not rocket science.

I would be willing to come work for you, under the condition you actually listened to me, because watching this gongshow and knowing I have to deal with the fallout is starting to get old.

There are so many good grassroots advocacy groups and great advocates , yet I see the same mistakes being made. We are losing a battle for hearts and minds to people who throw gays off roofs, who think honour killing is ok, who celebrate the murders of children and old people by handing out candy. You need to think about that.

Your friend Ryan

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A member of the indigenous Metis people, Ryan grew up in the far north of Alberta, Canada with no power nor running water. Ryan was unsure if his real name was "Go get water!" or "Go get wood!" In his free time, Ryan plays Canadian Rules Football , reads books, does advocacy work for indigenous people and does not live in an Igloo.