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Monday, June 21, 2010

IDF battles should be scripted by ... PR experts?

Alex Fishman argues that Israel is losing the PR war because it's allowing the IDF to determine battle conditions. Instead, he claims, we should orchestrate IDF actions for the media.
As long as the army is the leading element in this war, we’re failing. In this war, the military is indeed part of the setting, logistics, and pyrotechnics. It provides the extras and at times also the main actors, yet the army cannot serve as the scriptwriter, and in most cases it cannot serve as the director.

This is the reason for the Israeli failure vis-à-vis the Turkish flotilla, and regrettably we can assume that the Lebanese sail and the ones to follow will else end with some kind of international scandal; it’s important for us to understand why that is.

The war guides written by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and by Hezbollah refer to Israel’s elimination via a war of attrition, to be managed on three fronts. On the economic front – boycotting goods, undermining tourism, continued heavy Israeli investment in security, and so on. On the diplomatic-moral front – de-legitimizing the State of Israel, with the flotillas being one of the means for achieving that goal. The third front is wearing us out in the military theater.

The third clause is more problematic for them, as it isn’t daily and is subjected to the global interests of Iran and Syria. On the other hand, on the two other fronts we are in the midst of a war, and it’s not necessarily being managed via military means.

Hence, the manager of this war on our side should not be the army via the IDF spokesman, but rather, someone on the highest national level, with the best professionals, who would have the knowledge and ability to write the “scripts” for the war and enforce them on all our executive arms, including the army.


The logic of a military plan dictates, for example that the raid on the Turkish ship needs to be carried out in early morning hours, under cover of darkness. This is how a military man thinks. Yet a person who thinks about media and PR, and who knows that what’s important is that which can be seen, would choose the opposite option: Such person will demand that the Navy chief prepare a plan that will be carried out in daylight, will look good on television (in line with a script written by this person and executed by the Navy) – and make it clear to the world in simple terms who the “good guys” and “bad guys” are.
Sorry, but no. I'd rather win the military battle than the PR one given a choice between the two. The terror organizations can make PR the one priority because they are indifferent to loss of life - their own or others. We are not, not should we be. We must place military necessity first.


At 6:34 PM, Blogger Shine said...

"Sorry, but no. I'd rather win the military battle than the PR one given a choice between the two. The terror organizations can make PR the one priority because they are indifferent to loss of life - their own or others. We are not, not should we be. We must place military necessity first."

I have news for you: we don't HAVE a choice between the two.

Military success is not an option. It MUST be won.

However, we are LOSING the war in the minds of the global community and individual. Israel was CREATED by the global community after the horrors of the Holocaust. Without that GOOD PR, we never would have our Jewish state.

So, it follows logically that PR is an important cog in this war, and should not be under estimated in it's power. How different would the situation be, if:

-individuals, nations, communities, groups and alliances KNEW that Israel was fighting for it's very life, and that every battle it fights is a trap laid by it's enemies.
-People recognized the fact that Israel has no choice but to show military superiority no matter what the clash, because only the threat of force is stymying another invasion of 1948 proportions.
-Israel haters could not hide behind the defenses created by ARAB PROPAGANDA AND PR.

You are discounting the powerful force of globalized media in today's connected world. Information is the real weapon, and Israel is fighting with sticks and stones against hydrogen bombs in that sense.

America and Israel both have no ability to control their global images. And that has and will continue to harm both nations immensely until that fact is recognized, and changed.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There's no need to compromise between the two. Israeli troops can and should be equipped with mobile cameras and microphones that would transmit live picture and commentary to IDF headquarters and as soon as security conditions allow, they can be disseminated rapidly to the world media. Israel can get its story out before any one else. And live pictures and commentary don't lie. It'll be a good defense in future Goldstone II inquiries. If Israel's enemies choose to ignore the evidence, they have a PR problem to deal with, not Israel. The principle is Israel should always be the side with nothing to hide - its foes, coming from dictatorships were lying and secrecy are a matter of habit, do. Its time to turn the tables on them.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger ais cotten19 said...

Forget PR altogether. Communicate to Israelis - that's your only interested party and they definitely "get it". The other side made up their mind a long time ago and no amount of PR is going to do anything. They have the power of Goebbel's own propaganda system, which has been working in overdrive for half a century or more. You just can't compete with that.

Also, I believe that if Israel stopped caring what everyone thought of them and just did the right thing for Israel, there'd be a lot less dead Arabs and Jews.


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