8 Jul, 2015
Nazareth: The Israeli government believes it is locked in an epic struggle to save Israel from the growing movement calling for an international boycott. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that Israel must quickly “rebrand” itself to avoid pariah status. Ordinary Israelis are therefore being conscripted into an army of spin-doctors in a campaign termed “hasbara” – Hebrew for “public diplomacy”, or more literally “propaganda”.
In the latest offensive, the education ministry has launched a compulsory hasbara course for Israeli students travelling abroad. All youth delegations are now required to learn how to justify to outsiders Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. According to officials, the students must challenge those who “seek to delegitimize Israel”.